I detailed earlier today here, that the D-backs shopping list is relatively small at this point – barring a big trade – but that doesn’t mean me, and other D-backs fans, can’t have our own wish lists heading into the holiday season.
Mike Moustakas could be just the right guy for the D-backs. Image: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
For me, it starts and begins with trading one our upper-level power arms for an upgrade at third base or short stop. Presumed starters Chris Johnson and Cliff Pennington are guys that could capably fill the positions, but they are also not roster strengths by any stretch of the imagination. Pennington has 24 career home runs over five seasons. He also has a poor .313 On-Base Percentage for his career, rendering him basically useless at the plate. Thankfully, he does have some defensive acumen.
Johnson on the other hand isn’t bad either offensively or defensively but isn’t good in either aspect, either. He is the definition of replacement level as he has a -0.8 WAR over his career; though, he did have a 0.7 WAR in 2012 with the Astros and Diamondbacks.
So if the D-backs really consider themselves contenders going forward, those two positions would be the easiest to upgrade. Now how to do that? Instead of trading a guy like Justin Upton, who they should be building around not constantly shopping like I wrote here, they could pull the trigger on one of their elite pitching prospects that are big-league ready. Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin all saw time in the majors last season with mixed results.
However, all three are considered to be prospects with great potential (Skaggs and Bauer a bit more than Corbin). The Diamondbacks currently have Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill and Wade Miley penned into the starting rotation for 2013. The D-backs also have adding a veteran starter to the mix as a top priority at this point. Assuming they find someone, that leaves one spot for Bauer, Corbin and Skaggs to battle it out for (not to mention Daniel Hudson will be back at some point).
In addition, the D-backs have guys like David Holmberg and Chase Anderson right behind those three and Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin behind them. That’s a long way to say that the D-backs are stacked with high-upside starting pitchers in their farm system with very little position player talent.
So perhaps, the D-backs can trade one of their arms for an upgrade over Johnson and Pennington. I’ve seen quite a few rumblings from Royals fans that they would like to trade one of their young hitters for some starting pitching. I’m not saying it’s likely, but at least asking about Mike Moustakas would behoove the D-backs front office. That is item number one on my wish list.
Possibly giving up Bauer or Skaggs and another arm lower in the ranks for Moustakas would be a coop for the D-backs. It would provide a massive upgrade at third and possibly give the D-backs one more bat in a relatively deep lineup outside of third and short.
I’m not saying it’s likely, but I could wish, right?