ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS’s Feinsand picks the D-backs’ best trade chip before the deadline

Jul 31, 2023, 9:07 AM

Brandon Pfaadt...

Starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a warm-up pitch during the first inning of the MLB game against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field on May 09, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Marlins defeated the Diamondbacks 6-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks and general manager Mike Hazen have good reason to target a trade before the Tuesday deadline to improve their pitching staff.

But Hazen has promised aggression over recklessness, and several potential roster fits have already been dealt elsewhere.

The D-backs don’t want to sell the farm to cut down their sustainability looking to the future, so now it’s a matter of which players have the most value that they would seriously consider trading. So who is the Diamondbacks’ best trade piece before the MLB trade deadline?’s Mark Feinsand believes that starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt can be considered Arizona’s top trade chip.

Arizona is unlikely to move its top two prospects, Jordan Lawlar and Druw Jones, but Pfaadt could be traded in the right deal. He struggled during his eight big league starts, but he possessed a good fastball and a swing-and-miss slider and decent changeup. The D-backs are seeking bullpen help and could use Pfaadt or some of its Major League outfield depth to make a deal.

Pfaadt is credited with a 0-4 record and 8.20 ERA in his eight big league starts this season. The 24-year-old has been with the Diamondbacks for three stints, and the team has managed to win four of the games he’s played in.

He found decent traction last time out on Saturday, a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners that saw him allow three earned runs and eight hits over 5.2 frames.

He’s been solid in the minors as well, holding a 6-2 record and 3.71 ERA over 12 starts with Triple-A Reno.

The right-hander’s confident attack of the zone, as well as his control, have shown there with 69 strikeouts to 16 walks in a league notoriously productive for hitters.

Pfaadt remains in long-term control as a pre-arbitration arm in his first season of MLB play, adding to his value as a prospect.

It’s just a matter of who might be interested and what exactly the D-backs would receive in exchange for Pfaadt if they consider him a trade chip. Getting a pitcher is a near-necessity.

Arizona would need to weigh how much progress Pfaadt needs to make to be impactful in the majors — and how soon that could be — because sending him away only adds to the lack of a clear backend to the starting rotation. That only gets more questionable with lefty starter Tommy Henry heading to the 15-day IL with elbow inflammation on Saturday.

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