D-backs get Gallen from Fish, Leake from M's

Arizona sends its top prospect, Chisholm, to Marlins for young righty

August 1st, 2019

The D-backs dealt their ace, , on Wednesday, but acquired two pitchers who will immediately join their rotation in right-handers from the Marlins and from the Mariners.

They were not the deals the D-backs were expected to be making given their place in the standings and recent play, but general manager Mike Hazen saw an opportunity to keep his team competitive and jumped at it.

The biggest surprise was that the D-backs were willing to part with shortstop Jazz Chisholm, the organization’s top prospect per MLB Pipeline, in a deal for Gallen, who was the Marlins’ No. 5-ranked prospect and has had success through his first seven big league starts this year.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old was originally selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2016 Draft, and he was traded to Miami last offseason as part of the Marcell Ozuna deal.

In seven starts for the Marlins this year, Gallen went 1-3 with a 2.72 ERA. In 14 Triple-A starts this year, he was 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA.

Gallen fits exactly what the D-backs have been looking for -- young controllable pitching.

Pitching was the one area the D-backs were known to be looking to add at the Deadline, as their rotation depth has been tested mightily this year due to injuries to Luke Weaver and Taijuan Walker as well as the struggles of Zack Godley.

“We like his ability to throw strikes,” Hazen said. “We like his ability to pitch. We like his ability to strategize. He’s got good secondary stuff. We think he’s durable. He does a lot of things that we like in a starting pitcher.”

Gallen has a four-pitch mix -- a cutter, curveball and changeup to go with a fastball that has topped out at 95 mph, but more often sits in the low 90s. The cutter is his signature pitch, and he gets good downward plane on his fastball, which allows it to play up.

An international signing out of the Bahamas in 2015, Chisholm was the D-backs’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2018 after hitting .272/.329/.513 with 23 doubles, six triples, 25 home runs and 70 RBIs while splitting the year between the team’s Class A and Class A Advanced clubs.

This year, though, he got off to a slow start at the plate and was hitting .204/.305/.427 in 314 at-bats, with 123 strikeouts.

The D-backs have some depth at the shortstop position.

Nick Ahmed, who won a Gold Glove Award last year, currently mans the position for them and he is under team control through next season.

In addition, Ketel Marte, who has played center field and second base this year, is a natural shortstop and is signed long term.

As for Leake, the D-backs were linked to him in rumors earlier in the month, and Hazen got back in touch with Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto after it looked like the Greinke deal would go through knowing he would need another starter.

The two concluded the deal with maybe a minute or two left before the Deadline, with the D-backs sending infielder Jose Caballero to Seattle.

Leake is set to make a prorated portion of his $16 million salary for this year, plus $15 million next year with a mutual option for 2021 for $18 million or a $5 million buyout. The D-backs will only have to pay $6 million of that money.

The D-backs also dealt Minor League catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Braves for cash considerations.

It was a flurry of late activity for the D-backs, who weren’t overly optimistic when the day began that they would even get anything done.

“I didn’t start out today hoping to channel Jerry Dipoto as my spirit animal, but somehow we sort of ended up there,” Hazen said, referring to Dipoto’s penchant for making deals.