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The 411 On Potential Jeff Samardzija Trade Partners: Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks look like they're going for it in 2014 and they need another starter. Maybe the Cubs can join the White Sox in fleecing the Diamondbacks this offseason.


The Need

The Diamondbacks have had a weird offseason, dealing many of their best prospects at what was perceived as below market value for Mark Trumbo and Addison Reed. Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has been adamant that the Diamondbacks need a good starter and they've been rumored for a while as one of the most likely destinations for Jeff Samardzija.

The Prospects

Here are the articles I'm digging from:

Baseball America's Top 10 Diamondbacks Prospects (12/5/13)

Fangraphs' Top 10 Diamondbacks Prospects (11/22/13)'s Top 20 Diamondbacks Prospects

The Diamondbacks' depth has taken a hit due to their deals this offseason, but they do still have some interesting pitchers. The only issue is, very few of them have even mid rotation upside.

Archie Bradley, RHP, Double-A: 123⅓ IP, 8.68 K/9, 4.31 BB/9, 1.97 ERA, 3.33 FIP

Bradley might be the top pitching prospect in the game and is a surefire Top-15 prospect. He throws an outstanding fastball that sits in the mid-90s with good movement and pairs that with a plus curveball. His great athleticism (he almost played football at Oklahoma) allows him to repeat his delivery consistently. He needs to improve his command and further develop his changeup, but Bradley could be a No. 1 starter if he puts it all together.

Braden Shipley, RHP, Low-A: 20⅔ IP, 6.97 K/9, 3.48 BB/9, 2.61 ERA, 4.22 FIP; Short Season A: 19.0 IP, 11.37 K/9, 2.84 BB/9, 7.58 ERA, 2.46 FIP

Shipley was the Diamondbacks' first round pick in 2013 and he's viewed as very raw because he's only been pitching since his sophomore year of college. He throws a mid-90s fastball, a solid changeup that could get to plus and a developing curve ball that supposedly took big steps in the instructional league this fall. As a former shortstop, Shipley is an excellent athlete which helps him repeat his delivery and field his position. Shipley will need to continue to work on his changeup and curveball, but if he can improve those a bit he could be a No. 2 starter.

Aaron Blair, RHP, Low-A: 17⅔ IP, 6.62 K/9, 2.04 BB/9, 3.57 ERA, 2.58 FIP; Short Season A: 31 IP, 8.13 K/9, 3.77 BB/9, 2.90 ERA, 3.68 FIP

Blair was take in the competitive balance round in the 2013 draft after being busted for Adderall before the draft. He throws an excellent mid-90s fastball with movement, a plus changeup and a below average slider and curveball. He rates highly on pitchability and command. He projects as an inning-eating No. 3 starter if he can improve his curveball a tick.

Jose Martinez, RHP, Short Season A: 38 IP, 7.11 K/9, 5.92 BB/9, 4.03 ERA, 5.25 FIP

Martinez is a guy who is a little bit off the radar to some, but scouts love his upside. He throws an excellent mid 90s fastballs and one of if not the best curveballs in the Diamondbacks organization. He needs a lot of work on both his command and changeup, but if he can put those together he could be one to watch out for.

Zeke Spruill, RHP, Major Leagues: 11⅓ IP, 7.15 K/9, 3.97 BB/9, 5.56 ERA, 6.49 FIP; Triple-A: 92.0 IP, 4.70 K/9, 3.23 BB/9, 4.21 ERA, 4.46 FIP

Spruill is a ground ball pitcher who projects as an inning-eating No. 4; he doesn't strike many people out. He throws a fastball, changeup, slider and curveball, relying primarily on his slider and fastball.

Matt Stites, RHP, Double -A: 52 IP, 8.83 K/9, 1.38 BB/9, 2.08 ERA, 3.26 FIP

Stites is a big league ready eighth-inning guy who throws primarily a solid fastball that gets into the 90s and a good slider; he also has great control.

Jake Barrett, RHP, Double-A: 24⅔ IP, 8.03 K/9, 1.09 BB/9, 0.36 ERA, 2.84 FIP; High-A: 27.1 IP, 12.18 K/9, 2.96 BB/9, 1.98 ERA, 2.76 FIP

Barrett is a potential closer who features an upper 90s fastball/slider one-two punch. He has solid control and could pitch in the majors as soon as 2014.

Andrew Chafin, LHP, Double-A: 126⅓ IP, 6.20 K/9, 2.92 BB/9, 2.85 ERA, 3.38 FIP; High-A: 31.0 IP, 9.29 K/9, 4.06 BB/9, 4.65 ERA, 2.91 FIP

Chafin throws a solid fastball and slider, but needs work on his changeup. He has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter, but some feel that he's better suited for a bullpen role. He's not too far from the majors and could get a call up as soon as this upcoming season.

Chris Owings, SS, Major Leagues: 61 PA, .291 AVG, .361 OBP, .382 SLG, .326 wOBA; Triple-A: 575 PAs, .330 AVG, .359 OBP, .482 SLG, .372 wOBA

Owings profiles as a middle infielder, but there are questions of whether he can stay at shortstop due to issues with his range. While his bat is good and he could develop decent power for a middle infielder, his plate approach needs a lot of work as he rarely walks. He's near major league ready, but the Diamondbacks don't really have any place to put him.

Stryker Trahan, C, Rookie Ball: 262 PA, .254 AVG, .328 OBP, .462 SLG, .350 wOBA

The Diamondbacks are trying to develop Trahan as a catcher, but there seems to be some scuttlebutt in the industry that he might not be able to stick there. He has a great arm, but the rest of his defensive game needs work. At the plate, he projects to hit for both average and power, but he needs to improve his performance against breaking pitches.

Others to keep an eye on:

Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury, Justin Williams, Sergio Alcantara, Michael Perez, Jose Munoz

The Deals

Womp Womp:

Jose Martinez, Andrew Chafin, Zeke Spruill and Aaron Blair

Chris Owings, Stryker Trahan and Andrew Chafin

That's about right:

Braden Shipley, Justin Niccolino (from Marlins, for Chris Owings) and Jake Barrett

Braden Shipley, Nick Kingham (from Pirates, for Chris Owings) and Jose Martinez for Jeff Samardzija and James Russell (to Pirates)

Holy &%$#!

Any deal that includes Archie Bradley

The Fit

The Diamondbacks were among the first teams rumored to be in on Jeff Samardzija, but they've kind of blown up a bit of their farm system this offseason in other trades. Without including a third team, this deal feels difficult to get done with just the Diamondbacks because of their reported unwillingness to include Archie Bradley. Braden Shipley is an interesting piece to put in, but I think the Diamondbacks are going to have to include a fair bit of quantity to go along with him in order for the Cubs to bite. Right now, it seems like the Diamondbacks have turned their attention towards free agency, but they could loop back around to Jeff Samardzija should they find the prices on free agents too expensive. Lately, the Diamondbacks have been known for selling prospects off for 75 cents on the dollar, so it'd be great if they got interested in Shark again.

Feel free to tear my proposed deals to shreds in the comments and create your own.