Tue Jun 23 02:36pm EDT
When the lead story on a team's Web site declares that the general manager will be a seller at the trade deadline, then it's clearly more than just a rumor.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are 29-41 and they were just swept by the Mariners, so they've finally placed a "FOR SALE" sign on the Fiero and parked it on the lawn. This from MLB.com's Steve Gilbert:
"It's the middle of June and we're 10 games under .500, so I think there's a reality as far as the types of discussions we have had and will have with other clubs," [GM Josh] Byrnes said.
... "I do think we have a lot of good players in here, but the results are the results. I think there are decisions you have to make based on your results, not on your potential."
To this point, Byrnes has given no indication that he is planning a major overhaul. So, for now, if the team makes a move, look for it to be with one of the veterans who are in the final year of their contracts.
Don't make Arizona fans angry. You wouldn't like them when they're angry (see above).
Arizona made an expensive commitment to Dan Haren(notes) through 2012, so he doesn't fit the veteran/final year description. The trade chips specifically mentioned by Gilbert are Jon Garland(notes), Doug Davis(notes), the injured-but-rehabbing Chad Tracy(notes) (oblique) and Felipe Lopez(notes). Let's discuss those four.
If Arizona moves either Garland or Davis -- both are free agents in 2010, assuming Garland's $10M option isn't of interest -- there won't be much to spin, fantasy-wise. Garland is an eater of innings who doesn't strike anyone out; that's a terrible combination in 5X5 roto. Davis has a respectable K-rate (6.38 K/9), but you'll recall where he fell in the FIP/ERA discussion (current FIP is 4.61, ERA is 3.53). Also take note of the unfortunate monthly trend in Davis' '09 WHIP, as it drifts toward the 1.5's.
Tracy is just roster filler, owned in one percent of Yahoo! PLUS leagues. He only qualifies at 1B, where his best-case-scenario contributions are below average. Few if any contending teams would view him as a serious everyday option. Lopez is a different story, though. He's hitting .297/.352/.409 and offers adequate-to-sketchy defense at a variety of positions. He qualifies at 2B, SS, 3B and OF in Yahoo! leagues. If dealt, he'll need to remain a top of the order hitter in order to retain his fantasy value. That's the worry. Lopez is currently on an 84-run, 10-homer, 12-steal pace with Arizona.
Chad Qualls(notes) and Jon Rauch(notes) seem like candidates for the trading block, too, although they weren't named by Gilbert. There are injury concerns with Qualls (forearm) and performance concerns with Rauch (4.94 ERA, 1.48 WHIP). Tony Pena(notes) is next in line to close, while Daniel Schlereth(notes) (future closer) and Clay Zavada(notes) (badass 'stache) would advance in the bullpen hierarchy.
It's really too early to think about RHP Jarrod Parker(notes), by the way, no matter what happens with Garland or Davis. The D-backs' top prospect has adjusted well to Double-A (3.19 ERA, 46 K, 20 BB in 42.1 IP), but he's only 20. He's also superficially injured right now after taking a line-drive off his wrist. In dynasty leagues, he's already owned; in standard leagues, it's too soon.
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