Houston Astros starting pitcher Corbin Martin throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
I talked to different members of the Diamondbacks’ front office Wednesday night. It was made clear to me they never looked at themselves as a typical seller.
I’ll give you some direct quotes and my reaction.
Feel free to tweet me @doug987fm with your reaction.
“We didn’t feel like we had to trade anybody.”
The Diamondbacks never approached the trade deadline with a ‘for sale’ sign out in front of Chase Field. If you blew them away with an offer, they’d make a move.
“Mike does a great job setting the price and sticking to it.”
And another one that was similar:
“We like our players. If you want them, you have to come get them. We’re not going to give them away just because we’re playing average baseball.”
I’m astonished Robbie Ray is here and Zack Greinke is gone. I thought both would be traded or just Ray. I asked why a deal didn’t get done for Ray and it wasn’t the response you get from a “seller,” which is why they aren’t the typical sellers.
“And we can explore extending him.”
The Diamondbacks feel like there’s still so much Ray can do. The “market” (meaning other teams) now know for sure that Mike Hazen isn’t going to sell to whoever makes the best offer. They’ll sell to anyone who makes an offer they’re looking for.
I was surprised to hear the extension word used. My preference would have been to pay Patrick Corbin over Ray, but maybe the D-backs think Ray would be cheaper to sign than Corbin was a year ago. Who knows, maybe Ray will be so thrilled the D-backs didn’t move him that he’ll give up an extra year or two of control for more money up front and skip arbitration.
Also, the D-backs can move Ray in the offseason if he has a great second half for a haul of prospects. They could wait until spring training if Mike Leake, Jon Duplantier, Alex Young, Zac Gallen, Luke Weaver and Taijuan Walker look strong or wait until the deadline of 2020. Getting a draft pick after making him a qualifying offer isn’t out of the question either.
“Martin and Gallen are bulldogs. Power fastball guys that never give in.”
Corbin Martin just underwent Tommy John surgery last month, so it will be a while before we see him, but he moved up the Astros’ system fast the last year and a half.
Maybe Jazz Chisholm will be a stud for Miami but he seemed to fade quickly this year. Miami, clearly, sees something special in him to give up a pitcher already with their parent club. They also must have a reason to give up on Gallen. That’s the only reason this trade makes sense for them. It looks like the D-backs made a huge play here. Gallen went 9-1 this year at Triple-A with a 1.77 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP. Even with the Marlins his WHIP only went up to 1.18. I think this is a home run.
“Doug, you’re going to love Josh Rojas. He’s a westside guy from Millennium. Good contact, great base runner, plays all over the infield and plays with a high motor. Very instinctual player.”
OK, I’m a sucker for the Goodyear tie-in but I love to hear “instinctual.” No athlete gets that tag unless they have a constant focus on one thing: all-out effort to beat the opponent. To me, instinctual coincides with a hatred of losing. Now, he’s not a kid. He’s a 25-year old that’s been in the minors for two full years (really three seasons as a 2017 draft pick).
“We never looked at this as total tear down. We expect to remain a competitive big league team.”
This may sound like a marketing line so you still buy tickets but when you think of all the names that could have been traded, it sounds legit. A typical seller would have moved Greinke, Ray, Andrew Chafin, Jarrod Dyson, Jake Lamb and Adam Jones for sure. A total tear down would have meant David Peralta and maybe Archie Bradley, too.
The Diamondbacks traded Greinke, Jazz Chisholm and Jose Caballero. That’s not a true “seller.”
It stinks the D-backs are a .500 team in a year when that’s almost good enough to make the playoffs, but that’s not normal. Today brought the D-backs closer to the playoffs because I don’t think they would have made it this year and I think they’re closer to being a contender in the future.