#Dbacks acquire right-handed pitcher Jose Almonte and infielder Luis Alejandro Basabe from the Red Sox for Brad Ziegler.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 9, 2016
The Diamondbacks have gone into sell mode, with the news that closer Brad Ziegler has been dealt to the Boston Red Sox for a pair of young prospects. Ziegler, who will be a free-agent at the end of this season, had saved 18 games for the Diamondbacks this year, with an ERA of 2.82. All told, he had appeared in 348 games since being traded from the Oakland Athletics in a deadline deal during the 2011 season. He had a 2.49 ERA for the D-backs, with 62 saves. He leaves ranked #1 in franchise history for appearances, #5 for saves, and that's also the lowest ERA of an Arizona pitcher with more than 50 innings thrown.
This is very much a deal for the long-term future, with the two players received both very young. Jose Almonte is a 20-year-old, currently starting in A-ball for the Red Sox farm system. He has a 3.91 ERA over 10 outings there, and a K:BB ratio of 45:13 in 53 innings of work. Just to confuse the hell out of things, there are two position players called Luis A. Basabe in the Boston organization. One (middle name Alexander) is an outfielder: the other (middle name Alejandro) is the one we got, a 19-year-old who played alongside Almonte in Greenville. He has played both middle infield position and hit .311/.414/.471 in 63 games there.
We're sad to see Ziegler go: it was always fun to watch him dial-up double-play balls, virtually at will. He was, all told, probably the best relief pitcher this team has ever had. However, it's not necessarily the end of his time with Arizona, since in all likelihood, he'll hit the open market again this winter, and who knows? No word yet on who will take over closing duties for the team now, but the most likely candidate appears to be Daniel Hudson, with Tyler Clippard moving into the eighth inning set-up role. There'll no doubt be a roster move tomorrow, to bring up a bullpen arm for the vacated roster spot. Will see if we can drag up more info on the prospects involved then.