With the trading deadline later this week, rumors are flying everywhere. Some of them involve the Arizona Diamondbacks, a given considering the team is 15 games under .500. They have already said goodbye to Brandon McCarthy, Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana. Most people assume the D’backs aren’t finished yet. Keep in mind that moves could still be made up until August 31st but July 31st is the date that gets everyone going. Here are the four most popular names on the Snakes that are considered prime trade candidates.
Aaron Hill. The streaky second baseman is riding a ten game hitting streak with five multi-hit games in that span. His overall numbers, particularly his .291 on-base percentage can scare some potential suitors. The Washington Nationals have been linked to him with a return to the American League East also a possibility with the New York Yankees and his old team, the Toronto Blue Jays being ideal locations. At 32, Hill has two years and $24 million dollars left on his contract after this season. He was hit in the hand by a pitch on Saturday night and did not play Sunday. The injury does not seem serious.
Oliver Perez. Relievers, particularly left-handed ones, are always popular at this time of year. D’backs’ general manager Kevin Towers signed the 32-year old Perez late in Spring Training. After a tough beginning, Perez has been one of the better arms in the bullpen. Thought of a left-handed specialist, he has pitched an inning or more on multiple occasions to the tune of a 2.04 ERA. He is signed for another year at $2.5 million dollars.
Martin Prado. For the second straight season, Prado has decided to come alive as the calendar hits July. He has hits in 18 of 21 contests this month and his latest outburst was a five RBI game on Saturday. Perfect timing for trading deadline season. The D’backs are less willing to deal Prado as they are Hill, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. The 30-year old Prado is signed through 2016 at $11 million dollar per year. He plays a variety of positions in the field which is why the D’backs seem reluctant to deal him. However, more value equals more of a haul.
Brad Ziegler. This is the trickiest guy to evaluate. He has been a valuable member of the D’backs’ bullpen for the last two and a half years. If you believe that the team needs to be overhauled, then the time to move Ziegler would be now. However, if you think they need some minor tinkering, then there is no reason to trade the 34-year old Ziegler. He is due $5 million dollars in 2015 and has a club option in 2016 for $5.5 million or a $1 million dollar buyout. Ziegler is having another good season at 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA.
Will anyone be traded? As with many things, I will probably be wrong about this one. I believe the only one that will get dealt is Perez and even then I am not 100% sure about that. Hill has a chance to move, mainly because there is an immediate replacement in Didi Gregorius. I think the team will have to be knocked over in order to move Prado. I am of the opinion that a complete overhaul is not necessary (wasting Paul Goldscmidt’s prime years) which leads me to believe that Ziegler is staying put. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be activity in the offseason. After the way things have gone, there will be changes.
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