Diamondbacks look to future with deadline trades
PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping a pair of deadline-day trades will pay off down the road.
They parted with a couple of popular veterans Thursday, trading outfielder Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee and third baseman Martin Prado to the New York Yankees. But the Diamondbacks received outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-hander Anthony Banda in the deal with the Brewers, and got minor league catcher Peter O'Brien in the Prado deal.
Arizona also saved money in the trades, which could provide for the rest of the season and over the winter. Prado was in the second season of a $40 million, four-year contract.
''Projected revenue will be discussed next month,'' general manager Kevin Towers said before Thursday's game against Pittsburgh. ''For us to contend, we'll really have to get our pitching up to speed. You have to have those big horses at the top (of the starting rotation).''
The Diamondbacks also will receive a player to be named or cash from the Yankees in the deal that was completed before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. The 24-year-old O'Brien has 33 homers and 70 RBIs in two minor league stops this season and played in the All-Star Futures Game this summer.
Arizona saw Haniger in the Arizona Fall League last year and was interested in him heading into the 2012 draft.
''Probably profiles more of a corner outfielder, although he's played center,'' Towers said. ''Offensive player. Speed's probably the lowest grade we have on him, but plus arm, plus power, plus hitter.''
The 23-year-old Haniger was playing for Double-A Huntsville. He was Milwaukee's No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America. He was hitting .255 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs.
Towers said Arizona's scouts feel the 20-year-old Banda is a couple of years away from contending for a spot in the middle of the team's starting rotation. Their reports say he throws his fastball at around 90 to 92 miles per hour with the ability for that velocity to go up.
''Pitching, especially with some of the injuries that we've had, it's a big priority,'' chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said. ''When you look at the No. 1 responsibility for all of us, it's to present a team that contends, hopefully in October. I like some of the guys on the club but I like the flexibility that we can get financially to move toward those areas of need.''
Jordan Pacheco replaced Prado at third in the series opener against the Pirates and David Peralta was in Parra's spot in right field. Peralta's .313 average in 47 games this season helped make dealing Parra a little easier, Towers said.
Minor leaguer Jake Lamb, 23, could be the future at third for Arizona. The left-handed batter is one of the organization's top prospects and entered Thursday with a .318 batting average in 103 games.
''I do think at some point we'll see him here next year,'' Towers said, adding that Lamb could get a major league spring-training invitation in 2015.
Manager Kirk Gibson said he'll meet with his coaches on Friday to decide on how the club will handle who plays third for the short term.