Ken Rosenthal might be pulling some kind of marathon of his own.
Just a bit ago, he reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks, who’ve been largely quiet in the rumor mill (though, at 52-51, just 3.5 out in the NL West, and with a historically active GM, you can presume they’d be working the phones) are cooking up something big. From Rosenthal:
The Diamondbacks are trying to pull off a blockbuster for a premier starting pitcher, according to major-league sources. The identity of the pitcher is not known.
Towers has the pieces to make such a deal happen – specifically, right fielder Justin Upton and a stable of top pitching prospects.
D-backs officials all but dismissed the possibility of trading Upton last week, but Towers repeatedly has said that he will move any player in the right deal.
By including Upton, who is signed for $9.75 million next season, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in ’15, the D-Backs would create financial room for an established veteran starter.
Before you jump to conclusions, let me disabuse you of any Matt Garza-related thoughts. It’s not that I think the Diamondbacks would absolutely not have interest in Garza. They could. But I don’t think, when Rosenthal uses terms like “blockbuster” and “premier,” he’s talking about Garza. I think Matt is the cat’s pajamas, but, in the national media, he isn’t a blockbuster or a premier starting pitcher. (Of course, Rosenthal’s source is the one using those words, so maybe the source is a bit looser with the terms.)
So, who might the Diamondbacks be targeting? A couple of names comes to mind: Cliff Lee, and Felix Hernandez. There could be others, but the former has been discussed at length on the trade market today, and the latter is as blockbuster-y and premier-y as it gets. Hernandez is highly unlikely to be dealt, but his name always seems to pop up at this time of year. Who knows? Maybe this is the time it happens.
If the Diamondbacks do pick up a huge arm, maybe the Dodgers and Giants suddenly feel added pressure to make a big move, themselves.
And as I type this, Rosenthal just updated his original post, and his guesses were also Lee and Hernandez. I feel so smart … at 4:30am, my time!
(And, yes, I still like using the old Diamondbacks logo.)