D-backs look to deal before Wednesday's Deadline
Blockbuster unlikely, but Arizona seeks additions to bolster run at division title
While the D-backs take on the Rays on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Tropicana Field, the Arizona baseball operations staff will be holed up earlier in the day in a suite at the nearby Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club -- working the phones prior to the Trade Deadline.
With the D-backs in a nip-and-tuck battle for first place in the National League West with the Dodgers, the team will look to bolster its roster before the 1 p.m. MST Deadline on Wednesday.
Don't expect it to be a blockbuster deal, though.
"I still think we have a lot of confidence in the players we have in our system," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said.
At this point, the D-backs seem more intent on possibly adding a bullpen arm, particularly from the left side -- the Padres' Joe Thatcher maybe? -- and maybe some bench help.
Earlier this month, there were rumors linking the D-backs to starting pitchers like the Brewers Yovani Gallardo. But none of the pitchers available seemed to be the right fit, given the high cost in prospects that teams were demanding.
While Towers is fond of saying he'll listen to offers for any player in the organization, the chances of the D-backs parting with top pitching prospect Archie Bradley are slim and none. Likewise, the team does not seem inclined to trade left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who also has drawn interest from teams.
The D-backs might be more willing to part with third-base prospect Matt Davidson, who appears to be blocked by Martin Prado, in the right deal.
Given the presence of shortstops Didi Gregorius and Cliff Pennington in the big leagues, the D-backs would seem to have a surplus -- which could make Triple-A Reno shortstop Chris Owings available.
However, Owings is putting together an impressive offensive campaign this year, while playing his usual stellar defense. Combine that with the dearth of shortstop prospects in the game right now, and that makes the D-backs more likely to hold on to him unless they are overwhelmed by a potential deal.
"We're not going to sacrifice the future," Towers said earlier this month.
Given their logjam of outfielders, the D-backs would probably like to move veteran Jason Kubel, who is in the final year of a two-year deal and has slumped at the plate this year. What kind of return they could get for him, given his struggles at the plate, is unknown.
The D-backs' rotation should get a boost from Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill, who are both slated to return from the disabled list in the next couple of weeks. It could also create a surplus of starters, given the presence of Patrick Corbin, Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley and Randall Delgado.
Of that group, the team could send Delgado back to Reno, but with Delgado's strong performance recently, that seems very unlikely.
Given all that, there has been some speculation that the D-backs might look to move Kennedy -- who has had some trouble regaining the form he showed in 2011 and is scheduled to receive a salary bump in arbitration this winter.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.