The up-and-down Arizona Diamondbacks might make some moves again at the Aug. 31 MLB trade deadline.
Midway through the shortened 60-game MLB season, the Diamondbacks are last in the National League West Division at 13-18. Arizona had a season-best six game winning streak from Aug. 12-18, but have tumbled in the standings with a season-worst seven game losing streak.
Plagued by offensive inconsistency and pitching struggles, the Dbacks may be active on the trade market. Last season, Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen made substantial moves at the deadline, shipping ace pitcher Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros and trading its former top prospect, shortstop Jazz Chisholm, to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Zac Gallen.
The Dbacks could be potential buyers or sellers. The next stretch of games could be a key indicator which route the organization takes by 4 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 31. In this singular season of a pandemic, two teams from each division make the playoffs.
Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray reportedly has garnered interest from several rival clubs. The southpaw has a 8.33 ERA with 35 strikeouts over six starts and 27 innings. Ray, 28, will be a free agent this offseason. Center fielder Starling Marte — one of Arizona’s headline acquisitions this season — may also be on the block.
If Hazen and company decide to sell and build for the future, it could add to what’s become a loaded farm system with young pitching and outfield prospects. Arizona was sixth in MLB Pipeline’s most recent farm system rankings.
However, Hazen hasn’t ruled out that the Dbacks may be buyers at the deadline.
“We’re still engaged on both sides of things,” Hazen told Steve Gilbert of mlb.com. “I will concede that our recent run of games has put us in a more adverse situation than the last time we spoke.”
Possible areas of improvement look to be the bullpen and a power bat. Arizona’s pitching staff has a 5.16 ERA and has struggled to find any consistency on the mound. Offensively, the Dbacks rank 26th in the league with just 26 home runs and could be in the market to bolster their lineup.
Arizona may have to part ways with some of their intriguing prospects if it chooses to add key pieces at the deadline. Regardless of what outcome, expect the Dbacks to be active during the trade deadline.
Former Reno Aces update: Cron 0-17
As the 2020 season progresses, former Triple-A Reno Aces have donned the Sedona Red for the Diamondbacks.
Taylor Clarke made his first start of the season on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies. The right-hander surrendered just one earned run on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in a no-decision effort. Clarke, 27, totaled eight starts with the Aces last season and ranks fourth all-time in franchise history with 19 wins.
Right-hander Taylor Widener made his MLB debut on July 25 against the San Diego Padres. He has a 0-1 record and 3.38 ERA with 19 strikeouts in eight appearances this season. Widener, 25, led Reno with six wins and 109 strikeouts last season.
Former Aces Stefan Crichton and Kevin Ginkel have appeared out of the bullpen this season. Crichton has a 2-0 record and 2.40 ERA in 14 games. Ginkel has a 9.00 ERA in nine games.
At the plate, Aces’ all-time home runs leader Kevin Cron made a few starts at the National League designated hitter addition. The 27-year-old is hitless with seven strikeouts in 17 at-bats. Cron led the minor leagues with 39 home runs last season.