With the trade deadline coming and going, the Arizona Diamondbacks had an opportunity to move some of their current players for prospects and financial flexibility. Pair that with an approaching deadline to sign their 1st round pick Jordan Lawlar, and the front office is in a busy stretch trying to catapult this team out of the league gutter.
And then there was the unexpected news that popped up this afternoon.
Let’s get into it:
While the team has not announced the signing, there are many reports out there that the Diamondbacks were able to sign their first round pick Jordan Lawlar, who was ranked as Baseball America’s No. 1 prospect in the draft.
There was some uncertainty that the team could get this done before Sunday’s deadline. Lawlar’s camp made it clear he was very comfortable going to Vanderbilt if he slipped in the draft. While his “slide” kept him in the top six picks, the Diamondbacks reportedly gave the shortstop a $6,713,300, nearly $1 million more than what he was slotted for at that draft position.
Should the signing become official, Baseball America already has Lawlar slotted as the Diamondbacks’ No. 2 prospect and the No. 34 overall prospect.
While the D-backs hold the worst record in baseball, the assumption was many of their veterans with little left on their remaining contracts could be out the door at the trade deadline. Staggered over a few weeks, Tim Locastro, Stephen Vogt, Eduardo Escobar found new homes. On deadline day, David Peralta, Nick Ahmed and Merrill Kelly could have been dealt, but the only player traded was reliever Joakim Soria for two players to be named later.
After Escobar was traded, general manager Mike Hazen didn’t expect a “rash” of trades but did see some on his radar. Overall, trade deadline day was one of the most active ever league-wide, but a quiet one for Arizona.
“We made the decision that we weren’t going to make trades to move money or or do things like that,” Hazen said. “We were just going to make trades if the trades presented themselves and so we didn’t really chase a lot of things just to do stuff like that. We had the opportunity to do those things. We just chose not to do it.”
The Diamondbacks won’t be making any playoff runs this year, but Hazen pointed to the final 60 games of the season to evaluate the roster as it slowly becomes fully healthy for the first time in 2021.
“We still feel like there’s value in our team continuing to build and press forward given what the first four months have looked like, going out and competing every single night.”
The “Ah Crap”
Despite the struggles of the last two years, the Diamondbacks have been able to avoid positive COVID-19 tests and outbreaks.
Stuart Fairchild, Noé Ramirez, Riley Smith, Pavin Smith and Joe Mantiply were placed on the injured list.
Torey Lovullo said Fairchild and Ramirez had positive tests, and the other three players were a part of contact tracing.
In a year where little has gone right for the Diamondbacks, a COVID outbreak and potentially missing games would be another checkmark in the “what could have gone wrong” column.