Rosenthal’s latest column reveals that the Diamondbacks “are discussing internally the possibility” of trading starters Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson. That sounds about two steps removed from something actually happening, but let’s talk about it anyway.
Haren would be a great pickup by a contender. Sure, he’s got a 5.56 ERA, but his K/9 ratio (9.2) and his K/BB (5.07) are just spiffy. Ground balls with eyes? A few too many dying quails? Maybe. Fact is, the guy is a freakin’ horse, having logged no fewer than 216 innings since coming over to Oakland in the Mark Mulder deal.
Jackson is obviously less of a prize. Electric when he’s on but frustratingly inconsistent, he has earned far more of his 6.03 ERA than Haren has. He’s a play for starting depth more than anything. And he could be a good one at that. After all, he was a part of the 2008 Rays rotation, so you can win with this guy.
I think the larger point to be taken from this is that the starting pitching pool at this year’s deadline — already pretty deep — is getting deeper.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.