PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Mike Hazen has pulled off an interesting balancing act these last few months.Hazen strengthened his team by adding outfielder Jonathan Jay, third baseman Eduardo Escobar and relievers Matt Andriese, Brad Ziegler and Jake Diekman while still protecting the organization's best Minor League prospects.It's not an
PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Mike Hazen has pulled off an interesting balancing act these last few months.
Hazen strengthened his team by adding outfielder Jonathan Jay, third baseman Eduardo Escobar and relievers Matt Andriese, Brad Ziegler and Jake Diekman while still protecting the organization's best Minor League prospects.
It's not an easy thing to do.
"Accomplishing all those things is maybe not the best approach, trying to do all those things at once," said Hazen, whose club sits atop the National League West. "But you also have to recognize where you are, and where we are right now is in a pretty good spot. Like I said, we believe in this team and we believe in this team's ability to go win. We wanted to supplement the talent that we had on the roster, and we felt like these guys were good fits."
All of the players with the exception of Andriese will be free agents at the end of the year. By getting essentially rental players, Hazen was able to lower the cost he would have to pay.
Let's take a quick look at each of the moves:
Jay from the Royals
The moves started with Jay in early June. With outfielder Steven Souza Jr. struggling with an injured right pectoral muscle and the offense floundering, Hazen acquired Jay, who immediately injected some life at the top of the order.
While Jay slumped a bit after the hot start, he has once again picked up his production. Since Jay can also play all three outfield positions, he has allowed manager Torey Lovullo to give A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Souza days off.
Andriese from the Rays
By picking up Andriese, who has been a starter at times during his pro career, Hazen gave the organization some insurance should one of their starters go down over the next two months as well as more depth in the bullpen.
Should the D-backs lose left-hander Patrick Corbin to free agency after the season, Andriese, who is under club control through 2021, could find himself battling for a rotation spot next spring.
Eduardo Escobar from the Twins
When third baseman Jake Lamb reinjured his left shoulder diving for a ball last Thursday afternoon against the Cubs, Hazen quickly closed a deal with the Twins for Escobar.
At the time, the team didn't know the extent of Lamb's injury, but Hazen knew that even if Lamb were to be able to return, Escobar could still get plenty of playing time rotating between second, short and third.
Now, with Lamb expected to miss significant time, Escobar's value to the team increases.
Ziegler from the Marlins
Not only is this Ziegler's second Deadline trade to the D-backs, it's also the second time Hazen has acquired him for the stretch run. Arizona brought Ziegler over in 2011, while Hazen got him from the D-backs when he was the Red Sox's general manager in July 2016.
Ziegler gives the D-backs a proven veteran that can pitch in middle relief, a setup role and even close if necessary.
Diekman from the Rangers
On the D-backs' non-waiver Trade Deadline wish list was a left-handed reliever, and they got a hard-throwing one in Diekman.
With Diekman joining the bullpen, it frees up lefty Andrew Chafin to be used for one late-inning matchup against a left-handed hitter, something the organization thinks he will excel at.
The moves added more than $6 million to a payroll that already was a club record of close to $135 million, showing that ownership, like Hazen, is doing all it can to win in 2018.
Those efforts have not gone unnoticed by the players in the clubhouse.
"I think the front office, going back to the offseason, has done their part," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "They've made trades and added to the roster and now it's our job as players to go out there and play well and find a way to get into the playoffs and see what happens."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.