Having added Bronson Arroyo, the Diamondbacks have something of a pitching conundrum. The rotation projects as some combination of Arroyo, Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, and Brandon McCarthy. Top pitching prospect Archie Bradley could slot in there at some point, too.
And then there’s Randall Delgado, who disappointed a bit last year (90 ERA+ over 116.1 innings, 4.99 FIP), but still posted a robust 3.43 K/BB and an acceptable 3.94 xFIP, and is just 24. The Cubs, you’ll recall, almost got Delgado from the Braves for Ryan Dempster two years ago, but it, eh hem, fell through (“they don’t did a trade”). If Delgado isn’t going to make the rotation, might the Diamondbacks consider moving him?
I raise this question in large part because Delgado is out of minor league options, meaning that if he isn’t in the rotation, he’s gotta make the Diamondbacks bullpen if he’s going to stick on the club. By my rough count, the Diamondbacks already have seven strong candidates for the bullpen (plus Rule 5 selectee Marcos Mateo, whom the D-Backs took from the Cubs), and there’s a chance Delgado could be squeezed out. Sure, the Cubs have a rotational and bullpen squeeze of their own, but if the Diamondbacks are affirmatively looking to move Delgado, the Cubs are precisely the kind of team that can afford to take a chance on his upside (and we know they like him). You figure out the roster details later.
To be quite clear, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says they aren’t going to expose Delgado to waivers (he wouldn’t get past the Astros), and will carry him in the bullpen if he doesn’t make the rotation. And, for his part, Delgado says he’d be fine in the bullpen.
But of course everyone says these things now, and maybe injuries moot all of these questions in time. The point here is that there’s a chance the Diamondbacks could, by late Spring Training, if everyone is healthy, try to swing a trade involving Delgado because they don’t have a spot for him and don’t want to lose him for nothing (and/or don’t want to lose one of their solid bullpen arms for nothing). Maybe the Cubs would be in a position to pounce if that happened.
Just thinking out loud.