After the 2003 season the Arizona Diamondbacks were looking to rebuild by bringing in a middle of the order hitter. They went to the Milwaukee to attempt to trade for first baseman Richie Sexon. The Brewers were more than willing to deal given that Sexon would be a free agent at the end of 2004. The two teams agreed to a blockbuster deal involving 9 players. The Diamondbacks would receive Sexon, relief pitcher Shane Nance and a player to be named later. The Milwaukee Brewers would receive infielders Craig Counsell, Junior Spivey, and Lyle Overbay; catcher Chad Moeller; and pitchers Chris Capuano and Jorge De La Rosa. This deal had major implications but the fans were assured that the Diamondbacks were working hard to sign Sexon to a long-term contract that would keep him a Diamondback for the foreseeable future. Instead, Sexon lasted 23 games before going down to a season ending injury in late April. He would leave the Diamondbacks to sign a lucrative contract with the Seattle Mariners. Today the Diamondbacks announced they had made a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers involving six players. You’ll have to excuse the Diamondbacks fans if they cringe a little; it is an involuntary reflex based on past experience.
The Diamondbacks have determined that their best avenue for upgrading their pitching staff will be through a trade. Everyone sort of expected that the Diamondbacks would try to land a number 2 starter by dangling some of their young prospects. Instead, Arizona traded disgruntled starting catcher Johnny Estrada along with starting pitcher Claudio Vargas and reliever Greg Aquino for left-handed starter Doug Davis, pitching prospect Dana Eveland, and outfield prospect Dave Krynzel. Like Sexon, Davis has one year left on his contract. Like Sexon, there is talk of a multi-year deal but nothing concrete is looming. We’re left to wonder whether the Diamondbacks will again be hit by lightning. Davis has been a workhorse having recorded over 200 innings per season for the past three years. That will definitely be helpful as the bullpen was quite overworked on days when Brandon Webb did not pitch. It is questionable whether the Diamondbacks received enough in exchange for a switch hitting catcher who hit for power and average during his year in the desert. Eveland has a huge upside and at the age of 23 may be the most important part of this deal. His career numbers in the minor leagues look promising but scouts have projected him as a number 5 starter at best so that doesn’t bode well for his future serviceability. Krynzel was a first round draft pick in 2000 but has never lived up to the talent he has. He is out of minor league options so if Dave dose not make the team out of spring training he will have to go through waivers to be sent to the minor leagues meaning that the Diamondbacks may lose him. What is even more disturbing are the comments from the Diamondbacks front office which lead you to believe this may be all the tweaking the Diamondbacks plan to do with their pitching staff for the 2007 season. General Manager Josh Byrnes feels the remaining 2 starters will be from the young players in the Diamondbacks farm system. I’m not sure I like the rotation of Brandon Webb, Livan Hernandez, Doug Davis, Edgar Gonzalez, and Enrique Gonzalez. Beyond Webb, there is not much to fear from that pitching staff.