The July 31st trade deadline has come and gone and it was one of the busiest deadlines baseball fans have seen in a long time with several big name players going to contending teams. For the AZ Diamondbacks we saw them make some trades, not a complete revamp of the team, but some key players that are no longer in a Diamondbacks uniform. It started with the trades of Brandon McCarthy, Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana in early July and ended with the trades of both Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado on the last day.
The Diamondbacks were able to free up around $22 million in salary for next season. Arbitration-eligible players, such as Addison Reed (if not traded by August 31st) and Mark Trumbo will influence that $22 million, but the team should come out on the plus side and the Diamondbacks management, with some extra money to spend, should be able to make an upgrade or two in free agency.
It is still possible that they will make more trades to free up more money and contracts, as the August 31st waiver trade deadline approaches. This is how the waiver trade works: the Diamondbacks can put a player on waivers; if that player goes through waivers, he has to be made available to the other 29 teams before he is able to be traded. If he is claimed by a team, the Diamondbacks can choose to either complete a deal with that team or pull him back off waivers. This deadline usually features veteran players with large contracts, and typically teams do not want to take on more money, but some significant trades have happened in the past. Despite those hurdles, there are still several teams that can use an upgrade before August 31st and the Diamondbacks organization will be busy trying to make those deals.
The Diamondbacks will now field a much different team for the final two months of the season. They will begin to showcase a lot of young players without much MLB experience. They need to evaluate these guys now to see what they have for the 2015 season.
The everyday players who will get long looks include rookies Nick Ahmed, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte. As for pitchers, Vidal Nuño, who is in his second year in the majors, although not young at 27, will get a long look to see if he is a starter or reliever or even has a future with the Diamondbacks organization. Rookie Chase Anderson has been one of the team’s best starting pitchers; while fellow first year player Evan Marshall is an important guy in the bullpen and seems to be a lock for 2015. Bo Schultz and Matt Stites will be looked at as well; as once again the Diamondbacks will have a rebuilt bullpen for 2015. Hopefully Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock will come off the disabled list soon and we can begin to see what the team will look like for next season.
There will be September call-ups and among them could be pitchers Mike Bolsinger, Zeke Spruill (who have been up already this season), Archie Bradley and Jake Barrett. Everyday players could include Jake Lamb and newly acquired Zach Borenstein. If five or six of these guys can become solid everyday players or pitchers, that would be a nice achievement for this organization.
With Tony LaRussa and Kevin Towers evaluating a slew of young players and with Paul Goldschmidt out for the season, it will be a long two months, but at least you will get a look at some players who could possibly be on your 2015 Diamondbacks roster.