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SnakePit Round Table: Deadline Departed

Which of our writers are most like seals?

Sharks on Cape Cod Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

If you are interested in taking part in a round table alongside the regular writers, like Preston this week, just answer one or more of the questions in the comments. I’ll select one respondee, and send them the questions so they can join in next weekend!

Should the D-backs have sold more aggressively at the deadline?

Michael: I’m not sure how much more the Diamondbacks could have sold at the Deadline, perhaps Walker and Mantiply could have been dealt. I was 100% against the idea of trading Merrill Kelly under any circumstance, the team could have gotten a solid return but at some point you have to keep certain guys if you’re serious about trying to win. A Merrill Kelly trade might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back after already watching Peralta get moved to Tampa. While he’s still an effective starter, I prefer that Kelly stay in Arizona.

DBacksEurope: in the previous round table I gave my personal opinion: the D-Backs are like McDonalds. Maybe the Diamondbacks think they are a real restaurant but they are not. That Big Mac isn’t going to sell for more than what it is worth.

Spencer: No. I don’t think there was much value in anyone other than MKelly and I’d rather have him there to mentor the kids coming up than grab another prospect or two for him. Walker is worth more to us now that Beer is on the fast track to AAA-only bat; maybe if the team believes in Smith’s glove at first he’s an offseason deal? Mantiply pitched himself into too much murkiness to be dealt with 4 years of control left. Nobody left to aggressively sell unless you’re a buyer.

Justin: I think they shopped and did what they could. You have to have players other teams want. If say, there was a team wanting Christian Walker (or whomever) you also have to feel like the return is acceptable. I don’t mind how it went down too much. I agree with Spencer on Mantiply and Merrill.

Makakilo: No. Torey Lovullo said that there were trade discussions with a lot of teams. He stated two reasons that more trades were not executed:

  • “We weren’t willing to sell off the players that we wanted to continue to develop, give them a chance to come out here and show us what they can do.” – Torey Lovullo
  • “The guys who are here are the guys that we want and the guys we are going to compete with every single night.” – Torey Lovullo

Wesley: I’m not sure if they could be more aggressive. If the market wasn’t there for the players that we’d like to move, then there wasn’t a deal to be made.

James: Other than trading from the young core they are trying to develop into a contending team, there was precious little else for them to have done. If they were hyper determined, perhaps they could have moved the likes of Walker, IPK, or either of the Kellys for pennies on the dollar, but those were not moves that were going to benefit the team either now or in the future.

Preston: As most have observed, there wasn’t a lot that they could have done. My fear was that they would give up a young player like Varsho or McCarthy in order to dump MadBum’s contract. Not doing that certainly makes the trade deadline better. I wouldn’t have minded their moving Walker, but probably no team met the asking price. I would have been thrilled if they could have moved Davies, Melancon, or Luplow, and they should probably DFA each of them now simply to give young players a chance to develop.

Share your memories of the David Peralta era?

Michael: I was in attendance for his MLB debut, he had two singles and two strikeouts in 4 ABs with both hits looking the same. I had scored the game on the program, but it’s probably in a landfill somewhere. The first thing I noticed was how big he was when I saw him warming up, he was towering over A.J. Pollock. There are plenty more to share, but I’ll go with that one.

DBacksEurope: David Peralta was a fun guy to watch: a player with a lot of positive vibes. He was part of that fine 2017 team that underestimated itself against the Dodgers in the playoffs. He made a nice combo with Blanco in the dugout. Time to move on.

Spencer: No memory in particular stands out. The one going around Twitter of him getting Greinke to ride the bus is fun, but I wouldn’t have thought of it if it hadn’t made the rounds. I’ll just say that I love his story and infectious personality; no matter when I saw him on film, he was enjoying himself and doing his best to help the team. That’s a wonderful guy. I hope he gets a ring one day (preferably as a hitting coach for Arizona, but I won’t be picky).

Justin: Nothing in particular, really, and I do not mean that in a bad way at all. He was a good guy, that was easy to root for and hope he does well and gets a ring.

Makakilo: For a long time, I will remember him standing on second base and pulling down on an imaginary pull cord to make a train whistle blow. It was an extraordinary way to celebrate his double.

Wesley: I always loved the max effort he’d put into rounding the bases, especially earlier in his career.

James: I loved that he was not a guy who ever seemed to be mailing it in. He put in the effort needed to bring his best whenever he took the field. He was also incredibly fun to watch interacting with other players (both teammates and opposition), umps, and fans. He was just an all-around positive individual.

Preston: Peralta is, hands-down, the best player in MLB history to come from the independent leagues. But in addition to being a great ballplayer, he was also a likeable guy. I was not the only person at the game last Saturday who was hoping to give him an ovation before he was dealt, but it was just too late.

As far as memories go, he came up under the difficult circumstances of the 2014 disaster, developed into an above-average major leaguer, was the engine of the somewhat competitive teams in 2017-2019, and was almost the only reason to watch from 2020-2022. I’ll remember him as pretty much the only Diamondback in franchise history who was universally liked. And I’ll hope that he comes back at some point to work in the front office or broadcast booth and continues his relationship with the franchise.

What do you think of new 3B Emmanuel Rivera?

Michael: Meh, not much of an addition but they didn’t give up much for him either.

DBacksEurope: more mediocrity that this team really doesn’t need. I get Luplow vibes with this move and these kind of players are not going to make this team better.

Spencer: This move really doesn’t make sense to me. At first I was impressed we got a guy with so much team control who had already made the MLB for Weaver. And while his arm plays better at third than Rojas’ does, at some point DBE is right: we need to aim higher than replacement level light hitters. Assuming no one wants Marte, we need a spot for Perdomo and Lawlar in the next couple years (not to mention Ahmed next year). I’d rather try Perdomo at third when Ahmed returns and have Rojas go back to super utility. Maybe some news with Ahmed is coming making the “need” for Rivera more obvious, but right now, I think this was a weird, cost-cutting move.

I am not worried about Weaver though. KC has a history of making ex-D’Backs pitchers look good for a season or two but then they regress. I liked him in the Goldy deal (and still do), but he never made the necessary jump to MLB quality.

Justin: I have only seen him once, last night (so Friday’s game as I type this before Saturday’s game). I saw on instagram, most of the Royals fans comments are “Oh, great another 7.00 era pitcher” as opposed to NOOOO WHY.

Makakilo: A short summary of my thoughts about the Luke Weaver & Emmanuel Rivera trade:

  • The trade immediately improved both teams (this season).
  • July statistics (ERA, wOBA vs LHP) were great for both players in the trade.
  • It would likely be a mistake to think that both players are at their career peak of performance.
  • I am hopeful about the possibility that with continued development Emmanuel Rivera will be a power hitter, driving in runs for the Diamondbacks.
  • Emmanuel Rivera is a better defender at third base than is generally seen. My future article will provide a statistic that suggests that so far in 2022, Rivera may have been a better defender at third base (not shortstop) than Geraldo Perdomo and Josh Rojas.

For a more detailed view of my thoughts see this AZ Snake Pit article, which will likely post on Tuesday.

Wesley: I wish we’d gotten a little more upside. He is definitely better than any other 3B on the roster defensively, so that’s an upgrade. I asked my friend from Kansas City his thoughts, and he was surprised that the Royals traded him, ajd desrcibed him as a “streaky, hard working player who is a consummate professional.”

James: Something about deck chairs and the Titanic comes to mind.

Preston: He did just hit a home run, so there’s that. He’s far better than it would have been reasonable to expect to get for Luke Weaver. But it’s hard to see him as being an upgrade on Buddy Kennedy, at least substantially, and now he’s pushed Kennedy to languish in Reno, so I think it’s a net subtraction. But who knows what else the front office had planned, and whether it happened. I thought the acquisition was the prelude to a trade from the outfield, with Rojas moving to a corner. I’m glad that didn’t happen, but something like that may have been the plan.

Tommy Henry made his debut. Will he stick in the rotation (short- and long-term)?

Michael: He should finish the year in the rotation and we can see what he can provide in 50-ish innings. Unless he walks guys or gives up too many homers, I say keep rolling with him. For 2023 and beyond, it will depend on his ability to get outs. The team needs guys who can stick in the rotation beyond 2024, when Merrill Kelly’s contract expires and Zac Gallen becomes a potential trade candidate since an extension is unlikely.

DBacksEurope: if he pitches like he did in Reno then I am positive he will. Those are very good Reno stats he had in AAA. When was the last time the D-Backs had someone from the farm up who performed in Reno with good numbers? Corbin, Ray…Bauer?

Spencer: Short term he 100% deserves to be in the rotation the rest of the season; I don’t even care how he pitches. Let him develop. Long term is going to depend on his ability to get MLB hitters out a second and third time just as much as other young arms development. Going into 2022 I had Henry as our long/bulk relief guy of the future. I’m going to stick with that, but hope he can be more.

Justin: I think in the short term he deserves the chance. In the long term, I am not sold on him. I will wait and see. That said, I don’t really follow minor league careers of players like some here do.

Makakilo: One start by Tommy Henry was not enough to address the question. I’d like to see him start more games.

In the remainder of the season, I want a pitcher to emerge as a strong candidate for next season’s rotation per this AZ Snake Pit article. Possible players who are ready or close to ready include Tommy Henry, Corbin Martin, and Ryne Nelson per this AZ Snake Pit article. So far, Corbin Martin and Tommy Henry have started in the Majors.

James: There is no reason to pull him back out of the rotation at this point. Let us see what happens between now and October. Let him take his lumps and see if he can adjust. Then, once February rolls around, he can be on the short list to see if he makes the Opening Day rotation. Long-term will depend on how he adjusts and develops. We are still a number of months from seeing how that pans out.

Wesley: I think he has a chance to stick as a starter, but it really depends on how he adjusts long term. I give the startera that come up with Arizona little chance at sticking as a starter here in general though.

Preston: Can he? He should be given every opportunity to stick. If he is given opportunities, I think he will be fine, and develop into a solid 3-4 eventually. However, the track record of the organization is not encouraging. It’s infuriating that they continue to give Zach Davies starts, but toss Corbin Martin back to Reno. Martin is never going to find his breaking stuff in Reno; that could be why he lost it. Davies is not going to be part of the plan going forward. Far better to let the young guys take their lumps. And that’s what they need to do with Henry now, but I won’t believe it will happen until I see it.

Juan Soto is now a Padre. With that and their other moves, can they beat LA?

Michael: No.

DBacksEurope: I hope they will. In the previous round table I said they had to make some big splashes and they surely did. They won’t win the division but they will make the playoffs and then who knows. I root for them.

Spencer: They certainly “won” the deadline no? They will not win the division. LA is too good with a cushy enough lead for that (13.5 games as of Saturday morning). In the postseason? Maybe? I’d put money on LA because of experience and track record though. Plus LA has a better addition coming in September than SD just got: Walker Buehler. He’s a proven ace with plenty of postseason experience. In 2024, I think the Padres would have a better shot (with or without Soto).

Justin: I hope so. I think the Padres just improved their chances.

Makakilo: I see a two-part question.

  • During the regular season. They can’t beat the Dodgers, who have a league leading 74 wins, and who are on a hot streak of 27 wins with 5 losses from 1 July through 6 August.
  • During the playoffs. The Padres improved their chances of reaching the playoffs, and they improved their chances of winning a playoff series against the Dodgers, perhaps to as much as 50-50 (although I have a bias in hoping the Padres beat the Dodgers).

James: Nope.

Wesley: No chance at winning the division barring a complete collapse by LA which is highly unlikely. I don’t see why they couldn’t beat LA in the playoffs though, which are a total crapshoot.

Preston: This was the kind of move that you don’t make without the new format. Acquiring Soto and Bell for a single game wouldn’t have been sensible. But the big concern is pitching: I do not see them having enough of it to win the World Series, although with recent events in Dodgers world, it is possible that they are able to last longer in the postseason than the Dodgers. But whether or not they win it all, they have given their fans something to cheer about for the next year and a bit. And we should remember that the big payoff on a deadline trade doesn’t always happen that year. Despite Schilling’s best efforts, the Diamondbacks faded down the stretch in 2000, but 2001 was a different story.

In honor of Shark Week: would you scuba-dive with great whites without a cage?

Michael: My answer is no, but I’m more afraid of drowning than getting attacked by a shark in the ocean.

DBacksEurope: if I’d have suicidal tendencies then I would definitely do that. But right now I don’t want to become that typical news item you can find on page 9 in the newspaper that says: “tourist shred by sharks during cageless scuba diving” and everybody thinks: “you dumb f****”.

Spencer: I have already swum with all sorts of wild sharks without a cage (2019 Hawaii visiting a friend in the military). The seasickness I didn’t expect aside, it was AWESOME! You can sign me right up to add the sequel: Great White Scuba tomorrow! Anyone know a good place in central Ohio?

Justin: Spencer, you should have visited Mak lol jk That actually sounds interesting, in all seriousness.

Makakilo: No. I would gladly listen to tales of those who survive the feat.

Wesley: Two words: F*** THAT. In all honesty, as long as you don’t look like a seal, a great white has little interest in you, other than maybe a little nibble to see if you’re worth eating, which you aren’t.

James: I am not bait, thank you very much.

Preston: What makes anyone think I’d do it with a cage?