Buyers or Sellers
They’re buyers. The Diamondbacks currently hold a 2.5 game lead in the National League Western Division over the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, their 47 victories is the lowest of any division leader. They’ll want to hold off the Dodgers, the Rockies are just 4.5 games back, and ignoring the Giants (who are 6.5 games back) would probably not be wise either.
What They Need
Heath Bell is their closer. The 35-year-old veteran has 15 saves this year, but he also has a 4.59 ERA and a WHIP of 1.50. David Hernandez was a terrific set up man last year for the D-Backs, but this year, he has a 4.58 ERA. Veteran lefty Tony Sipp has an ERA of 4.10 ERA and a WHIP of 1.44.
It doesn’t look like the Diamondbacks will need to make a move for a starting bat, though they may be interested in more depth. The three starters with the lowest OPS are catcher Miguel Montero, 3B Martin Prado and outfielder Jason Kubel. I think each will continue to play as they are veterans who have performed well in the past.
What Might Work
The Diamondbacks biggest needs are in the bullpen. Could they be in the market for Glen Perkins? Most likely not as the Diamondbacks do not have many high-end prospects that they would be willing to deal. They aren’t likely to trade lefty Tyler Skaggs. Archie Bradley is certainly not available in any deal.
Would the D-Backs see guys like Jared Burton or Brian Duensing as bullpen arms who could help them down the stretch? Also, both are under team control for at least one more year.
Jake Barrett –RHP – AA – 21 years old
Barrett will turn 22 years old this month. The relief pitcher was the team’s third round pick in 2012 out of Arizona State. He began the season in High-A and was moved up to AA at the end of June. Overall, he is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 33 relief appearances. In 32.2 innings, he has given up 23 hits, walked ten and struck out 38. His fastball is clocked at 93-96 mph, but he has touched 98.
Kevin Munson – RHP – AA – 24 years old
Another reliever, Munson was promoted to AAA at the end of June. He was the AA closer and limited opponents to just a .157 batting average. Overall, he is 2-3 with a 3.35 ERA. In 37.2 innings, he has given up 22 hits, walked 17 and struck out 47. He does that with a fastball that runs at 91-95 mph.
Chris Owings – SS – AAA – 22 years old
This shortstop is almost allergic to walking, but he is young and putting up impressive numbers, albeit in the Pacific Coast League. The former (2009) supplemental 1st
round pick is hitting .354/.375/.506 (.881) with 23 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs and 64 RBI. He also has 15 stolen bases. He has walked just 13 times all season, but he is at least intriguing.
Tyler Skaggs – LHP – MLB –22 years old
Yes, this is absolutely a pipe dream. However, if the Twins are going to consider trading closer Glen Perkins (and his immensely team-friendly contract), and if the Diamondbacks really want improvement at the back of the bullpen, the Twins should be asking for Skaggs. At AAA Reno, he went 6-6 with a 4.26 ERA. However, in 76 innings, he gave up just 76 hits, walked 28 and struck out 87. He has made five starts for the Diamondbacks this season and is 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA. He also has 25 strikeouts in 29 innings. Skaggs throws a fastball in the low-90's, but is able to touch 94. He also is said to have a terrific 12-6 curveball and a still-improving but potentially very good changeup. At 6-4 and just 195 pounds, he still can grow and gain velocity.