July Trade Recap: NL West

We’re on to our last installment of this year’s July trade recaps. You can read the rest here: AL WestAL CentralNL CentralAL East and NL East.

Diamondbacks

Dodgers

Giants

Padres

Rockies

Synopsis

The buyers didn’t do much buying, and only two of the sellers did much selling. All said, the division supplied five players to the Yankees alone, moving out salary while bringing back relatively little in terms of talent. Ultimately, the sharp division of contenders and non may have contributed to the outflow of talent, with the cellar-dwellers perhaps hesitant to further enrich the bigger-budget clubs at the top.

We’ll start in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers were rumored to be in on several high-profile players, including David Price of the Rays. But GM Ned Colletti warned that he was disinterested in allowing a raid of the team’s top farmhands, and followed through on that by essentially standing pat at the deadline. The minor deal for Barney notwithstanding, the Dodgers will take their roster as it came … unless, of course, an August trade is in the offing. A move of some kind for a starter still seems likely, with Dan Haren continuing to scuffle and Paul Maholm out for the year. It’s been a rollercoaster of rumors for the club’s three costly veteran outfielders, and a deal for one of them remains a possibility as well.

The Giants have had leaks spring up all over the roster, and managed to plug one by adding Peavy. With Matt Cain seemingly destined to miss the rest of the year, another starter moved from “want” to “need.” But that’s more a patch than an upgrade. And left unremedied, thus far, is San Francisco’s gaping hole at second. The club has cycled through several veteran options, and will now give a try to some younger players, but still seems in need of an August addition of some kind at the keystone.

For San Diego and Arizona, the playbook was fairly similar: move off some future salary and add some prospect depth in return. It would probably be a stretch to say that either club added impact talent, but certainly both picked up players with value who should have a future role at the major league level.

The Padres decided not to move two possible trade pieces in Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy — in part, perhaps, due to the fact that the team is still working to hire its new general manager — but both players are under control going forward. It was largely a fond farewell for Street, who pitched well, delivered a nice return, and had a replacement to take over. The same could not be said of Headley, who the team (rightly or wrongly) failed to cash in on each of the last two years before dealing him for a pittance. San Diego will take solace in the fact that he was not inked to an extension at the height of his value.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, dealt away a player who likewise seems emblematic of a missed opportunity. Prado, the key piece of the Justin Upton deal, was expected to be an anchor in Arizona. Instead, he never hit his stride and was packed off for a decent but flawed prospect. McCarthy, too, never provided what had been hoped for. While some have questioned the return for Parra, it is far from clear that more should have been expected; his poor performance and rising salary make him a possible non-tender. It remains to be seen whether the D’backs will find a taker for Aaron Hill (San Francisco?), but he would deliver only some salary relief. The club seems somewhat curiously unwilling to part with its remaining bullpen pieces, though several would figure to bring a decent return.

And in Colorado … well, the Rockies did nothing. Owner Dick Monfort said at various times that he wanted to retain pending free agents like Michael Cuddyer and Jorge De La Rosa, and continue to employ players with one more year of non-guaranteed control, such as Brett Anderson, LaTroy Hawkins, and Drew Stubbs. Of course, there are few indications — beyond a BABIP-fueled early start to the year — that the club’s current mix is particularly likely to result in true contention. Bringing back the above-mentioned players will likely account for all of the team’s payroll space, if it does not require salary to be shed elsewhere. And failing to move any names from an already-crowded roster (especially among position players, outfielders in particular) will reduce team’s flexibility. The focus has always been on whether the Rockies will ultimately move stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez – speculation seems to go with whichever happens to be healthy — but perhaps the real issue lies with the organization’s seeming inability to conceive of bold, well-thought-out action in any particular direction. It could be an interesting winter for the Rockies, if the team decides to re-analyze its approach to building a roster and decisively pursue a new course.


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