D-backs and the Trade Deadline

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks

Sitting in 4th place in the NL West at 44-59 (as of July 25th), the Arizona Diamondbacks are obviously far from being a contender. But just how far away is a good topic for discussion. Personally, I believe that they are a couple years away from being a team that could make a playoff run. With that being said, I do not think that they can be competitive as soon as next year, and should begin rebuilding the roster at the trade deadline.

There are a lot of things to consider for a rebuild. A team should be very reluctant to part ways with a player or players that will be useful when the team plans to be back in contention. Although, a player like that could be moved to free up salary space, provided that there are good enough prospects and/or very young MLB players to take his place, while also getting a hefty haul in return. If a player is nearing free agency, or the end of his deal, the team should try to trade him away for prospects, or a useful piece for the future, before he hits the open market. A team should try to get value in return for players who might be on the decline and aren’t in the plans down the road.

To assess the current roster, the Diamondbacks have some players that will be useful in a couple years when the team is ready to compete, and should be kept and built around. Among those players are Paul Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings. A few more players, Wade Miley, Didi Gregorius, David Peralta, and some of the young bullpen arms like Spruill, Marshall, Stites, and Shultz should be kept, but should also be available for trade if a slam-dunk, can’t-miss deal is proposed.  Continue reading

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Paul Goldschmidt to start in All-Star Game


The votes were counted, and rosters for the 2014 MLB All-Star game were announced Sunday evening. The player voted by the fans to represent the Diamondbacks is Paul Goldschmidt. This will be Goldschmidt’s second All-Star game, as Paul played as a reserve in last year’s event in New York.

This time around, Goldschmidt will be in the spotlight as the starting first baseman for the NL squad. Paul becomes the first Diamondback player to start in an All-Star game since Luis Gonzalez in 2001, and is the fourth D-back to be an All-Star Game starter in franchise history.

Goldschmidt is having an impressive first half of the season so far, batting .310, with an on-base percentage of .398 and slugging .554, while smashing 16 home runs and 49 extra base hits. Goldschmidt leads the National League with 32 doubles.  Continue reading

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D-backs trade McCarthy to Yankees

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres

Day two of the Diamondbacks’ fire sale saw the team ship struggling starting pitcher, Brandon McCarthy to the Yankees, for another struggling starting pitcher, Vidal Nuno early on this Sunday morning. McCarthy, a free agent after this season, has had a tough go with the Diamondbacks. He has posted a 5.01 ERA in 109.2 innings of work.

However, McCarthy has the potential to turn his season around in New York. His strikeouts per nine innings are at a career high, 7.63, and despite his 5.01 ERA, his xFIP is all the way down to 2.89. Perhaps a new ballpark will help him be more successful. McCarthy’s ERA at Chase Field is 5.37, while it is 4.50 away from home.

While the Yankees may have something to be excited about on their end of the deal, the Diamondbacks do not. Vidal Nuno is a 26-year old left-handed pitcher who, so far, is a fringe starter. He has seen time in the bullpen, as well as making 14 starts this season.  Continue reading

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D-backs begin fire sale; ship Thatcher and Campana to Angels


While the D-backs are well on their way to 90+ losses this season, the first step of a rebuild began today, as the Diamondbacks sent lefty reliever, Joe Thatcher and speedy outfielder, Tony Campana to the Angels for prospects. Arizona received outfielder, Zach Borenstein and righty reliever, Joey Krehbiel.

The deal certainly isn’t much of a roster shake-up, as Campana had only played in 26 games at the big league level for the Diamondbacks this season, and Thatcher hasn’t had much of a role in the bullpen either. Campana hit just .150/.164/.200 in his time with the D-backs, and Thatcher posted a 2.63 ERA (3.62 xFIP) in 37 appearances and 24 innings of work.

This move was essentially a salary dump, as well as a player dump. The absence of Thatcher in the bullpen will give the Diamondbacks’ younger arms, such as Marshall, Stites and soon-to-be-Barrett, the opportunity to gain valuable big-league experience. Thatcher, set to receive $2.4 million, is a free agent after this season.  Continue reading

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D-backs fall short of sweep of Padres


The Diamondbacks got back on track in San Diego after dropping their last five series. Arizona won the first two games, but couldn’t finish the sweep on Sunday.

In the opener, Brandon McCarthy kept the Padres’ bats quiet. McCarthy was sharp, striking out seven while not giving up a walk in seven innings of work. David Peralta gave him a 2-0 lead to work with in the 4th inning when his single drove home Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero. The Padres got one on the board in the bottom of the 5th when San Diego’s pitcher, Tyson Ross, drove home Cameron Maybin on a sacrifice fly.

San Diego threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the 6th, but some odd baserunning ended in a 4-2-5-6-4 double play to get the D-backs out of the inning. Will Venable hit a ground-ball to second base, fielded by Aaron Hill. Hill threw home and caught Padres’ Chase Headley between 3rd base and home. Headley was tagged out by Martin Prado at third, who then threw the ball to second base, as Venable was trying to advance to second, likely thinking Headley’s rundown would last longer. Venable was then tagged out, and that would be the last time the Padres threatened to score for the rest of the game. Brad Ziegler and Addison Reed combined for a perfect 8th and 9th inning, propelling the D-backs to a 2-1 victory.  Continue reading

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Phoenix: Appealing destination for LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony


It has been well known that the Suns are desperately trying to add a superstar this offseason, and with $33.5 million in cap space, Phoenix has found not one, but two targets: LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. James and Anthony both recently opted out of the final year of their contract to pursue free agency.

Hypothetically speaking, with the addition of James and Anthony, the Suns would be set up for sustained success into the future. At point guard would be Goran Dragic, who won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award after averaging 20.8 points per game, while dishing out 5.9 assists per game. Off the bench at point guard would be the recently-drafted Tyler Ennis. At shooting guard would be Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points per game and 5.5 assists, pairing with Dragic to be one of the most – if not the most – lethal backcourts in the NBA.

Gerald Green who averaged 15.8 points in a breakout year would backup Bledsoe, and also probably see time at the small forward position as well. LeBron would play small forward, where he would be a perennial MVP candidate, as he always is. Behind James at small forward would be TJ Warren, the Suns’ No. 14 overall pick in this year’s draft. Carmelo Anthony could then play power forward. Melo averaged 27.8 points, while snagging 8.1 rebounds per game this past season. Continue reading

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Warren, Ennis, headline Suns draft picks


The Phoenix Suns have had since the buzzer went off in their final game of the season on April 16th to think about what they were going to do with their three first-round picks. Finally, tonight, all of that work in the offseason was put into motion. With picks at No. 14, 18, and 27, the Suns selections will shape their future.

No. 14 – SF T.J. Warren (NC State)
Pictured above, Warren is a very good pick for the Suns at No. 14. He’s a 6’8″ small forward out of N.C. State. Warren was this year’s ACC Player of the Year, after averaging 24.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Wolfpack. This pick fits the Suns well. While Green and Tucker play the small forward position well, Green is more of a scorer and Tucker is more of a defender and rebounder, so it is helpful that Warren translates to be able to do all three. “TJ is an elite scorer,” said Suns’ GM, Ryan McDonough. “One of the best in the country.”

No. 18 – PG Tyler Ennis (Syracuse)
Four picks later, the Suns selected point guard, Tyler Ennis, out of Syracuse. He is a solid point guard, who is a good passer and playmaker, along with a decent jumpshot. At 6’2″, Ennis is a little bit undersized, but is savvy enough to become a good player. At 19-years old, he could be the point guard of the future, pairing well with 20-year old shooting guard, Archie Goodwin.  Continue reading

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D-backs split series with Cleveland


The Diamondbacks welcomed Cleveland to Phoenix for a two-game set. Arizona had lost its last four series, coming into this interleague matchup.

Wade Miley did not last long as the starter for the D-backs in game one, as Cleveland jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead after the top of the 3rd inning. However, the Diamondbacks would battle back, as Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero would each drive a run in to cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the 4th. The D-backs then took the lead in the bottom of the 6th on an Aaron Hill single that drove home Gerardo Parra. Arizona would ride their 6-5 lead into the top of the 9th, where closer Addison Reed would give up a single to Cleveland’s Yan Gomes that drove home Asdrubal Cabrera to tie the game.

The game would go into extra frames, where it would remain 6-6 until the top of the 11th, when Carlos Santana gave Cleveland the lead with a two-run blast. David Peralta chipped away at the deficit in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot. Ender Inciarte later drove Didi Gregorius home with a single to center, tying up the game at 8-8.  Continue reading

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ASU baseball hires Indiana’s Tracy Smith


After building the midwest’s most successful team in recent years, Indiana’s Tracy Smith will begin the next chapter of his managerial career as the head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils. Smith’s Hoosiers won back-to-back Big Ten titles, along with a trip to the College World Series in 2013. This season, he coached the Hoosiers to the No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, but his squad was bounced in the regional. Indiana went 93-31 in the past two seasons, earning Smith the Big Ten Coach of the Year in both seasons.

Smith coached at Indiana since 2006, compiling 287 victories, while recruiting and developing major-league talent. He has had a handful of his players drafted in the MLB draft, and recently had his Catcher from this year’s team, Kyle Schwarber, drafted 4th overall.

It is awfully difficult for teams in the Northern part of the United States to compete with those in the South, or the West. Whether it is due to the weather, or simply because the school’s budget for baseball does not compare to those with more baseball tradition, succeeding in the North is no easy task. ASU Vice President for Athletics, Ray Anderson said that Smith “did more with less in terms of building his program. He did some incredible things in a very tough environment. Projecting ahead with him coming to a very frankly much stronger baseball environment, how much better can he do? That’s exciting for us.” Continue reading

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Channing Frye opts out of deal with Suns


Channing Frye has officially opted out of the final year of his contract with the Suns. He was set to make $6.8 million next season, but chose to test the free agency market instead. The Suns big-man started in all 82 games this year, after missing the entire 2012-13 season with a heart condition. Frye, a Phoenix-native, is a fan-favorite to the hometown faithful, especially after playing his college ball at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

It has been rumored that the Suns will go after the center upon reaching free agency, to try to bring him back. However, the Suns won’t be alone in trying to acquire Frye. At age-31, Frye is looking for a long-term deal. It has been rumored that Golden State and Cleveland could be possible fits for him next season.

Frye is a valuable piece because of his ability to stretch out defenses with his sharpshooting from beyond the 3-point line. Along with his offensive capabilities, Frye is a solid defender. He averaged 11.1 points, and 5.1 rebounds per game with the Suns this past season.   Continue reading

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