The 2021 outlook is not so bright for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have the worst record in the National League West at 18-32.
Fortunately, the club does have several trade chips who can be flipped into some value at the upcoming deadline.
Fans always hate to see their favorite players go, but trading away expiring contracts for some younger pieces is a necessary step in any rebuild.
There are three players in particular that the D-Backs should ship off at the deadline and attempt to maximize the return.
3. Joakim Soria
Joakim Soria has had an underwhelming 2021 season for Arizona, but his proven past will make him a relatively desirable relief option on the market this year.
Soria has a 4.50 ERA across nine appearances this season, but each of his last five outings has been scoreless.
The righty was very solid for Oakland last year, putting up a 2.82 ERA and 2.97 FIP over 22 outings.
He has a 3.03 lifetime ERA over 14 MLB seasons.
If dealt, Soria would join the 10th team of his career.
He was named an All-Star twice, way back in 2008 and 2010 with the Kansas City Royals.
In fact, Soria was so dominant during that 2010 season that he finished 10th in the AL Cy Young race and 19th in the MVP race.
Those years are long gone, but Soria is still capable of helping out a contending team down the stretch this season and into the playoffs.
2. Eduardo Escobar
Eduardo Escobar will most likely be on the move this year.
His numbers on the whole don’t blow you away, but he does lead the NL in runs batted in with 35.
That aside, the veteran is batting .230 with a .742 OPS.
He’s gone deep 12 times, contributing to an extremely solid .471 slugging percentage.
The Diamondbacks overcome a 5-0 deficit by scoring five runs in the seventh and eighth innings!
This BOMB courtesy of Eduardo Escobar! pic.twitter.com/b0LXUich3C
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 10, 2021
The best season of Escobar’s career (at least in terms of WAR) came recently, as he was able to enjoy a very solid 2019 season with 35 home runs, a 110 OPS+, and 3.3 WAR.
Escobar’s value this season might not be through the roof, but trading him for a younger player would make good sense for this Diamondbacks team.
1. Asdrubal Cabrera
Asdrubal Cabrera is with the Diamondbacks on a one-year deal worth just $1.75M, but he’s going to end up being one of the team’s most valuable trade chips at the deadline.
Over 34 games, Cabrera has a slash line of .289/.393/.474 and an OPS+ of 137.
He has a 1.7 WAR which would put him at a 162-game pace of 8.1 WAR.
That’s a massive number, and one that he probably won’t reach since he has missed some time with an injury, but regardless, the 35-year-old is on pace for the best season of his career.
Cabrera’s .866 OPS is the second-best on the team among players who have appeared in at least 25 games.
His trade value will be helped out by the fact that he’s an extremely versatile infielder.
He’s capable of playing every infield position and has even pitched in two games this year, for whatever that’s worth.
🚨 POSITION PLAYER PITCHING 🚨
It’s 12-3 Padres and Asdrúbal Cabrera is now going to pitch with 1 out in the 9th
— Jody Jackson (@Jody_Jackson) April 29, 2021
The Diamondbacks are the eighth team that Cabrera has played for and we’ll see if he joins a ninth this summer before the trade deadline.NEXT: Arizona Diamondbacks' Projected 2021 Lineup (Breakdown)