2023 Diamondbacks: An outlandish trade that could happen (2.0)

92nd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard
92nd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

It is always fun to play the "what if" game.  If the D-backs contend for a playoff spot this season, here is a trade idea that would make sense for both parties and would absolutely bolster this Arizona squad…

Diamondbacks land SP Shane McClanahan and 3B Yandy Diaz from the Tampa Bay Rays

This would be a slam-dunk move for the Arizona front office.  In this trade idea, the Diamondbacks would receive two stellar players.  Yandy Diaz finished top 5 in the MLB in OBP last season, and Shane finished top 5 in WHIP last season.

I wonder how many baseball fans know that the Tampa Bay Rays have been “Moneyballing” their way to success the last couple of years.  In 2022 the Rays were 23rd in the league in team payroll (8th poorest team in MLB) and they went 86-76.  In 2021 they were 25th in team payroll (6th poorest team in MLB) and they went 100-62, losing in the ALDS.  In 2020 they were 28th in team payroll (3rd poorest team in MLB) and they went 40-20 and lost to the Dodgers in the World Series.

This year, the Rays are the 4th poorest team in baseball, and in this trade idea, the Rays Moneyballing finally comes to a halt and they become sellers at the trade deadline.  This is where the D-backs come sneaking in…

Shane McClanahan is a phenomenal pitcher.  Last season he appeared in his first All-Star game due to the fact that he put up ridiculous numbers.  In the first half of the 2022 season, Shane went 10-3 with a 1.71 ERA, 147 strikeouts, and a 0.80 WHIP.  He ended up finishing the season 12-8 with a 2.54 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.  McClanahan would make the Diamondbacks rotation a top-10 group in all of baseball…

Yandy Diaz always has been and still is a very underrated ball player.  In 384 games with the Rays dating back to 2019, Diaz has hit 76 doubles, 38 HRs, 170 RBIs, and he has slashed .277/.374/.419 for an OPS of .793.  Last season was without a doubt his best in Tampa as he hit 33 doubles and got on base in over 40% of his plate appearances.  His .401 OBP was 5th in the league last year tying the great Juan Soto.  Diaz would be a great addition to the top of the Arizona lineup and his ability to get on base would mean more RBI opportunities for guys like Marte, Carroll, and Walker.

The brutal return

In this idea, the Rays would receive IF Josh Rojas, IF Devyison De Los Santos, and SP Yu-Min Lin.  Losing these ball players would be big blows to the stomach for the Diamondbacks, but for Diaz and McClanahan, it might be worth it.

IF Josh Rojas is a guy every MLB club would love to have on their team.  He is versatile, he is patient at the plate, and he possesses a smile that makes you smile when you see it.  In his last two seasons, Rojas has played 264 games; he has hit 57 doubles, 20 HRs, 100 RBIs, and his OBP is .345.  Last season, he averaged 3.99 pitches per plate appearance which ranked him in the top 50 in all of baseball.  A patient hitter with a lot of potential; sounds like a Tampa Bay Ray to me…

IF Deyvison De Los Santos (ranked #5 in the Arizona farm system) might set the world on fire here in a couple of years.  The 19-year-old knows a thing or two about hitting a baseball.  Last season, De Los Santos played 126 games across low and high A.  He hit 29 doubles, 22 HRs, and 106 RBIs.  He also slashed .306/.348/.499 for an OPS of .847.  Did I mention that he did all of that as a teenager?!  The moon is the limit for this kid. 

SP Yu-Min Lin is ranked #13 in the Arizona farm system.  He also is 19 years old.  If the Rays really wanted to start over, they would be in good hands with De Los Santos and Lin developing in their farm system.  Last season in low A, Lin went 2-0 with a 2.97 ERA in 7 starts.  Lin needs a little more velo on his fastball for it to be effective, but he has perfected his changeup so much that it is nearly impossible to hit.  Lin’s ETA is 2025.