The Arizona Diamondbacks are sliding hard down the standings in the National League West.
They have lost 23 in a row away from home, a major league record.
They have dropped 14 straight, 28 of their last 30 and 37 of their last 42.
They are 20-50, and looking every bit like the worst team in baseball.
The Diamondbacks lost, 10-3. Zac Gallen’s return was not smooth. There was another misplay in the outfield. The Diamondbacks did it: They have lost 23 in a row on the road, a modern-era major league record. That's 14 straight losses overall, 28 of 30 and 37 of 42. They are 20-50.
— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) June 17, 2021
It’s time for some drastic decisions, and here are some of them.
3. Trade Ketel Marte
Ketel Marte is, by far, the best and most valuable trade piece on the Diamondbacks active roster.
He can be a game-changer with the bat, as evidenced by his .347/.391/.525 season line, albeit in limited at-bats because of a hamstring injury that took weeks out of his campaign.
The fact that he can play both center field and second base makes him appealing to contending teams, such as the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and others.
One of the reasons Marte is so valuable is his team-friendly contract.
He is signed for $6.4 million in 2021 and $8.4 million in 2022, with team options for $8 million in 2023 and $10 million in 2024.
Under normal circumstances, and given the team’s current organizational place, we would advise to keep the player, as Arizona could contend in two or three years.
However, trading Marte now will likely net a hefty return prospects-wise.
Going to look for Arizona to be the first sellers of the year. Before what they have left to trade also winds up on the IL…
David Peralta, Asdrubal Cabrera, Eduardo Escobar, and if they get a good offer, Ketel Marte? https://t.co/RGne2nfpIl
— Justin L. (@JL_Baseball) June 13, 2021
Marte’s value will likely never be higher than it is now, and it Arizona secures a couple of top prospects plus other pieces, it may be worth doing a deal for them.
There is always the chance that the player forces a trade later down the road while the team has no leverage, so they might as well go with the painful process right now.
2. Eat Money And Trade Madison Bumgarner
Since the day he was signed, Madison Bumgarner was an odd fit.
The left-hander’s best years are clearly behind him, and he is what you can call an “old” 31-year-old pitcher.
His left arm has a lot of mileage, as the San Francisco Giants got the best of it during their 2010s dynasty.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bumgarner has struggled so far in his two seasons with Arizona.
He had a 6.48 ERA in 2020 and has a 5.73 mark in 2021.
Of course, he is currently injured with some left shoulder inflammation.
However, if he gets healthy and puts together a nice run of starts before the deadline, Arizona should move him at all costs.
He is already throwing, so he could be back in about three weeks or so if things go well.
If he comes back strong, the Diamondbacks need to attach a prospect or eat some dollars and send him to a contender looking for an experienced starter.
It will be an extremely difficult task, but they should give it a shot, as he will be too old for Arizona’s next contention window.
1. Aim For Contention In 2023-2024
Arizona is very, very bad, and the Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres are all extremely good.
That means Arizona won’t contend in 2021 and 2022.
The 2023 season seems like a reasonable goal for trying to qualify to the playoffs, but it will likely be 2024.
Every major free agent signing, every trade, and every roster move should be done with those campaigns in mind.