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The 411 On Potential Cubs Trade Partners: Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are trying to get a top of the rotation starter with years of control and rumor has them interested in Jeff Samardzija. Can they put together a package that will interest the Cubs?

Can the Diamondbacks put together an attractive enough package for Jeff Samardzija?
Can the Diamondbacks put together an attractive enough package for Jeff Samardzija?
Jamie Squire

Postseason Outlook

The Diamondbacks are 2½ games up on the Rockies in a very mediocre National League West. They're not a great team, but it seems unlikely any team in the N.L. West is going to run away with it, so they should be in the division race in a month.

Needs (likelihood to deal for position in italics)

Starting Pitching-High: Patrick Corbin? Good. Everyone else? Bad. Daniel Hudson is likely out for the season. Brandon McCarthy is still working his way back from injury and seems at least a month away. Trevor Cahill (disabled list, hip contusion, return TBD), Wade Miley and Ian Kennedy have been bad. If the Diamondbacks want to try and pull away from the NL West pack, they could do it by adding a top of the rotation starter.

Bullpen-Medium: David Hernandez, Heath Bell and J.J. Putz were all supposed to be key pieces of the bullpen and all of them have been bad. One of Bell/Putz was expected to lock down the closer role and neither have been good. The Diamondbacks could probably use another arm to stabilize their pen.

Closer-Low: See above. Bell and Putz haven't been great, but there's a lot of money wrapped up in them, so it's unlikely they'll make a deal.

Catcher-Low: Miguel Montero was great last year offensively, but has dropped off significantly this year, showing a .625 OPS this year compared to a .829 OPS last year. Montero is 29 and should be in his prime, so it's doubtful they make a move here.

Third Base-Low: The Diamondbacks will primarily play Martin Prado there. Prado has really struggled offensively this year. It seems unlikely they'd acquire another guy to replace him here and Eric Chavez can serve as another option at third base.

Fits on the Cub Roster

Matt Garza is an obvious option for the Diamondbacks as a starter. Rumors floated last week that the Diamondbacks could pursue Jeff Samardzija, which kind of came out of left field. Carlos Villanueva could serve as a swing man for them, but he wouldn't really upgrade their rotation. If the Diamondbacks decide to address their bullpen problems, Kevin Gregg and James Russell (or, to a lesser extent, Matt Guerrier and Pedro Strop) could be options for the Diamondbacks. Dioner Navarro and Luis Valbuena could interest the Diamondbacks at catcher and third base, respectively, but it seems unlikely the Diamondbacks will address those positions.

What's in it for the Cubs?

BA Top 10 Diamondbacks Prospects

Sickels' Top 20 Diamondbacks Prospects

Fangraphs' Top 15 Diamondbacks Prospects Top 20 Diamondbacks Prospects

Ranked the 17th- and eighth-best organization for talent by Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America, respectively, this farm system has a good mix of pitching and position players. Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley headline this farm system as two stud pitchers. Skaggs, a lefty, has split time between Triple-A and the majors, struggling a tad in the minors (4.26 ERA), albeit in some extreme hitters environments. Archie Bradley has probably emerged as a top 10 prospect in baseball, dominating Double-A so far this year with a 2.04 ERA as just a 20 year old. His fastball is excellent, his curveball is good and his change is just OK. Adam Eaton is a major league ready Top-100 prospect that can play every outfield position well and get on base. The only problem is, he's been injured most of the year.

The Diamondbacks also have some interesting second tier prospects, particularly LHP prospects. David Holmberg is a 21-year-old at Double-A that's had a great year to date (2.45 ERA), but his low 6.3 K/9 is dragging his FIP down to 3.81. Andrew Chafin is another LHP at Double-A with almost the exact same numbers as Holmberg, with the exception of a lower FIP (3.27). Matt Davidson is a major league ready Top-100 third baseman, according to some, and has made strides improving his defense to go with solid contact skills and power. Lastly, SS Chris Owings has been great at hitter friendly triple-A, posting a .854 OPS, but the word is that he needs to refine his defensive skills and plate discipline (2.8 BB%).

Who says no?

Jeff Samardzija for Archie Bradley, Tyler Skaggs and Jake Barrett

From Sickels on Barrett: "Third round pick from Arizona State has closer-quality stuff and dominated in college. Looked gassed by the end of the year in the Midwest League and questions persist about his long-term durability."

Jeff Samardzija for Archie Bradley, Adam Eaton, David Holmberg and Andrew Chafin

Matt Garza for Adam Eaton and David Holmberg

Kevin Gregg for Jake Barrett

Overall Fit- Medium

The Cubs have some rotation options and bullpen options that could interest the Diamondbacks. The Cubs' outfielders aren't in play here, as the Diamondbacks already have a surplus in the outfield, so the fit is just OK.

Next Up: Colorado Rockies