Are the Arizona Diamondbacks in the midst of following in the footsteps of the San Diego Padres? Recent news has me wondering. Here are the facts:
1. They pulled their contract extension offer to Brandon Webb back who is under team control through 2010. If they can't reach an agreement, he could become major trade bait.
2. They won't re-sign 45 yr old pitcher Randy Johnson who is closing in on 300 wins, and wants to stay. The attraction of Johnson winning his 300th game in Arizona should keep the tickets sales hot.
3. The team just fired 31 people from their front office. How big was their front office? An obvious cost cutting move. The move begs the question, how many people are left?
4. They signed Dan Haren to a contract extension through 2012 in August. so the Dbacks have someone to fall back on as their ace should they deal Webb.
5. They have two promising starting pitching prospects in Max Scherzer and Jarrod Parker. Scherzer should be their 5th man in the rotation this year, with Parker needing at least another year and a half of experience in the minors.
With the economy in the midst of a severe recession, and Bud Selig spewing fear about a decrease in season ticket sales at the recent GM meetings, one has to wonder if these are warning signs that the Dbacks could start a firesale come June-July 2009 if they are not involved in the NL West/wildcard race.
You also must consider that CC Sabathia will probably fetch a deal worth more than $100 million this offseason, it is no surprise Brandon Webb will take his time signing a long term deal.
Should the DBacks ponder a firesale, Webb would be at the top of the list. Josh Byrnes gave up alot of prospects in the deal for Dan Haren last year, and he could fetch something similar if he decides to deal Webb, especially when you take a close look at their farm system and see that they emptied it in recent deals.
Other players he could deal include disappointing 1bman Conor Jackson, power hitting strikeout machine 3bman Mark Reynolds, and OFer Eric Byrnes. Byrnes has been mentioned in recent trade rumors, but is coming off a hamstring injury and has a bad contract, so he will be tough to deal.
What are the chances the Dbacks trade Brandon Webb this season?