He maybe competing for the starting shortstop job for the Arizona Diamondbacks but that is not the only position that Chris Owings will be playing this Spring. He will also see time at second base which is what happened during the D’backs first game. Manager Kirk Gibson says that it is an opportunity for Owings to get at-bats when Didi Gregorius is playing short.
Perhaps Gibby’s explanation for this is just that, he wants to get both players maximum reps at the plate. However, it is fair to speculate that this is an effort to enhance Owings’s trade value. It is no secret that both New York teams, the Mets and the Yankees are, or will be in need of, a shortstop. Showing teams that Owings can play either position and play them well could allow the D’backs to drive up the price in a potential deal. Maybe it is also an effort to see if Owings could handle being a full-time second baseman. If he shows the ability to play there on a daily basis, that opens up more trade possibilities as the pool of potential teams will be expanded. Between both positions, you can argue that there are as many as eight to ten teams with which Arizona can engage in trade talks.
With Aaron Hill signed through 2016, the D’backs have a second baseman for the forseeable future. With increased versatility, it might be entirely possible that Chris Owings is playing his way out of the desert. In fact, you might even stop calling this a competition and start calling it an audition.