CEO Derrick Hall, national media react to D-backs trade deadline moves

Aug 3, 2023, 4:30 PM | Updated: 5:00 pm

Jace Peterson #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields at third base against the San Francisco Giants ...

Jace Peterson #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields at third base against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on August 01, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks struggled mightily in the month of July, seeing their lead in the NL West dwindle to a deficit in the Wild Card race.

After the Aug. 1 trade deadline, the D-backs addressed most of their needs by adding closer Paul Sewald, some more power in the lineup with Tommy Pham and Jace Peterson, as well as another reliever in Peter Strzelecki. Arizona did not add any starting pitching at the break.

“We sent a message to our team,” D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Thursday.

“We still believe in you, we are adding to it and sending a message to the fans as well. … It is a good thing for this team to go through, it is a very young team with only a few veterans that have never really been through this.”

The Sewald trade saw the biggest package, sending big leaguers Josh Rojas and Dominic Canzone as well as prospect Ryan Bliss to the Seattle Mariners.

Rojas was the last remaining piece of the trade that sent Zach Greinke to the Houston Astros and Canzone was a rising prospect that had briefly made a name for himself with Arizona.

“Those were very tough decisions, especially Rojas, he was a clubhouse favorite,” Hall said.

“When we sent him down to Triple-A, we lot a little bit of that chemistry. He was loved in the clubhouse and will be great for Seattle, Canzone too.”

Many media outlets thought the D-backs either were very successful at the deadline or still got an excellent return in each of their trades.

CBS Sports

CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson thought Arizona hit a home run on Tuesday, giving the D-backs an A grade, joined by the White Sox, Astros, Angels, Mets, Cardinals and Rangers.

The Giants, Yankees and Twins all received the lowest grades with an F.

We’re surprised the Diamondbacks were able to land Paul Sewald, a premium late-inning reliever under control for another season, without sacrificing anyone they’re likely to miss. The Jace Peterson addition won’t generate as many eye emojis, but he’s a quality defender capable of modest production against right-handed pitching. In other words, he should fit nicely in a third-base platoon with Emmanuel Rivera until Evan Longoria returns. Tommy Pham and Peter Strzelecki were nice late gets, too. Grade: A.

The Athletic

The Athletic’s Grant Brisbee and Stephen J. Nesbitt viewed the Sewald trade as a positive acquisition for the Diamondbacks, but also acknowledged that Arizona had to pay a steep price for reliever help, per usual.

They had plenty of outfield depth, so if it wasn’t Canzone getting traded, it was someone else, but it’s been a while since we had a good ol’-fashioned Heathcliff Slocumb for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek kind of trade, and the Mariners are owed one of them. Sewald will help the Diamondbacks this year and next, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t taking a serious risk buying a high-leverage reliever at the peak of his value. Grade: Mariners: A – Diamondbacks: B- — Brisbee

Torey Lovullo said from the outset of spring training that the Diamondbacks would likely go closer by committee this year. And indeed the role has yo-yoed endlessly, from Mark Melancon to Andrew Chafin to Miguel Castro to Scott McGough to Kevin Ginkel, with none nailing down more than eight saves to date. Sewald ends that churn. Grade: Mariners: A- – Diamondbacks: B — Nesbitt

Fox Sports

Although Fox Sports’ MLB staff did not rank each team’s move as a whole, it graded most individual moves instead.

Paul Sewald trade: Diamondbacks grade: B+ — Mariners grade: B-

With an abundance of position-player depth at the upper levels and a serious need for a shutdown arm in the late innings, this was a sensible use of resources in an effort to stay in the NL postseason mix. … This has been a missing piece for a while now in Arizona, and Sewald slots in nicely to the ninth inning — not just for this stretch run but also for 2024.

Peter Strzelecki trade: Diamondbacks grade: C+ — Brewers grade: B+

Strzelecki has been solid in lower-leverage for Milwaukee, but he hasn’t been quite as good this year as he was as a rookie in 2022, so he heads to Arizona in favor of a more established veteran bullpen arm. But this is still something of a curious move for a D-backs team that would seemingly want as much pitching depth as possible if they are to remain in the postseason mix.

Tommy Pham trade: Diamondbacks grade: A- — Mets grade: C

The Peterson trade went ungraded.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, left, stands for the national anthem next to third base...

Associated Press

Arizona resident, UA legend, Lovullo influence Terry Francona retires

Tucson resident and U of A alumnus Terry Francona stepped away from the game on Tuesday, ending a 23-year managerial career.

51 seconds ago

Jake McCarthy...

Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks replace Jake McCarthy with Jace Peterson on NL Wild Card roster

MLB gave the Arizona Diamondbacks approval to replace outfielder Jake McCarthy on their NL Wild Card roster against the Milwaukee Brewers.

47 minutes ago

Tommy Pham...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Tommy Pham battling turf toe, remains in postseason lineup as DH

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Tommy Pham has been dealing with turf toe on his right foot, but he has remained in the lineup.

50 minutes ago

Corbin Carroll diving catch...

John Guzzon

ESPN’s Passan, others say D-backs have legitimate shot at World Series title

The D-backs only won 84 games this season and backed into the NL Wild Card series but they could still win it all.

2 hours ago

Starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks-Brewers preview: Brandon Pfaadt honored to start Game 1 as rookie

The Arizona Diamondbacks are trusting rookie Brandon Pfaadt to come through in Game 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

5 hours ago

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks high fives Christian Walker #53 after scoring on a wi...

Wills Rice

Diamondbacks unveil lineup for Game 1 of NL Wild Card Series vs. Brewers

The Arizona Diamondbacks released their lineup card for Tuesday's Game 1 matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers.

5 hours ago

CEO Derrick Hall, national media react to D-backs trade deadline moves