D-backs trade Ray, Bradley, Starling, Chafin

August 31st, 2020

Thanks to a busy Trade Deadline, the D-backs will look quite a bit different when they reassemble Tuesday night to open a three-game series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Monday may have been a day off for the team but general manager Mike Hazen was certainly busy as he looks to reconfigure a team that for the last couple of seasons has been good, but just not good enough to get over the hump. The D-backs are 1-10 in their last 11 games, and at 14-21 they are in last place in the National League West.

While Monday’s deals may further hurt the D-backs' postseason chances this year, Hazen is counting on a quick rebound for 2021.

“I commiserate and empathize with the fans for 2020,” Hazen said. “We started this season with every expectation of making the playoffs. At this moment in time we are not projected to do so and that is very disappointing. I would caution on the outlook for 2021. I think we’re situated in a fairly strong position moving into the offseason.”

Let’s break down an eventful day for the D-backs:

Trade with the Reds
Traded: RHP , cash
Received: UTL , OF

Bradley is arguably the team’s most popular player with the fanbase and he has done a nice job since stepping into the closer role midway through last year.

But there haven’t been many leads to hold this year and next year will be Bradley’s final year of club control. Hazen believes he can find a replacement over the winter, so moving him now allowed the team to get a better return as opposed to waiting.

VanMeter is a useful utility player, capable of playing left and right field as well as first base, second and third. The D-backs see him more as an infielder at this point, but they’ll make a final determination after they work with him.

Fairchild, meanwhile, was ranked as the Reds’ 11th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. The D-backs view him as above average at all three outfield positions. He will head to the team’s alternate training site.

Trade with Marlins
Traded: OF
Acquired: LHP , RHP , PTBNL

Marte was acquired during the offseason from the Pirates for a pair of highly-regarded prospects. The intention at the time was that he would be a key player for the team in 2020 and that his $12.5 million club option for 2021 would be a bargain.

Marte did his part, hitting .311, but rather than go through next year with Marte and lose him to free agency, the D-backs used him to acquire a pair of pitching prospects they liked in Smith and Mejía.

Smith made one start for the Marlins in 2020 before testing positive for COVID-19 and has been out ever since. He is up to around 75 pitches in sim games for Miami and could join the D-backs' rotation soon.

Mejía, meanwhile, will require some more Minor League development. He was rushed to the big leagues this year as a result of the COVID outbreak the Marlins went through earlier in the season.

Trade with Blue Jays
Traded: , $300,000
Acquired: LHP

Ray, who is set to be a free agent at season’s end, was 1-4 with a 7.84 ERA in 2020 and leads the NL in earned runs allowed (27), walks (31) and wild pitches (six).

Trade rumors swirled around Ray following the 2018 season, when the D-backs dealt Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals, but they chose to hold onto him at the time. They did so again at the Deadline last season when the offers they received did not match what they felt he was worth.

Plus, while hindsight is 20-20, Hazen said a big reason the organization felt good about its postseason chances this year was strong starting pitching, with Ray supposed to be a part of that.

Bergen, 26, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2015 Draft. In five Minor League seasons in the Toronto organization, the left-hander was 7-3 with a 1.69 ERA in 79 games (seven starts).

The Giants selected Bergen in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, and he made 21 relief appearances for them and compiled a 5.49 ERA before being returned to the Jays. He appeared in one game for Toronto this year and worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Trade with Cubs
Traded: LHP , cash considerations
Acquired: PTBNL or cash considerations

Chafin is on the injured list with a sprained finger on his pitching hand. He is expected to return in two weeks and the cash/player to be named later in the deal is contingent on him pitching and tiered out based on performance.