2021 MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks


The Arizona Diamondbacks are a team that has long been mired in confusing seasons. A consistently inconsistent club, the D-backs have made the playoffs just once since 2012, and they haven’t reached the NLCS since 2007. They have just one World Series appearance in franchise history: a 4-3 series win over the New York Yankees in 2001.

In regards to their frequent mediocrity, the Diamondbacks have finished with a winning percentage between .400 and .595 in each of the past 16 seasons, though that should change in 2021. While such a streak of average performances left the Diamondbacks in a tricky spot approaching past trade deadlines, their stance is much more apparent this year.

Make sure to check out all of our other Trade Deadline Previews.

Current Position

Record: 26-66
Rank: Fifth in NL West (32.5 GB)
Status: Sellers
The Diamondbacks are nearly three dozen games out of the top spot in the NL West. This would be terrible if the season was over, but it is infinitely times more despicable considering we’re only at the unofficial halfway point. Now, for yet another season, Arizona is a clear seller ahead of the deadline. With that said, they don’t have too many rentals on their roster, so it’s hard to envision the club swinging any major deals at the deadline.

Trade Candidates

Eduardo Escobar, Third Baseman

Among all of the Diamondbacks’ players, Escobar is the most likely to be dealt. In fact, reports surfaced in June that he was being traded to the Chicago White Sox, though nothing officially came to fruition. Still, Chicago remains the favorite to acquire the third baseman’s services. Through 88 games, he is slashing .254/.301/.483 with 20 homers, 60 RBI, 23 walks, and 75 strikeouts. He is being paid a total of $7.5 million this year and is set to hit free agency in the upcoming offseason. The addition of Escobar could be just what a contender needs to get over the hump.

David Peralta, Outfielder

At 33 years old, Peralta doesn’t fit into Arizona’s long-term plans. He’ll probably retire before the Diamondbacks even become relevant again. As such, he’ll likely find himself on a new team this summer. Given his contract status (signed through 2022), Arizona could always wait until the offseason or even next year’s trade deadline to part with him, but the fact of the matter is that there is no point to keep him on the roster beyond this month. The left-fielder has appeared in 81 contests this season, posting a .253/.319/.392 with four homers, 41 RBI, 27 walks, and 53 strikeouts. He’s earning $7.5 million this year and will rake in another $7.5 million in 2021.

Merrill Kelly, Starting Pitcher

Kelly, a 32-year-old right-hander, has been solid for the Diamondbacks this year. His 5-7 record is solid but perhaps unfair considering poor run support could have factored into those seven losses. It would be more than reasonable to argue that Kelly would have a winning record if he pitched on a contending team. In terms of more pitcher-specific stats, the starter owns a 4.46 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and .261 OBA. He has amassed 93 strikeouts, 27 walks, and 15 home runs through 19 starts (109 innings) this year. Further, the Houston native has impressed as of late, going 3-1 with 14 earned runs, eight walks, and 31 strikeouts over his last seven starts. Kelly is earning $4.25 million this season and has a $5.25 million option for 2022 that will surely be exercised by whichever club acquires him.

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