Minus Goldschmidt, Parra And Prado, It’s Time To Fade Diamondbacks
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | August 4, 2014
The Arizona Diamondbacks fully expected to be a National League contender this season. They led the NL West for much of the first half of 2013 before fading to an 81-81 record, second in the division and 11 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Still, the Diamondbacks made two optimistic trades this offseason to round out the club. They acquired power hitter Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in a three-way deal with the White Sox, which cost highly touted young pitcher Tyler Skaggs. They also took closer Addison Reed in another deal involving the White Sox. The team thought Trumbo would hit at least 35 home runs and that Reed would have at least that many saves. The Opening Day payroll was the highest in team history.
It hasn’t worked. The Diamondbacks suffered a gut-wrenching loss in the spring when No. 1 starter Patrick Corbin was lost to season-ending Tommy John surgery (wouldn’t have traded Skaggs otherwise). Trumbo missed more than two months with a fractured left foot and is batting only .204 with seven homeruns. Reed has 27 saves but has blown five, has a 1-5 record and his 3.77 ERA is much higher than a closer’s should be.
Arizona is 49-63 entering this week and has lost its betters -1235 units on the runline. It’s worse against the spread: -2632, including a terrible 20-38 against the spread record at home. Expect major housecleaning come October under new boss Tony La Russa. General Manager Kevin Towers and Manager Kirk Gibson are almost certainly going to be looking for work. It’s likely wise to start betting against the Diamondbacks in the wake of recent player transactions that have cost the club three quality offensive players.
Before Thursday’s trade deadline, Arizona dealt two-time Gold Glove outfielder Gerardo Parra (.259 average, six homeruns, 30 RBIs with Arizona) to Milwaukee and super utility-man Martin Prado (.270, five HRs, 42 RBIs) to the New York Yankees for prospects. Those deals were salary dumps. The news got even worse Friday night when All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, last year’s NL MVP runner-up, was hit in the left hand by a pitch against Pittsburgh. It resulted in a fractured hand, which ended Goldschmidt’s season. He leads the team in average (.300), homeruns (19), RBIs (69), on-base percentage (.396) and wins above replacement (4.5). Goldschmidt has become the 10th Arizona player to currently land on the disabled list, five of whom are pitchers who underwent Tommy John surgery.
Look for Arizona to continue to be active in the trade market. The Snakes will place just about every player on waivers. If he clears, he can be traded to any team. If claimed, Arizona can work out a trade with the claiming team or simply let the guy go and immediately not have to pay his contract. Two guys likely to have some interest around the league are Oliver Perez, Brad Ziegler and Reed. Dumping them could save the club around $12.5 million next season. The Diamondbacks would love to deal second baseman Aaron Hill, but he’s owed $24 million over the next two seasons. You can bet finances will play a big role in the team’s decisions because Arizona is just No. 22 in attendance. Fan interest will drop with the start of the NFL and college football seasons.
If you are looking to capitalize on Arizona’s slide, take note that the Dodgers and Giants should be playoff teams because they get to beat up on Arizona. The Dodgers are -300 to win the division at Bovada, and the Giants are +200.