While simulating the offseason as part of the FanSided Offseason Simulation, we made four fake trades for the Arizona Diamondbacks, documented in consecutive posts. This was the final fake deal we made:
RHP Zack Greinke
$21MM Cash – $7MM per season
RHP Domingo Acevedo (.000 Service Days)
RHP Tyler Beede (.007 Service Days)
1B/OF Chris Shaw (.031 Service Days)
On the final day of the FanSided GM simulation, the Giants fake GM came to us with this offer. They had acquired Domingo Acevedo from the Yankees in a blockbuster of their own that put Madison Bumgarner in pinstripes. That trade, of course, was an important precursor to this one as it freed up both the money and the rotation spot in San Francisco.
Key to this deal, for us, was the Giants taking most of Greinke’s contract. By paying only $7MM per season, the Diamondbacks would essentially solve their payroll problems. With payroll flexibility (that Arizona does not have), lots of team building avenues are open. Without it, it’s very difficult to reshape or retool a roster.
The players returned in this deal aren’t world beaters. Tyler Beede and Chris Shaw are both former prospects who have struggled to make a dent at the big league level. Each had a particularly rough 2018. With a change of scenery and more playing time, it’s possible either one could develop into something useful, or even, if you dare to dream, good.
Shaw can play a little left field, but that’s not where he’s likely to shine. His perfect role in Arizona would be as a one year stopgap between Paul Goldschmidt (if traded) and Pavin Smith (if he develops as planned). Beede would be given every opportunity to win a starting spot out of camp.
Domingo Acevedo – along with the financial savings – pushed this fake deal over the line. The 6’7″ right-handed is currently a starter with a power arm, but if he ends up in the bullpen he could be an elite option there. He was the Yankees #4 prospect prior to 2018, and even if he’s slipped in the minds of some evaluators since then, his live arm and plus size are worth watching as he graduates to Triple A. He finished 2018 with 64 2/3 innings of 2.92 ERA ball at the Double A level.
There are actually a couple of things that, in retrospect, we don’t love about this trade. The players that we got in return, however, aren’t the problem.
The first issue is that IRL Mike Hazen is confident that the Diamondbacks can get out from under the entire sum of Greinke’s contract. If the market really is as forgiving as the current rumors make it seem, then this return is likely not enough.
The bigger issue was the timing of this trade. Simply, we were too late. By the time this deal went down, most of the major names in free agency were already gone.
We had, to this point, kept the competitive window theoretically open by not dealing Goldschmidt, but we also weren’t able to restock anywhere else on the diamond with our newfound financial flexibility. We could accept a roster dump for someone like Mike Leake, but if we’d struck sooner we might have actually been able to use the money we freed up in this deal.
We ended this offseason simulation in an awkward place – not enough talent to compete on the roster, no free agents to move the needle and many Goldschmidt’s suitors already moved onto alternative options.
Hopefully, the Arizona Diamondbacks IRL will do a better job of managing this market than we did in our Offseason Simulation. By waiting too long to push the market on Greinke, Arizona may be left with too few options on the table. That said, it will be harder to move Greinke until some of those top free agent options – such as Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel – have come off the board. It’s a tricky process, and clearly one that doesn’t always go as planned.