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This is quickly becoming an off-season tradition: The Diamondbacks make a trade, the internet baseball literati mocks it.
It happened again on Tuesday when the Diamondbacks acquired the power-hitting Mark Trumbo in exchange for left-hander Tyler Skaggs and outfielder Adam Eaton. The trade â��made little sense,â�� it left one â��at a total loss,â�� and was â��one more…
It was a deal that follows a couple of trends: When a Diamondbacks player struggles, he often is shipped out. And, when heâ��s traded, heâ��s often traded for less than full value.
This is what happened with Justin Upton, who was coming off a down year in 2012 before he was sent to the Atlanta Braves for a package that most considered underwhelming. It happened with Trevor Bauer, who did not perform in a big league cameo and was shipped to Cleveland. It happened with Ian Kennedy, who was struggling when he was sent to San Diego.
And, now, it has happened with Skaggs and Eaton, two players who were basically untouchables a year ago but today were packaged together in exchange for a slugger with a .299 career on-base percentage.
This isnâ��t meant to be a knock on Trumbo, who could put up huge numbers at Chase Field â�� GM Kevin Towers believes 40 homers is not unreasonable — and adds some power to a Diamondbacks lineup that could use it.
Itâ��s just another example of how the Diamondbacks operate. They donâ��t care about getting what the industry considers â��full value.â��
Youâ��d think this would catch up with them eventually. Maybe itâ��s starting to. In some ways, todayâ��s deal was a correction of the Upton trade. They decided, after a year of going with a more contact-oriented, run-manufacturing type lineup, that they needed more power, even if it came attached to a boatload of strikeouts. But what they found was a landscape largely devoid of sluggers.
â��Thatâ��s probably why we were so aggressive after this deal,â�� Towers said, when asked about the shortage of power in todayâ��s game.
The Upton trade, at least on its face, hasnâ��t been the heist many anticipated. At least not yet. Upton had a scorching start but faded somewhat and Chris Johnson was pretty good, but Prado had a nice year and the bulk the Diamondbacks received (Delgado, Ahmed, Drury, Spruill) counts for something. But the fact that they missed that power bat, coupled with the price they had to pay to replace it, canâ��t be overlooked.
Granted, itâ��s worth noting that theyâ��re not exactly missing Bauer and that the Kennedy trade might work out fine. But it’s not always the end result of the deal. It’s what they could have gotten, what those players were worth in the moment, a perceived value the Diamondbacks either never fully recognize or choose to ignore completely.Â It feels like thereâ��s no team in baseball, other than maybe the Kansas City Royals, that uses its resources in such a controversial manner.
This trade, too, might work out. But the Diamondbacks continue to operate in this weird vacuum in which all they care about is satisfying their own needs at whatever cost necessary. Sell low. Buy high. The Diamondbacks still have enough talent that all this might not matter, at least not in 2014. But you wonder how much longer we can say that if these sorts of moves remain an off-season tradition.
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This is Wildcat by Ratatat.
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