D-backs pursue Chapman, then stand pat
GM talked to Phils about Hamels before trade to Rangers
HOUSTON -- The D-backs made a strong play for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, but in the end felt the price was too high and stood pat as the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed Friday afternoon.
Arizona general manager Dave Stewart talked to the Phillies about left-hander Cole Hamels before he was dealt to the Rangers and explored some other options, but by Thursday, the focus was clearly on Chapman, who was 21 for 22 in converting save opportunities to go with his 1.65 ERA entering Friday.
"The only deal that took the majority of our time was the Chapman deal," Stewart said before Friday's 6-4, 10-inning win over the Astros. "Cole Hamels we talked about it and then it was nothing. But the Chapman deal took up most of our time."
The Reds reportedly had a high asking price for Chapman, who is under club control for one more season, and wound up not dealing him.
"I don't want to talk about the number of prospects, but it was a good number," Stewart said when asked the price the D-backs would have had to pay. "It was uncomfortable. That's the best way I can put it. When something doesn't feel right in my stomach, then I don't normally do it."
The lack of a deal did not frustrate Stewart, who believes that the D-backs' window to contend is just starting to open this year and with the prospects coming up through their system, they are well positioned for the next few years.
"I had no expectations of moving our core group of guys, our young players, our young pitching and we didn't," Stewart said. "I like our team. I like the way we play. I like our core group of guys. I like our young pitching and I like how we've played to this point. So no, I'm not unhappy at all."
One thing Stewart would like to do before next year is add a top-of-the-rotation-type starter, though, free agents like David Price, Jordan Zimmermann and Johnny Cueto will almost certainly be out of the club's price range.
"Preferably I'd like to get a No. 1, but I don't know that our payroll is going to allow us to put that kind of salary in our budget," Stewart said. "I don't think that's going to happen. So the next thing you look for is a potential No. 1, a No. 1 that's waiting to happen, or even a No. 2 that's waiting to happen. So if I can do that, yes, I want to do that."