Trade Deadline likely to keep D-backs busy
After already dealing two pitchers, team could move more veterans
PHILADELPHIA -- The D-backs' brass spent the weekend celebrating chief baseball officer Tony La Russa's induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Now the focus returns to making some moves before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. After 1 p.m. MST that day, players will need to clear waivers before being dealt.
High-ranking officials will gather in a suite at the team's hotel in Cincinnati, where the D-backs are playing a three-game set Monday through Wednesday, and field offers.
With the playoffs all but out of reach, the D-backs are looking to deal.
The team had a club-record payroll of around $110 million on Opening Day, and if it could free up some salary that's on the books, it would like to add a piece or two during the offseason as the D-backs look to reload for 2015.
D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall is on record as saying the team is not looking at a two- or three-year rebuilding plan, and officials seem to believe that with a return to health and some tweaks to the roster, the team can compete for a postseason berth in 2015.
"I think you need to be realistic," La Russa said. "If there's an opportunity to put more money in the war chest, that's all to the good when you start moving forward because the organization is going to spend it. There's also another plus to that where you give a young player a chance to play, then you don't have a question all winter about whether the guy can pitch or play."
The D-backs have already dealt a pair of veterans -- lefty specialist Joe Thatcher and starter Brandon McCarthy -- and they are listening to offers for others.
Veteran infielders Aaron Hill and Martin Prado could be dealt. Both are under contract for two more years, with Hill owed $24 million and Prado $22 million. The D-backs would likely have to eat some money in a deal involving either.
The D-backs also could deal left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, who is under contract through next year and will earn $2.5 million in 2015.
In addition, the D-backs probably would be willing to part with closer Addison Reed.
Teams have expressed interest in setup man Brad Ziegler, who is attractive for the consistency he has shown over the years as well as his reasonable contract. Both of those are reasons the D-backs would prefer to hang onto him.
Ziegler's deal pays him $5 million next year with a club option for $5.5 million in 2016, including a $1 million buyout.
Outfielder Gerardo Parra, who is making $4.85 million this year and is due a big raise via his final year of arbitration next year, could also be had for the right package.
The D-backs have a surplus of shortstops with Chris Owings, Didi Gregorius, Cliff Pennington and Nick Ahmed, but so far they have not shown an inclination to deal any of them.
The club will hang onto starter Wade Miley, whom it views as a key part of the rotation next season.
"All we're trying to do is get into a better position to be aggressive," La Russa said.