Arizona Diamondbacks Reportedly Close to Trading Joe Saunders

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IAugust 26, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 15: Starter Joe Saunders #34 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on August 15, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

UPDATE: Sunday, August 26 at 12:45 p.m. EST

The Arizona Diamondbacks have officially traded veteran pitcher Joe Saunders.

The Baltimore Orioles confirmed the news this morning:

The Orioles have acquired LHP Joe Saunders & cash from Arizona for RHP Matt Lindstrom & a player to be named later.

Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 26, 2012

---END of UPDATE---

The Arizona Diamondbacks are on the brink of trading starting pitcher Joe Saunders.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal broke the news via Twitter:

Source: #Diamondbacks on verge of trading Saunders. Destination unknown at this time.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 26, 2012

The team bringing Saunders in is not yet known, but Rosenthal had reported earlier this week that the Baltimore Orioles were a team interested in the left-hander's services after he was placed on waivers, so don't be surprised if that's Saunders' new destination.

Saunders hasn't lived up to expectations in 2012, especially pitching in a weak offensive division like the National League West. In his last start for Arizona, Saunders got rocked for nine runs on 12 hits in only 3.2 innings.

The 31-year-old is 6-10 for Arizona, sporting a 4.22 ERA in his second full season with the team. He was brought over in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels during the 2010 season.

While with the Angels, Saunders had his best season in 2008 when he went 17-7 with a 3.41 ERA in 31 starts. Since then, Saunders has only had one other season with an ERA under four and that was last year when he posted a 12-13 record with an ERA of 3.69 for the division-winning Diamondbacks.

It won't get any easier for Saunders, however.

No matter which division he goes to, none will be a more pitcher-friendly one than the division in which he currently resides. Whichever team is pulling the trigger for Saunders is taking a pretty big chance.

Saunders will be a free agent at season's end.

At the moment, Arizona is 64-63, which leaves them seven games out of the NL West lead and 5.5 games out of the wild card. There is still hope for the Diamondbacks season to be a success, but it looks like Saunders will no longer be helping that cause.