While the major league trading deadline looms just one month away, the Diamondbacks could be a major player.
That is, they would be in a position not as buyers but as sellers.
Several players could generate interest and development of the races, over the next few weeks, would determine an ultimate destination for several players.
At this point in a rather undistinguished season, the Diamondbacks have nothing to lose by dumping dead wood and begin a transition period. Granted, recent picks, especially pitchers, in amateur drafts require development and no arm in the D-backs’ system appears ready, at this point, to step on the mound in Chase Field.
Pitching appears to be the Diamondbacks’ trump card but position players like Aaron Hill and Martin Prado have been tossed into the rumor mill.
In mid-February, most felt right-hander Archie Bradley had the best shot of landing in the D-backs’ rotation. That was before his marginal efforts late in spring training and landing on the disabled list. Now, Bradley’s immediate future is unknown and that may result in a domino effect.
If the Diamondbacks decide to move pitchers Brandon McCarthy, Randall Delgado or even Wade Miley, the return would have to have an eye on the future. While names like the Rays’ David Price and the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzilja are out there for public scrutiny, the Diamondbacks might best be served by stock-piling quality arms.
Then again, teams could be reluctant to deal their future but, at this point, the Diamondbacks seem prepared to part with marginal players currently on the major league roster.
After defeating the Padres on Friday night in Petco Park, McCarthy sounded very much like a man with his suitcase packed and a plane ticket in his pocket.
“It certainly seems likely,” he told Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona regarding a trade. “If I’m still here at the end of September, that would be great. It is a place I enjoy. At this point, you become an asset the other way. You accept it as reality, but it is not something I sit and worry about all the time. Just let it happen, and when I get a phone call and that happens, there you go.”
One pitcher whose name could be quietly out there is left-hander Wade Miley.
With just one win since April 12 and his lack of production baffling Towers and field manager Kirk Gibson, Miley could generate interest and pay some dividends.
Since his 16-11 season in 2012 and runner-up in the National League rookie-of-the-year balloting, Miley has been marginal at best. Last season, he managed to break even with a 10-10 mark, but his ERA of 3.55 remain constant to the ERA of 3.33 in rookie year.
Coming into his next start this Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Miley sports a 3-6 record and an ERA of 4.78. That’s better than a run more per nine innings than the previous two years.
If the Diamondbacks are to wait for the phone to ring, they will likely have their choice of suitors. Then again, if McCarthy, Miley, Delgado and others do not spark interest, arms in the minors may generate interest.
If one thing remains certain, the Diamondbacks cannot sit still. After two seasons of .500 baseball each year and a disastrous season unfolding, the future of Towers and Gibson should remain on the back burner.
The immediate concern is eliminating the so-called “dead wood,” and begin to plan for a reasonable future.
JOINING RANDY JOHNSON
The three victories by Josh Collmenter within the span of nine days is a first for an Arizona starter in regular season play.
After beating the Padres on Saturday night, defeating the Giants June 20 and claiming a win over Cleveland in that 14 inning marathon last Tuesday night in relief, Collmenter became the third pitcher to gain three wins in that period of time since Greg Olson (Sept. 19-25, 1999) and Tony Pena (July 25-30, 2006). Both accomplished the feat as relievers.
The only other starter to get three wins in nine days was Randy Johnson in the 2001 World Series. Johnson won two Series games and picked up another victory in relief from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4, 2001.
The D-backs’ road trip continues in Pittsburgh and three with the Pirates.
After a travel day from San Diego Monday, Wade Miley (3-6, 4.78 ERA) opens the series Tuesday night against Bucs’ lefty Jeff Locker (1-1. 3.74).
After two more in the Steel City, it’s on the Atlanta for three with the Braves before returning to Chase Field on July 7 for three against the Miami Marlins.