Roster Move on the Horizon

When the Chris Snyder trade was announced it began a trickle down effect throughout the Arizona Diamondbacks. Snyder along with minor-league infield prospect Pedro Ciriaco were sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates for shortstop Bobby Crosby, outfielder Ryan Church, and relief pitcher D.J. Carrasco.

Both Snyder and Ciriaco were on the Diamondbacks 40-man roster with Snyder also on the 25-man current roster. This would mean the Diamondbacks would need to clear two additional people from the 25-man and one from the 40-man roster.

The 40-man move was facilitated by the trade of Chad Qualls for a player to be named later from the Tampa Bay organization. The 25-man moves would be much more difficult to determine.

The first move occurred Sunday when Crosby arrived from Pittsburgh. The Diamondbacks sent outfielder Cole Gillespie to the Triple-A Reno Aces to make room for him. I was mildly surprised by this move. Given that Church and incumbent left fielder Gerardo Parra are both left-handed I anticipated Parra would be sent down until rosters expand on September 1.

Instead the right-handed Gillespie was demoted leaving the Diamondbacks heavily left-handed both in the field and on the bench.

The second move will occur on August 3 when Church actually arrives in Arizona. Players have 72 hours to report to their new team and the Diamondbacks allowed Church the maximum amount of time.

When Church is activated it is expected the Diamondbacks will option a middle infielder to make room on the 25-man roster. Word has it the team will either send Tony Abreu to Reno or release Augie Ojeda.

Of those options it seems most logical that Abreu would be sent down. Neither player is hitting particularly well at this moment but Ojeda is clearly a better defensive player. Rather than release him it make more sense to send Abreu down to play every day in Triple-A then recall him September 1 when rosters expand as they plan on doing with Gillespie.

So while the Snyder trade does free up payroll for the remainder of this season and next, it has in a sense created a logjam at two other positions that put the team in a difficult situation. The Church activation should give fans an indication of future direction the team may go with regards to their middle infield situation.

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