MLB Hot Stove Rumors: Diamondbacks expecting more interest in young starters
Arizona has a lot of interesting young starters
The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired right-handed starter Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners last week as part of a multi-player deal. Predictably, that trade could lead to more changes in the desert.
With Walker in hand and a weak free-agent market at foot, the Diamondbacks -- now led by former Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen -- are expecting other teams to come calling about their young starters, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: #DBacks expect increased trade interest in younger SPs, with Walker joining Bradley, Corbin, Miller, Ray. All between 24 and 27.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 28, 2016
As Rosenthal noted, Arizona does boast a number of young starters: 27-year-old Patrick Corbin is the graybeard of the bunch, but he won't qualify for free agency until after the 2018 campaign; Shelby Miller is a year younger and under team control for a year more than Corbin; Robbie Ray, 25, has four years of team control remaining; Walker himself is 24 years old and also four seasons from free agency; Archie Bradley is also 24, and even further from free agency than Walker; and that's without considering former first-round pick Braden Shipley, who debuted last July.
Of course, being young and cheap and controllable doesn't necessarily make a pitcher worth possessing. If all those arms were sure things to produce, the Diamondbacks would be in a better position than the one they find themselves in, coming off a disappointing 69-win season. Instead, most of them fit a back-end profile -- and the ones with mid-rotation or better projections, like Corbin and Miller, come complete with reservations about their 2016 season.
But, with free agency offering mostly tears and tumbleweeds to teams in need of rotation help, it wouldn't be surprising if Arizona is able to move a young starter or two in exchange for something interesting.
In the coming weeks, we'll find out just how interesting.