Diamondbacks Busy at Trade Deadline

Ah the trade deadline. What baseball fan doesn’t look forward to July 31st and the massive wheeling and dealing that goes on throughout baseball. For teams in contention it is a chance to add that one missing piece to reach the post season.

For teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks who have been out of the play-off race since April the trade deadline still offers hope. By giving up on an already hopeless season they have the opportunity to trade some of their players to contenders and in exchange get some needed pieces that will make them a better team in the future.

The Diamondbacks got an early jump on the trade deadline sending Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the conclusion of their last home stand. Dealing Haren the Diamondbacks received major league pitcher Joe Saunders plus two other pitchers and a player to be named later which is expected to be another pitcher.

The team followed that deal up with another sending starting pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitcher Dan Hudson who was the White Sox third best prospect and pitcher David Homberg who many rated as the White Sox ninth best prospect. Hudson will join the Diamondbacks starting rotation immediately.

Arizona followed these deals up with a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that send beleaguered pitcher Chad Qualls to the Rays in exchange for the proverbial player to be named later. The Diamondbacks were given a short list of minor league prospects to choose from and will make their decision before the end of the minor league season.

The final trade for the Diamondbacks before the deadline was perhaps the most curious. Arizona sent back-up catcher Chris Snyder to the Pittsburgh Pirates for reliever and former Diamondback D.J. Carrasco, infielder Bobby Crosby, and outfielder Ryan Church.

I completely understand the inclusion of Carrasco since the bullpen is in dire need of help. What I don’t get is the addition of a middle infielder and a light hitting left-handed corner outfielder.

With the addition of Crosby the Diamondbacks now have Stephen Drew, Kelly Johnson, Tony Abreu, and Augie Ojeda for two playing spots. That seems to be overkill.

The inclusion of Ryan Church is likewise confusing as he seems to be very similar to what Gerardo Parra gives you on the roster. The Diamondbacks now have five outfielders on the roster with two left handers. You would expect this would mean Parra would be sent to Triple-A Reno but it was the right-handed Cole Gillespie who was sent down.

As the deadline came you kept expecting to hear the Diamondbacks had traded either an infielder or outfielder but that was not the case leading many to scratch their heads at the final roster names once the deadline passed.

It is still possible the Diamondbacks may use the waiver wire to expose some of the remaining players but listening to interim General Manager Jerry Dipoto it sounds as though the team is done dealing until after the season ends.

So while the Diamondbacks shipped away a lot of talent in these deals they also received a tremendous amount of talent in return that should give the fans hope not just for 2011 but beyond. They also cleared off nearly $44 million in payroll over the next two years that can be used to try and fill other gaps on the roster. Time will tell whether these were good moves but one thing’s for sure; you can’t fault the Diamondbacks for not doing anything.


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