How a Potential Mega-Deal Between Diamondbacks-Brewers Would Impact NL West

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIJuly 4, 2013

The Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks are reportedly discussing a mega-deal that could possibly send both Yovani Gallardo and Francisco Rodriguez to the Diamondbacks.

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported on Wednesday night that the two clubs are in the midst of discussing a deal that would certainly swing the balance of power in the NL West.

The Diamondbacks and Brewers are in the midst of ongoing discussions about starter Yovani Gallardo and relievers John Axford, Jim Henderson, and Francisco Rodriguez, the sources said.

The Diamondbacks’ farm system is deep enough that they could conceivably acquire Gallardo and one of the relievers.

The Diamondbacks would likely have to give up a king's ransom for the two pitchers, but Jon Heyman CBS Sports is reporting that LHP Tyler Skaggs could be in the deal to entice the Brew Crew.

One of the Arizona names that's surfaced in discussions is top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs.

The Diamondbacks and Brewers would seem to match up well since Milwaukee has a couple of veteran starters (Kyle Lohse also), and Arizona is well-stocked with well-regarded younger pitchers, including the 22-year-old lefty Skaggs and several others. Randall Delgado is another.

As first reported, they have particular interest in established starters who are more than rentals, meaning they are under contract through at least next year. With that in mind, Matt Garza and Ricky Nolasco may not fit Arizona as well as Gallardo, still only 27, who is contracted through next year for just over $15 million, or Lohse.

The Diamondbacks are currently in first place in the NL West, although the team only teams by 1.5 games over the Colorado Rockies. All five teams in the division are separated by just three games.

Here's how the division looks right now:

Team W L Pct GB
Arizona Diamondbacks 42 41 .506 -
Colorado Rockies 41 43 .488 1.5
San Diego Padres 40 44 .476 2.5
Los Angeles Dodgers 39 43 .476 2.5
San Francisco Giants 39 44 .470 3

The NL West is by far the closest division in baseball from top to bottom. The next closest division is the AL East, which is separated by nine games.

This is a division that is going to be determined by the trade deadline. All five teams have needs, but which team addresses those needs the best will win the division and be the only team to make it to the postseason.

The D-Backs appear to be making big strides in terms of addressing their needs, as the two biggest for the team are in the starting rotation and in the bullpen.

Arizona is eighth in the National League in team ERA and second in the NL West behind only the Dodgers.

However, with injuries to Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and Daniel Hudson keeping all three on the disabled list, the starting rotation is thin. Throw in the fact that J.J. Putz's return from the DL has not gone as planned—after he blew a save in just his second appearance—and you can see why the Diamondbacks are interested in Milwaukee's pitchers.

Gallardo is a former ace who's run into some trouble this year. While his 4.78 ERA and 1.46 WHIP are both career-worsts, he has proven in the past that he can lead a pitching staff by posting ERAs below 3.90 in all six years before this one.

If Gallardo is thrown into a position where his team is contending for a postseason berth, we can expect that his numbers will drastically improve.

The other major gem of this trade could be reliever Francisco Rodriguez, whose microscopic 0.92 ERA and seven saves in seven opportunities make him one of the top relievers in the MLB.

K-Rod is back to his old dominant self, not allowing a single earned run at home all season. If he were to be added into a bullpen that already has Putz and Heath Bell, the Diamondbacks would have the necessary arms to close out games.

The Diamondbacks would considerably bolster their pitching staff by adding these two guys into the mix, which could potentially guarantee the team an NL West crown.

But would it?

If the Diamondbacks go out and land these two pitchers, the rest of the West will respond.

Teams like the Dodgers and Giants will certainly go out and land big-name starting pitchers like Bud Norris and Ricky Nolasco.

The Rockies and Padres would similarly respond and land stars of their own, most likely including new arms.

The NL West is like a ticking time bomb right now, and once one major deal goes down, several more will follow.

Even if the other four teams go out and get guys like Norris and Nolasco, they will still find that they are chasing an Arizona team that has the best record and best team in the division.

Adding Gallardo and K-Rod into the mix would give the Diamondbacks a fantastic roster.

Not only would the team have a 1-2 punch of Patrick Corbin and Gallardo, but it would eventually get Hudson, Cahill and McCarthy back, making up a fantastic starting five alongside Ian Kennedy.

The team would also have three terrific bullpen arms to close out games, giving it the best pitching staff in the division.

Throw in the fact that the team's offense scores the fifth-most runs in the NL and second-most in the NL West behind only the Dodgers, and Arizona could conceivably win the division by a comfortable margin.

The Diamondbacks are looking to lock themselves into the NL playoff picture, and adding these two guys would do it.


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