Phillies trade rumors: Diamondbacks stars to be on the trade market?
The Arizona Diamondbacks could wind up selling off players this offseason, and the Phillies could be one of the benefactors.
The Diamondbacks, like the Phillies, started off this season well before stumbling down the stretch. They held first place in the tightly-contested National League West all the way into September before going 8-19 to finish the season. They ended up in third place at 82-80, nine games behind the first-place Dodgers.
With the season now over, general manager Mike Hazen and the rest of the team’s front office has a lot to think about over the offseason. Two of their top players (pitcher Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock) will likely leave in free agency this offseason. Their star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt could also be on the way out after next year.
The Diamondbacks went all-in a few years ago, acquiring Shelby Miller from the Braves and signing Zack Greinke in free agency before the 2016 season. They hugely underwhelmed, finishing the year with a 69-93 record. They bounced back last year, finishing second in their division and winning the NL Wild Card before being swept by the Dodgers in the NLDS.
There is a belief that Arizona will eventually have to start a rebuild, whether it be this year or next year. They don’t have a great farm system and their best players will hit free agency in the near future.
Hazen spoke to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic and left the door open to potential trades during the offseason:
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"“I think he’s open-minded to where we’re at currently, which is a little TBD,” General Manager Mike Hazen said. “I still think we are going to try to be creative to start. I don’t know exactly where that will take us.“I think one of the takeaways for us was just to get a feel for what the trade market would be for various guys, evaluate the free-agent market as it comes out and see what happens, and reconvene.”"
Of course, there is no declaration of a full-on rebuild, but Hazen sure seems willing to explore all options on their roster. Piecoro said that Goldschmidt, Greinke, David Peralta, Nick Ahmed, and Robbie Ray could all be trade options. All of these players would fit onto the Phillies roster one way or another.
Any team able to get their hands on Goldschmidt should take every chance they can. He was an MVP finalist in 2013, 2015, and 2017 and has been an All-Star the last six seasons. Even though he only has a $14.5 million club option left on his contract, any trade would certainly cost quite a lot. He may be a candidate to be moved at the trade deadline if Arizona falls behind.
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Greinke has been a stellar starting pitcher the last two years after a rough 2016. However, he is still owed $31 million over the next three seasons with a modified no-trade clause. If he somehow became a Phillie, they would have more than $50 million tied to just two starting pitchers.
Peralta, Ahmed, and Ray are all cheaper options. Peralta hit .293 with an .868 OPS in 146 games this year, primarily playing left field. If Rhys Hoskins does get moved back to first base, Peralta would be a strong replacement in left field. Ahmed isn’t a great offensive option (.700 OPS in 2018) but he is superb defensively.
He finished the year tied for first in defensive runs saved with Andrelton Simmons among all shortstops. Ray isn’t the same caliber of pitcher as Greinke, but he still finished the year with a better ERA than every Phillies starter not named Aaron Nola. They are all free agents after the 2020 season.
This all putting the cart wayyyyy before the horse, but if the Diamondbacks are willing to explore trading some of their better players, Philadelphia should be willing to test the waters.