As they try to stay in the playoff race, the Arizona Diamondbacks have addressed a significant need with a trade for Eduardo Escobar.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the thick of the playoff race, 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and a half-game back of the second NL Wild Card spot entering Friday’s action. They are clearly a buyer as the trade deadline approaches, and on Friday they acquired infielder Eduardo Escobar from the Minnesota Twins for three prospects.
Escobar has been scuffling at the plate for an extended stretch, with a .205/.302/.348 slash-line over his last 129 plate appearances dating back to June 20. But his overall numbers this year are still quite good, with a .274/.338/.514 slash-line, 15 home runs, 63 RBI and a major league-high 37 doubles. Add in his ability to play third base, shortstop and second base, and he’s a perfect fit for Arizona.
If not for a strong June (.304, five home runs, 18 RBI .980 OPS), Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte’s offensive numbers (.738 OPS, home runs, 41 RBI) would be even more pedestrian. Shortstop Nick Ahmed is a slick glove, but outside of 13 home runs he’s not getting it done at the plate either (.234/.287/.437 slash-line). If that’s not enough to create a need for an infielder, third baseman Jake Lamb going on the disabled list Friday with a left shoulder contusion seems to have been the final straw for Diamondbacks’ general manager Mike Hazen.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was one of the first to report a deal sending Escobar to Arizona was close, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports offered who the Twins are getting in return.
The Diamondbacks parted with three low-level minor leaguers, none of which were in their top-10 prospects entering the season (via MLB.com). With Escobar in the final year of his contract, and making a reasonable $4.8 million, he was an ideal rental for any contender with an infield need and Arizona got him.
Seven games back of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, and 12.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot, the Twins have made the first move in surrender of their playoff hopes for 2018. They should not be done making deals, and the Diamondbacks should also remain active between now and Tuesday afternoon.