Roster ‘teardown’ unlikely for D-backs

July 2nd, 2021

PHOENIX -- Before opening their four-game series with the Giants on Thursday, the D-backs dealt outfielder Tim Locastro to the Yankees in exchange for Minor League right-hander Keegan Curtis.

Even after their 5-3 win over the Giants at Chase Field, the D-backs find themselves buried deep in the National League West with a 23-60 record. It was just Arizona's third win in its last 27 games and all three of those games were started by , who allowed three runs over seven innings with seven strikeouts. Josh Reddick and Pavin Smith paced the offense as each homered off Giants starter Johnny Cueto.

While there will almost surely be more moves before the July 30 Trade Deadline, fans expecting to see a completely different D-backs team in August are likely to be disappointed.

"I don’t see any major transformation of our current roster," said assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye, who is handling the team's day-to-day operations while GM Mike Hazen is on a physical leave of absence. “I don’t think we want a full teardown. I can understand why fans want a full teardown. I don’t think we want that. I think coming into this year we certainly didn’t anticipate this team to look like this, but I also think it’s much easier to say, 'Oh, just rip it apart and rebuild.' It’s not that easy to do that. Making trades is not an easy thing to do in the league."

That doesn't mean there won't be some changes.

There have been rumors linking infielder Eduardo Escobar, who is in the final year of his contract, to the White Sox, but the D-backs are not just going to give him away.

There's also been noise about Arizona being open to dealing David Peralta, who would be a little tougher to move than Escobar as the outfielder is under contract through the 2022 season, making $7.5 million in the final year of his deal.

Catcher Stephen Vogt is a free agent at season's end as is outfielder Reddick, who has plenty of postseason experience.

But it's not as simple as a team saying it wants to trade players.

“For every Arizona Diamondbacks seller that is out there, there are other teams that are selling that have good players, too, and a limited number of teams that buy," Sawdaye said. "It’s a market, right? You’ve got to have buyers and sellers. That’s part of the challenge at times.”

When it comes to players that teams would almost certainly be interested in, such as outfielder Ketel Marte or catcher Carson Kelly, both of whom are on the injured list, the D-backs believe they are players who could be part of the core of a future contending team.

"At the end of April, we saw Carson Kelly with a 1.000 OPS, and if we believe in that, it’s not easy to find a catcher to replace Carson, who we felt has really come into his own as a really good defensive catcher and was probably, before he got hurt, on his way to being an All-Star," Sawdaye said.

Kelly, who also hit an RBI single against San Francisco, would certainly interest teams as he has a very affordable team option for 2022 at $5.25 million, but again, he might be difficult for the D-backs to part with given that he is their most consistent starter.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the D-backs don’t have to do all their business before the Trade Deadline -- the offseason is usually an easier time to deal players rather than in the heat of a season.

"You don’t just want to push things through at the Deadline just to push them through because it’s the Deadline," Sawdaye said. "I do think there could be different dynamics at play in the offseason than there might be in the next three or four weeks.”