The Arizona Diamondbacks could end up undergoing a major facelift this winter. The Diamondbacks, it appears, are willing to engage in trade talks involving young talent. Having already moved Chris Young in a deal last month, their 2013 outfield may also be without Justin Upton. His name took its spot on the hot stove on Wednesday afternoon, as did that of a highly touted young arm.
Kenny Ken-Ken Rosenthal brought forth a piece citing an unnamed source earlier today which has GM Kevin Towers looking to move Upton yet again, and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the club will listen to offers on 2011 3rd overall pick Trevor Bauer as well.
The Upton rumours come as no surprise as the Diamondbacks were aggressively pursuing the trade route leading up to last July’s trade deadline, before settling on status quo. Even with Young out of the picture, the Diamondbacks possess several viable outfield options. Jason Kubel is coming off of his best season since 2009, Gerardo Parra is eligible for arbitration for the first time and presents an elite defensive option (although a middling bat), and Adam Eaton looked solid in a late season audition.
Crasnick’s report on Bauer, on the other hand, is a little bit more bewildering. The Diamondbacks rushed Bauer through the minors last season and called him up in late June, which didn’t go so well for the 21-year old. He struggled with his command in four starts, issuing 13 walks in just 16.1 innings. He struck out over a batter per inning, but his poor control did him in to the tune of a 6.06 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 5.18 FIP and 4.75 xFIP.
According to a seperate tweet from Crasnick, Bauer may have “fallen out of favor” with some people in the organization. Could it be that the Diamondbacks feel better moving forward with Tyler Skaggs and Wade Miley as opposed to Bauer? Could it be the young pitcher’s awful rap skills? Maybe it’s the sideshow warm up routine?
Maybe it’s nothing and the team will refute Crasnick’s report. Whatever the case, it’s hard to envision Towers moving both Upton and/or Bauer without bringing back an ample return that features both prospects and Major League-ready talent.
Upton struggled to produce at the same level he had displayed the previous three seasons in 2012. He is under contract through 2015, though, and holds a limited no-trade clause that enables him to block trades to four clubs (the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox and Indians were designated last season). If the Diamonbacks are serious about moving him, then expect him to be most heavily sought after trade piece this winter.
The Diamondbacks front office has assumed somewhat of a capricious nature this offseason, having taken on the financial burden that is Heath Bell the same day that they re-upped closer J.J. Putz. The on again, off again Upton scuttlebutt and now Bauer rumblings reinforce the notion that this club may not have a clear objective in mind. It’s certainly a situation worth keeping a close eye on over the next few weeks.