Kevin Towers explains
Ok, so the Diamondbacks got abour $5.5 million in salary relief as a result of the trade. What are they going to do with it? Kevin Towers told MLB Trade Rumors during a post-deal conference call this afternoon: "We still got some bench pieces that we need to put together, we still have interest in bringing back Eric Chavez as a guy who was a key bench player on the club last year. We also want to add depth to our starting pitching, a No. 1 or a No. 2, that would probably come via trade. We have some free agents [that we like], but we'll probably be more aggressive on the trade front. Also, with Cody Ross coming back from the hip injury, we'll also look into a corner outfield bat."
Interestingly, no mention of any apparent desire for the team to replace Heath Bell in the Diamondbacks bullpen, even though he finished with most saves on the 2013 version. It seems more likely that the team will simply shuffle the existing pieces and promote from within, but I think we'll save more analysis of that for a separate post on the roster implications. Towers also said that Bell's problems really stemmed from location more than velocity, which does kinda tie in with what we saw: when Bell could locate his big curveball for strikes, he was lights out, but if hitters could lay off that and wait for the fastball...
More on the minors
John Sickels writes a bit about Choate, though even he doesn't have too much more to offer, which shows you how obscure a prospect we're talking about! He says, "Although he had a solid year in 2013 and expected to be drafted, he was not chosen and ended up signing a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Rays... He is listed at 6-0, 170, small for a right-hander and perhaps one reason why he wasn't drafted. He performed well in his pro debut with a 2.88 ERA and a 35/9 K/BB in 41 innings for Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League. Control is his best attribute and if he makes it, it will be as a middle reliever." So, nothing too special, it would seem.
But Towers also discussed the PTBNL, and if we believe Towers, seems we should perhaps hold off on any real decision as to the trade's merits, until it has been announced. He said that prospect "will probably be the key player in the trade from his side," but rather than a list of possibilities, it appears the player in question has already been decided, and can't be named for "administrative reasons." I do know that PTBNL have to be named within six months, but it's unclear whether this would covers a 2013 draftee: they're not eligible to be dealt for a year, there seems some uncertainty as to whether that's a year from the (variable) draft date or the next June 1.
It's always fun, in the wake of trades such as this, to lurk on the other teams' sites, and see how their readers are reactive. Over at Drays Bay, the fans there seem... strangely happy to have Bell on the roster, figuring he'll be their closer this year. I guess they weren't paying much attention to the National League in 2013, or perhaps they just have a lot more faith in Bell's peripherals. This appears to be in sharp contrast to Red Reporter, who were basically praying Bell wouldn't be heading their way. Though perhaps the funniest bit of rosterbation also came from Red Reporter, further up their trade thread, while the deal was still developing.
Cue frantic drooling over them having fleeced Arizona. When the actual deal became clear, reaction suddenly became a bit more muted, shall we say.