Believe me, this is the last thing I wanted to write. I would rather be writing about how with the trading deadline five weeks away, the Arizona Diamondbacks should be acquiring player X for the stretch run. Instead, with the worst record in the National League, the D’backs will most likely be sellers. One of their more attractive options to me is reliever Brad Ziegler, who leads the National League in appearances with 41.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a big Ziggy fan. From his long journey to get to the Majors to his ascension in being one of the top setup guys in the game, Ziegler is an easy guy to root for. However, with J.J. Putz already gone, another piece from the 2011 NL West Championship team needs to follow him out the door. Ziggy is due $5 million dollars for 2015 and has a club option worth $5.5 million (or a $1 million dollar buyout for 2016). He should be able to command at least a mid-level prospect or two while shedding a decent amount of salary from the payroll. It also allows the team to have three guys at the back of the bullpen who are age 25 and younger. Addison Reed is the closer while Evan Marshall could slide into the eighth inning role that is occupied by Ziegler and Matt Stites moves into seventh inning duties. I know that is a lot to ask of inexperienced guys like Marshall and Stites but at this point, if there anything for Arizona to lose? Marshall has been given important assignments already and has for the most part flourished. It’s time to see if Stites can handle the Show or find out if Jake Barrett, recently promoted to Triple A Reno is for real.
The subject of my very first post at venomstrikes was about Brad Ziegler. I almost feel a spiritual kinship with the guy. However, the veteran also deserves to get a chance to play in the World Series. He won’t get it in 2014 with the D’backs.