Diamondbacks MLB Trade Deadline Checklist

By Guillermo Salcido
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Jul 19, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws a pitch against the Cleveland Indians in the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Call Cincinnati

Any ball club that envisions themselves as a playoff contender, has a responsibility to inquire about the fire-sale that the Reds will be conducting in the next week. Cincinnati is 42-50 and is currently 4th in the National League Central, 16.5 games back of St. Louis. In the next few days, the Reds will be handing out integral pieces for a playoff run.

We’ve already touched upon the possibility of a Johnny Cueto acquisition. Although Cueto is more likely to be acquired by an American League team (East, most likely), a quick question can’t hurt. With names such as Jake Lamb, Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed, Brandon Drury, Braden Shipley, Aaron Blair and Archie Bradley in the pool of Cincinnati’s asking price, the Dbacks have good reason to be disinterested. Not to mention, the possibility of Cueto being damaged goods.

Jul 10, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake (44) throws the ball in the first inning of a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

With the stacked Dbacks outfield, Jay Bruce won’t be in any conversations either. Arizona’s bullpen is still in need of dire help and Cincinnati may be the remedy. With emergence of Brad Ziegler as a reliable closer and with the likely high asking price for Aroldis Chapman, the Dbacks will be weary of acquiring the fire throwing lefty. However, J.J. Hoover is thriving as a bullpen arm for the Reds. Hoover is 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA in 43 appearances.

Intriguing options remain in Brandon Phillips and Mike Leake. The former All Star Phillips, 34, appears to have found the fountain of youth. He’s still dazzled with his defense and his having a better offensive season than the Arizona incumbent, Chris Owings.

  • Phillips: .281 AVG, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 41 R, 11 SB
  • Owings: .232 AVG, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 36 R, 12 SB

Leake, 27, will be a free agent after the season and the Reds will be motivated to get something in return for him. He’s 7-5 with a 3.95 ERA while striking out 81. Many will be looking to acquire him for bullpen depth, but in the Dbacks rotation, Leake would be a leading man. Leake’s been more efficient than Hellickson (4.87 ERA), De La Rosa (4.83 ERA) and Anderson (4.37 ERA).