Detroit Tigers traded RF J.D. Martinez to Arizona Diamondbacks for 3B Dawel Lugo, SS Jose King and SS Sergio Alcantara.
(Too lazy to get all the numbers....I think we’re all pretty aware anyway)
This trade was done back on the 18th of July and signaled the front office was willing to trade for big name players as rentals. It opened the door to many questions about how far into the playoffs the front office was trying to go. If they were willing to acquire an All Star for a position that was arguably their worst on the field, what else might they be willing to do? How much would they be willing to give up for a run at the division? As it would turn out, the loss of two Short Stops in this trade would cause perhaps another trade at the deadline. It could be argued that neither King nor Alcantara would be ready for the majors, but with both Owing and Marte out, positional depth at SS became a sudden and immediate need.
Diamondbacks traded Gabriel Moya (AA minors) to the Minnesota Twins. Received John Ryan Murphy.
Moya (LHP): 0.82 ERA, 4/1 Win/Loss, 43.2 IP, 14.0 SO/9
Murphy (C): 26 games, .146/.193/.220
This deal was done back on June 27th and is seen largely as merely positional depth. Keep in mind this trade was before anything happened to either Robbie Ray or Chris Owings. Though Robbie is only on the 7 day concussion protocol DL, there is no telling how lasting the effects will be on his psyche. We’ve seen Archie Bradley have a similar incident and not be himself on his return. Would the front office perhaps have decided to keep some LHP depth if Robbie had not gone down? Not likely. Moya was no where near Major League level ready, and the more immediate need is in catching depth for when Iannetta likely leaves. Murphy is not impressive offensively, but both with the acquisition of Iannetta and Mathis, the front office’s primary concern with catchers appears to be framing and game calling. They may see something in Murphy that they like in these respects.
Los Angeles Angels traded RHP David Hernandez to Arizona Diamondbacks for Luis Madero (Pioneer League/Rookie).
Madero (20 yo RHP): 3.99 ERA, 3/1 win/loss, 29.1 IP, 8.6 SO/9
Hernandez (32 yo RHP): 2.23 ERA, 29 hits/36.1 IP, 9.2 SO/9
I’d say this one comes as the biggest surprise. Everyone knew the Diamondbacks were looking for bullpen help, but I had not seen any chatter about Hernandez coming back to the Diamondbacks. He has undeniably returned to 2012 form with the help of Nagy over in LA. David will be a free agent at the end of the year, so this is clearly another rental move similar to the one made for J.D. Martinez. Also similar to the Martinez trade, the team did not have to give up much to get him. A rookie ball player that is struggling to make a name for himself, and might have a better go at it in LA’s minor league system. Since he is only 20 years old, there is plenty of time for him to develop but the fact that the Diamondbacks were willing to part with him for a 2 month rental is probably a good indicator of the career trajectory he is on.
Oakland Athletics traded SS Adam Rosales to Arizona Diamondbacks for Jeferson Mejia (Hillsboro-A).
Mejia (22 yo RHP): 5.06 ERA, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3R, 1.5 WHIP, 8 SO
Rosales (34 yo SS): .234/.273/.346, 223 PA’s, 66 SO, 10 BB, 27 RBI
This move was clearly sparked by the injury to Chris Owings and Marte’s move to the bereavement list. Rosales is a veteran of 10 years and has many similarities to Daniel Descalso in terms of utility, offense, and bWAR. He has played both infield and outfield positions with moderate ability but look to see him fill in more as a bench role and infield backup. Rosales will be a free agent in 2018, so I wouldn’t expect him to show up for DBacks spring training 2018. Mejia is another low level minor A player that the front office seems to fine expendable for rentals.
The myriad of low level pitching prospects the front office has been willing to depart with might signal a shift in thinking for what positions they value. In past regimes, there has been a tendency to stock up on pitching and acquire the needs in other positions later. Conversely this could signal perhaps the opposite. They may be making room for what they think is a better draft of pitchers next year and simply using the trade deadline to clean house a bit. My hunch is the former and not the latter, but it’s just a hunch.
The biggest gets are obviously Martinez and Hernandez. The two biggest areas of need for the team were an outfield offensive bat, and some bullpen depth to help a depleted roster. Hernandez is a former starter so he could be stretched for more than 1 inning, but his value is clearly as a 7th inning setup man to Bradley and potentially in the 8th inning should they decide to move Bradley to closer.
None of the moves made by Hazen and co were very splashy. They didn’t have to give up much to get what they needed both in terms of this year and the future. It seems they feel confident rolling the dice with what the team already has and not selling the farm to try for the brass ring. Conversely they clearly weren’t sellers on the year. The bulk of the team remains in tact and no major players were given up to stock up the farm. For me, this is what I mostly expected and was hoping for.
I’d give this trade deadline a solid B grade and am very happy about it considering past trade deadlines.
Tell us what you think.
What grade would you give the Front Office for the moves made at the trade deadline?
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