The MLB Trade Deadline was packed with rumors and excitement as teams made new additions for a potential playoff push. The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t stand pat during the trading frenzy, but they took a different approach.
In a span of two hours, Robbie Ray, Starling Marte, Andrew Chafin and Archie Bradley were traded to four different teams. The Dbacks alleviated cap space and received six players in return, along with a player to be named later or cash considerations.
It marks the beginning stages of a Diamondbacks rebuild. Ketel Marte, David Peralta, Jake Lamb and Nick Ahmed are the only remaining players from their last postseason appearance in 2017. Arizona made offseason splashes and held onto pieces for another chance at the post season, but it quickly backfired this season. The Diamondbacks are in last place at 14-21 in the National League West.
General manager Mike Hazen slowly succumbed to the idea of the Dbacks being sellers at the deadline, and they lived up to the billing by sending away several impactful players.
“Even If we put ourselves in striking distance of .500, we probably would’ve behaved a little bit differently,” he said. “I’m not saying that we wouldn’t have done anything today. … We’re willing to take that risk to win, it was just becoming apparent that it wasn’t happening on a nightly basis.”
Ray, 28, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for left-handed reliever Travis Bergen. Bergen 26, has a career 2-0 record and 5.06 ERA in 22 games with the Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants. Ray spent the last six seasons with Arizona.
Marte — one of Arizona’s headline offseason acquisitions — was traded to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Caleb Smith and pitching prospects Humberto Mejiá and Julio Frias. Mejiá, 23, made his MLB debut with the Marlins this season after not having pitched above High A in the minors. Frias, 22, has yet to pitch in a full-season league in the minors.
Chafin, 30, was traded to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The returning piece is dependent upon Chafin’s health, he’s currently out with a finger injury. Chafin spent all seven professional seasons with the Diamondbacks since they selected him No. 43 overall in 2011.
During the final minutes of the deadline, Bradley — a former Triple-A Reno Ace — was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Josh VanMeter and outfield prospect Stuart Fairchild. A first-round pick in 2011, Bradley spent the last six seasons with the Diamondbacks. The 28-year-old became a fan favorite for his whimsical beard and vibrant energy on the mound.
Several memorable faces will be wearing different uniforms, and the Diamondbacks look to have transitioned into a rebuilding stage after what has been a disappointing season.
To his credit, Hazen has kept Arizona competitive since his tenure and built a talented farm system full of young prospects. Despite the grim outlook for 2020, he’s confident Arizona can remain competitive for the foreseeable future.
“I empathize with the fans for 2020,” he said. “We started this season with every expectation of making the playoffs. At this moment in time, we are not projected to do so and that is disappointing. … But I think we’re situated in a fairly strong position.”
Takeaways from the MLB Trade Deadline
San Diego Padres go all in for 2020 and beyond
The San Diego Padres have stockpiled tons of talent on their farm system, but it hasn’t translated to much success. That could change this season with San Diego comfortably second in the NL West at 22-15.
Padres General Manager A.J. Preller stole the show with six trades to bolster the roster in hopes of a deep postseason run. San Diego acquired power-hitting first baseman/ designated hitter Mitch Moreland, versatile catcher Austin Nola and reliever Trevor Rosenthal.
Of all the acquisitions made by the Padres, none was bigger than getting starting pitcher Mike Clevinger from the Cleveland Indians in a nine-player deal. Clevinger, 29, has established himself as one of the supreme starters in baseball and was the premier piece on the market. He has a 3.18 ERA with 21 strikeouts in four games this season.
San Diego had to pry away some of its most coveted prospects to get the deals done, including MLB Pipeline’s No. 59 overall prospect Taylor Trammell, who was shipped to the Seattle Mariners. The Padres also traded their No. 4, 9, 11 and 13 prospects, according to Baseball America. But they still retained elite-level building blocks in pitchers MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino and shortstop CJ Abrams.
Overall, the Padres had to dip into their farm system in order to compete for what looks to be an unprecedented postseason, where anything can happen. They filled many needs on their big league roster and still have one of the deepest farm systems in the game. After the deadline, San Diego looks to be a serious contender.
Cleveland Indians add talent and future replacements
The Indians once had a starting rotation of Clevinger, Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber. All three of those players have now been traded, and more players may be moved soon.
Cleveland is still second in the American League Central division at 21-14 and nipping at the heels of the first-place White Sox. It parted ways with its star pitcher at the deadline, but this move could point to a larger rebuild in the future.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor has been rumored to be moved by the Indians over the past two seasons, and it may finally come to fruition this offseason. Cleveland drafted prep shortstop Carson Tucker No. 23 overall in the 2020 MLB Draft, and it acquired 20-year-old shortstop Gabriel Arias from the Padres in the Clevinger trade.
With youth and organizational depth at shortstop, the Indians may pounce on the chance to deal their franchise cornerstone. Lindor, 25, is a four-time All-Star and is expecting a hefty contract when he hits unrestricted free agency in 2022. Cleveland isn’t afraid to deal big-name players, and another franchise-altering trade could take place.
Seattle Mariners add to elite farm system with Trammell
One of the major fallouts of San Diego’s spending spree was the Seattle Mariners adding to an already deep farm system with Trammell.
Seattle already had prospects Jarred Kelenic (MLB Pipeline’s No. 12 overall) and Julio Rodriguez (MLB Pipeline’s No. 19 overall) patrolling the outfield for the future. Now, it adds another speedster in Trammell.
Trammell, 22, had a disappointing 2019 season with a .234/.340.3.49 slash line over two Double-A levels with the Reds and Padres. But he tightened his hands and added a more pronounced leg kick to his stance with the Amarillo Sod Poodles, and it unleashed some of his hidden power at the plate.
Trammell has the tools to produce in the big leagues, and Seattle jumped at the opportunity to add him to its impressive collection of young talent. With the addition of Trammell along with a bevy of other prospects, the Mariners are quickly building one of the best farm systems for years to come.
— Isaiah Burrows