Diamondbacks starter, and former Chicago Cub, Jason Marquis took a liner off his leg last night, and he’ll now be out four to six weeks with a broken leg. The Diamondbacks acquired Marquis at the trade deadline in the hopes he could help them with a stretch run.
With Marquis out, might the D-backs be looking for another pitcher?
Buster Olney suggests that, if they are, they could consider, among others, Cubs starters Carlos Zambrano and Rodrigo Lopez. Both, Olney says, have cleared waivers.
First, the less exciting option: if the Diamondbacks wanted Lopez – a marginal upgrade, at best – they wouldn’t have to send the Cubs much more than a low-level, not-great prospect and take on Lopez’s minimal salary obligation. Lopez can eat innings, and has shown the ability to throw a good game every now and again. But the Diamondbacks can do better, if they desire. Lopez, after all, did lose a league-high 16 games in a Diamondbacks jersey last year.
Which takes us to Zambrano. This is not about Zambrano’s present value, which is at an all-time low. It’s about the Diamondbacks’ need, combined with Zambrano’s upside. Ok, the low present value matters, too: the Diamondbacks could get Zambrano for next to nothing if they offer the Cubs some salary relief. Might not he be worth the risk?
There is still the matter of Zambrano’s no-trade rights. I doubt many believe he would invoke them after what’s happened (even before this weekend, Zambrano said he’d accept a trade if the Cubs wanted to move him), but it’s a consideration.
To me, it seems equally likely that the Diamondbacks will call up first round draft pick Trevor Bauer, whom they signed to a Major League contract last month. Most experts thought Bauer, one of the best college pitchers this year, was just about ML ready at the time of the draft, and he’s done nothing but destroy minor league hitters since then. Probably the one thing holding the D-backs back is the length of Bauer’s season – it would become incredibly long if he pitched through September and into October.