3 early-season trades Diamondbacks must make

Which of these players would fit best in Arizona?

Tommy Pham in middle of image looking stern, 1 silhouetted Arizona Diamondbacks player on each side, AZ Diamondbacks logo

The 2024 season hasn’t yet been very kind to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who had high hopes of defending their shocking National League pennant from a year ago. But the season is still young, which means there’s plenty of time for these D-Backs to improve and make the necessary roster adjustments to get back into the hunt.

Unfortunately, the trade market can’t get the Diamondbacks a healthy Eduardo Rodriguez or a return to All-Star form for Corbin Carroll, which is probably what they want most of all. But it would certainly help address an ailing bullpen and a lineup with only two hitters performing well, so it’s worth exploring all the options.

It’s now time to play the role of general manager Mike Hazen and make the moves that will shore up the D-Backs roster. They might appear wounded now, but with the right touch, this can once again become a team by October with the potential to shock Major League Baseball.

Acquire White Sox OF Tommy Pham

If there is a glaring weakness with this D-Backs lineup, it’s the lack of offense from the outfielders. You have to stick with Carroll no matter what, but the injury to Alek Thomas and the ineffectiveness of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. have turned what should be one of the team’s offensive strengths into a weakness. But Arizona could nip that in the bud by bringing in one of the best outfield bats expected to be on the market.

And hey, wouldn’t you know it, they can go out and grab the guy that batted third for them during the majority of the 2023 postseason! Tommy Pham is the consummate professional at the plate and brings exactly the type of hard-nosed veteran mentality that a still-young Arizona team needs. Plus, with a 123 OPS+ so far this season, Pham is already fully back in the swing of things after a delayed start. The sooner he can get to a team with realistic playoff hopes, the better.

So in this case, it really doesn’t have to be complicated. This relationship has worked in the past, so it can work again in the future. Tommy Pham may have played for eight teams now in his big-league career, but perhaps he was simply meant to be a Diamondback all along.

Acquire Angels LHP Matt Moore

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Matt Moore (55) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Left-handed relief pitching is always in high demand at the trade deadline. Every team wants a weapon to combat the powerful lefty bats across the league and those that were blessed with the ability to throw baseballs with the less common arm across the world are rewarded with big-league contracts.

Enter Matt Moore, who has given new life to his career in his mid-30s as an effective lefty stopper out of the bullpen. He hasn’t been great so far this season but was phenomenal in 2023, posting a 2.77 ERA despite being tossed around between three different teams, ultimately ending up on the playoff-bound Miami Marlins. Plus, he’s a rental, so he shouldn’t cost Arizona an arm and a leg.

With Kyle Nelson lost for the season and Andrew Saalfrank being sent back to AAA, the options are thin for the D-Backs as things currently stand. Bringing in Moore would give Torey Lovullo some serious stress relief at the end of the game, and the D-Backs are already in a position where every win is of vital importance.

Acquire Nationals OF Victor Robles

We got a strong-hitting outfielder with Pham, but Pham can also be a late-innings defensive liability. In Victor Robles, meanwhile, you’re getting a speedster that can play all three outfield positions and has a bazooka attached to his right shoulder. If you’re going to improve one aspect of your Diamondbacks outfield, you might as well address the other aspects as well.

Maybe Robles has worn out his welcome as a starter in Washington, but his range in the outfield is undeniable. Most of his best work is done in right field, where his arm far outstrips Carroll or Jake McCarthy, Arizona’s current options at the position. Once the team is fully healthy, he’s likely a defensive replacement, but that’s exactly what the best teams love to have for a playoff push.

Sure, Thomas returning might make it tough to find Robles at-bats, but this is a former World Series champ in his final season before free agency. He’s dying to win again and even though the Washington Nationals are playing close to .500 baseball, they’re not likely to stick around in the playoff race. In reality, the Nats would be doing a solid for one of the last remaining vestiges of their 2019 championship team by shipping him to greener pastures.

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