Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart is willing to deal relievers Daniel Hudson and Tyler Clippard, but not starters Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray, Nick Piecoro and Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic write. (Stewart had previously told Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball he wasn’t interested in dealing Corbin.) The Diamondbacks have already traded Brad Ziegler and appear amenable to continuing to trade from their bullpen, but it looks like their starters are off limits.
“We’ve gotten calls, and you have to call to ask, but I don’t really have an ear to listen,” says Stewart, speaking of Corbin and Ray. “If you want to talk about Hudson or Clippard, I’ll listen. That’s pretty much how it is.”
Stewart also says that, at this point, he’s unlikely to complete an extension for Hudson before the deadline, putting pressure on the Diamondbacks to deal him while they can. (Last month, Stewart named Hudson and Ziegler as potential extension candidates.)
“Once we get past that deadline, there’s uncertainty for the organization to be able to sign these guys,” says Stewart. “I don’t think I can put the organization in a position to not get some value back for Huddy.”
Stewart’s willingness to deal Hudson and Clippard but not Corbin or Ray makes sense, given the free agency timelines of the players involved. The Diamondbacks’ 2016 season appears to be mostly lost, with the team posting a 38-53 record so far, but Corbin and Ray could easily be significant contributors in future seasons. Corbin can’t become a free agent until after 2018, while Ray isn’t eligible until after 2020.
Hudson, meanwhile, is eligible for free agency this coming winter, while Clippard can become a free agent after 2017. Hudson has had a modestly productive season at best (4.91 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 in 33 innings) and might not fetch much on the trade market. Clippard has been better, with a 2.97 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and strong strikeout numbers (11.1 K/9) that help compensate for his usual fly-ball tendencies. Given his long track record of productivity and experience closing, he ought to be able to net the Diamondbacks a nice return.