The Diamondbacks, who blew a late lead in Miami last night to drop back even at 52-52, are reportedly “focused intently” on selling, per Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi, who lists Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, David Peralta, Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, Greg Holland, and Jarrod Dyson as names on the proverbial table.
It’s a bit of surprise revelation for the in-the-thick-of-it Snakes, whose +63 run differential is second only to the Cubs among legitimate NL Wild Card contenders. Arizona would need to jump four teams to find itself in the second Wild Card slot – including the 53-51 Giants, who’ve all but announced their intention to make the buyer’s plunge in the coming days – but one could easily envision the club slithering in with a late-season surge.
Still, it may be high time to cash in on the team’s best assets: righty Zack Greinke, who’s still owed over $90MM (including signing-bonus deferrals) on his record-setting deal, is on pace to match or eclipse all but his lights-out 2009 campaign. The 35-year-old’s microscopic 1.15 walk rate is the lowest of his career, and he hasn’t yet been sliced of his once-sharp cheddar, with an average fastball velocity that still hovers barely above the 90 MPH plateau. The club would need to pay down a significant portion of the contract, but high-upside returns may be dangled if the team finds itself amenable.
Lefty Robbie Ray, who hits arbitration for the final time next season at what’ll surely be a below-market rate, is still conducting his high-walk, high-homer, massively-high-strikeout train in ’19, and would be a good fit for any number of contenders – Yankees, A’s, Giants – with strong bullpens and weak rotations.
David Peralta’s value has perhaps been overstated in some circles – he’s an aging corner bat who’s nearly unplayable against lefties, but should net a decent return from a team in need of mid-order lefty thump. Fellow outfielder Jarrod Dyson may be coveted for his late-inning skills – top-scale defense, pinch-runner extraordinaire – but likely won’t return a high-upside piece.
The rest of the pieces won’t be coveted league-wide, but the Snakes could trim an estimated $26-30MM off next season’s payroll by trading all but Greinke from the group. Add Zack, of course, and the team could position themselves at the fore of the offseason free agent market.