A couple of hours before last night’s tilt against the Giants, the Diamondbacks made a big splash in the trade market. They acquired effective relief pitcher Paul Sewald from the Seattle Mariners.
In return, the Mariners received infielder Josh Rojas, outfielder Dominic Canzone, and the Diamondbacks' #29 ranked prospect, infielder Ryan Bliss.
Sewald has been around for a little while. He broke into the bigs in 2017 with the Mets and pitched there for 4 seasons. In 2021 Sewald headed to Seattle and pitched there for 2 full seasons.
In his career, Sewald has pitched 319 innings and he has a career ERA of 4.09. This season, Sewald has been among the best bullpen arms in the league.
He has pitched 43 innings this year and he is 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA. The ERA is impressive but what is more impressive is the fact that he is striking out batters at an elite rate (12.56 K/9).
His expected statistics indicate that he has been getting a little unlucky this season. His actual ERA is 2.93 but his expected ERA is 1.93. His actual batting average against is .196 but his expected batting average against is .159.
In other words, Sewald has been dominant this season.
So you must be asking; “Why do I think the Diamondbacks gave up too much? This Sweald guy seems pretty good.” Allow me to explain my side of things…
The Diamondbacks might have given up too much for Sewald
I know I know. I am the guy raining on the parade; I am sorry.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that Arizona went out and got a guy like Sewald. It is exactly what they needed; a bona fide closer. But in my eyes, the price they paid was just too high.
Am I sad about losing Josh Rojas? Losing his personality, yes. Losing his ability on the field, not at all. I hope he can turn things around in Seattle.
As for Canzone and Bliss, that is a tough pill to swallow…
Let’s start with Canzone. The 25-year-old rookie played 15 games with Arizona and recorded 9 hits, 8 RBIs, and an OPS of .661. His average was a poor .237 but his expected batting average (.283) indicates that things didn’t tend to bounce his way.
In 71 AAA games this season, Canzone recorded 91 hits, 16 HRs, 71 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.065. If you can’t tell, this kid can knock the cover off the baseball. With a little more big-league experience, I truly feel like Canzone could be an all-star outfielder one day.
As for Bliss, he might be one of the most exciting prospects in all of baseball. In 81 minor league games this season, Bliss is hitting .332 with 35 stolen bases and a .947 OPS.
He’s fast, he gets on base frequently, and he fields his position well. The definition of an effective major league leadoff hitter.
In conclusion, I love that Arizona went out and made a move for Sewald. But given that he is a bullpen arm if even one of the three position players Seattle got in return pans out, this could be a lopsided deal in favor of the Mariners…