Towers expects to be active at Trade Deadline
D-backs are not rebuilding, but they will be sellers this season
PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Kevin Towers' phone has not exactly been ringing off the hook, but that could change in the next few weeks as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.
"It's slow right now," Towers said. "There are a couple of clubs that are trying to get in front of people, but things will pick up in the next couple weeks."
Mired near the bottom of the National League West, the D-backs will be sellers this year, but it is not going to be a huge teardown. Rather, the organization is viewing this as a retooling rather than a rebuilding effort.
The D-backs' thinking revolves around the return to good health of ace lefty Patrick Corbin, slugger Mark Trumbo, center fielder A.J. Pollock and setup man David Hernandez.
Throw in right-hander Daniel Hudson, who is working his way back from a second Tommy John surgery, and the emergence of top prospect Archie Bradley, and the D-backs see themselves as possible contenders next year.
With a record $110 million payroll this year, the D-backs would like to lower it, but there is no edict to do so from managing general partner Ken Kendrick or CEO Derrick Hall.
"We're not payroll dumping, we're looking to get good players back," Towers said. "It would be nice to be able to save some payroll and get good players back. I know how Ken and Derrick are and they are always going to lean towards getting the better players instead of trying to save money."
Towers declined to say who he might be looking to deal, but here's a look at five players who could potentially get dealt, with contract status courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts:
RHP Brandon McCarthy: The D-backs would love to be able to move McCarthy and what is left of the $9 million he is owed this year. There was by some estimates 20 scouts in attendance for his last start Friday against the Padres. Not all of them were there to see him, of course, but there could be interest if he keeps pitching as well as he did Friday (one run over seven innings).
The left-handed specialists: Joe Thatcher and Oliver Perez have both pitched well this year, and every year there are usually multiple contending teams looking for a left-handed specialist for the stretch run. Thatcher will be a free agent after this season, while Perez, who is making $1.75 million this year, is under contract for $2.5 million in 2015.
RHP Bronson Arroyo: Had he not sprained the UCL in his right elbow, Arroyo would likely have been in demand. If Arroyo was able to return from the injury and have a few starts to show he's healthy and still effective then the D-backs still might be able to trade him, but so far there's been no timetable put on his return. Arroyo is owed $9.5 million this year and next year with an $11 million club option or $4.5 million buyout for 2016. If he's traded, his option would increase to $13 million.
2B Aaron Hill: The D-backs have numerous options in the middle infield and could possibly look to move Hill, who is owed $12 million in each of the next two seasons. Hill is well liked by the organization, and if it is looking for a quick retool it might choose to hang on to him.
3B Martin Prado: Similar to Hill in that it's uncertain if the team would be willing to move him. He is owed $11 million in each of the next two years.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.