So Long Shawn?

Ever since Carlos Quentin arrived in the Diamondbacks clubhouse there has been speculation that Shawn Green could be dealt. I initially thought that Quentin was being brought up to showcase for a potential trade for a starting pitcher. While Quentin is a great player and should have a serviceable career, there are other prospects in the minor league system that have a higher upside than Quentin. His value would not possibly be higher so it made sense. This coupled with the fact that Shawn Green is under contract through 2007 with an option for 2008 made the Quentin scenario even more likely. What wasn’t expected was that Quentin would come up and get on fire hitting over .300 for his brief major league career. When the non-waiver trade deadline came and went it became obvious that perhaps it was not Quentin who was on the trading block but rather Green. The issue is that Green has in his contract a clause that states he can veto any trade to a team other than San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles Angels. That makes the suitors slightly limited especially considering how much Green is scheduled to make in 2007 and the option buy-out in 2008. But the Diamondbacks have shown with Russ Ortiz that they are not afraid to walk away from a contract if it makes the team better. The question is, does the team feel Green is a liability?

There is no question that the Diamondbacks would like to get younger and more athletic. The infusion of Stephen Drew and Carlos Quentin coupled with the relatively young Chad Tracy and Conor Jackson show that the Diamondbacks farm system is about to pay huge dividends. If the Diamondbacks would have had their way, they would have begun a gradual fade in the National League Western Division to allow the team to use the remainder of the season to evaluate their talent and get ready for the off season. The team would never admit to this but it makes the most sense. The Diamondbacks do not have the depth in the pitching staff to make a serious run at the post season and giving the young players an opportunity to get some at bats against major league pitching would do wonders for the confidence entering next season. The problem is that these Diamondbacks don’t seem to realize that they are supposed to be positioning for a pennant next year not this year. So it is hard for General Manager Josh Byrnes to pull the trigger on a trade that will hurt this year’s chance without looking like the organization is throwing in the towel. Instead the Diamondbacks would buy their time and get playing time for the young players where they can.

Green can see the writing on the wall. It is clear that Carlos Quentin is a defensive upgrade in right field. He is more athletic and tracks balls much better than Green can at this point in his career. He’s starting to see his playing time limited more and more making him more than amenable to a trade. The New York Mets who have a legitimate shot at making the World Series have inquired about Green’s availability. The talks seem to be gaining ground each day and it appears that what is standing in the way is how much money would need to change hands to cover the contract of Shawn Green. It would seem that the Shawn Green countdown clock has begun and his stay here may be shorter than any of us had anticipated.


  1. AZJazzyJ

    I like the idea that we have more flexibility with payroll next year but I’m a little worried about playing that many rookies during the stretch run for the playoffs.

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