Trading Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson to Oakland for Dan Haren after the 2007 season proved to be quite a setback for Arizona, but now it looks like the Diamondbacks are at it again, as they’re making a run at acquiring either Gio Gonzalez or Trevor Cahill from the A’s.
A’s GM Billy Beane will want the same kind of package he got for Haren four years ago. Gonzalez is arbitration eligible for the first time, but he’s still four years away from free agency. Cahill is locked up to a $30.5 million contract through 2015 with team options for 2016 and ’17.
The Diamondbacks probably wouldn’t have possessed the talent to get either a couple of years ago, but they’ve rebuilt their farm system on the fly. Possessing two top-10 picks in the 2011 draft helped a bunch, as they were able to add two very promising right-handers in Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley. Those two can’t be traded yet, but their presence does make Jarrod Parker and Tyler Skaggs more expendable. Parker was long Arizona’s top pitching prospect before being overtaken by Bauer. Skaggs was the top prospect the Diamondbacks got back when they sent Haren to Anaheim in 2010.
The A’s would probably ask for both Parker and Skaggs in a Gonzalez or Cahill trade. Other names likely to come up include left-handers Wade Miley, David Holmberg and Patrick Corbin and outfielders A.J. Pollock and Bobby Borchering.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.