MLB Trade Scenarios: Why Arizona Needs to Deal Trevor Cahill in the Offseason

George AndersonAnalyst IISeptember 14, 2012

MLB Trade Scenarios: Why Arizona Needs to Deal Trevor Cahill in the Offseason

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    It has only been one season, but what if the Arizona Diamondbacks traded SP Trevor Cahill?

    The 2012 season has not gone in favor of Arizona, as the team's 71-72 record leaves little hope for the playoffs. This is a far cry from the leisurely stroll the team had on its way to the 2011 NL West crown.

    The hitting has been hit-or-miss, the bullpen has been mediocre and the starting pitchers have been goodat times. The team has not clicked and major changes could be coming.

    Justin Upton was already part of trade rumors at the trade deadline, Stephen Drew was traded to Oakland and it would not be a surprise if more trades were on the way.

    One trade that could potentially happen is a scenario involving Trevor Cahill, who the Diamondbacks acquired last offseason.

    This is just speculation, but what if Arizona has seen enough after one season? Is this the best time for the D-backs to trade the former All-Star?

Cahill Has Been Exactly What Arizona Wanted But...

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    There was no secret as to what the Diamondbacks were getting when they traded for Trevor Cahill. The guy was going to give about 200 innings and have about a 4.00 ERA.

    With a month left, he has recorded 179 innings and has an ERA of 3.92. He has been a solid No. 3 pitcher, and he is a young guy that fits a young team.

    The problem is, when Arizona traded for Cahill, they gave away players worthy of an All-Star, not a No.3. Back in 2010, Cahill was an All-Star and finished with an 18-8 record, along with a 2.97 ERA.

    Though 2010 looks to have been a fluke season, it still may have been what the Diamondbacks were really paying for.

    Along with Trevor Cahill, Arizona also received RP Craig Breslow. Breslow was a great reliever for the D-backs as he posted a 2.70 ERA and recorded almost one strikeout per inning pitched.

    Originally, this trade looked like a great deal for Arizona and for the Oakland Athletics. The Diamondbacks received two good pitchers and Oakland received a few solid prospects in SP Jarrod Parker, RP Ryan Cook and OF Collin Cowgill.

    Now, Oakland looks like the clear victor. Breslow was traded to Boston back in July, and Cahill has not returned to his All-Star form. In the meantime, SP Jarrod Parker and RP Ryan Cook have been excellent for the Athletics with OF Collin Cowgill still waiting for his chance to shine.

    Parker is 10-8 so far with a 3.56 ERA, and Cook is 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA. Cook also has an impressive 65 strikeouts in 61.2 inning pitched.

    While he has been decent, Cahill probably was not worth what Arizona traded for him.

The Contract Is Just Right

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    Now would be the best time to think about trading Trevor Cahill because his contract is just right.

    Cahill is only 24-years-old. He also has four years left on his contract. Cahill is only being paid $3.75 million this season. In 2013, he will be paid $5.75 million and $7.95 million in 2014.

    The young-gun starter would not make over $10 million until 2015. He would make a great No. 2 pitcher for many rotations, and he could even be the ace on some teams like the Colorado Rockies (worst pitching staff in the MLB).

    Cahill would come cheap the next two seasons and the next two years on his contract would make him an attractive option.

    The contract would be great for another team, but it would also free some money for Arizona. The team could use an extra $5-8 million as it could acquire a quality shortstop or improve the bullpen.

    One side would get a quality starter, while the D-backs would receive a little money to put towards other needs.

Arizona Has a Loaded Farm System

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    The main reason the Arizona Diamondbacks would potentially trade Trevor Cahill is the team's farm system.

    Arizona features a franchise with pitching potential unmatched in the MLB. 

    Wade Miley is a 25-year-old lefty that has dominated opposing hitters in his rookie season. Miley is 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA. He could easily be 18-9, but he has three starts where he allowed one run or less and did not get the win. 

    Miley has a strong chance at winning Rookie of the Year, but he will also be leading a group of future star pitchers for the D-backs.

    Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin and Trevor Bauer have all received a taste of the "show," and there are still more lurking in Triple-A.

    These are four young pitchers eager to make the rotation, and there is still more competition for Cahill. Daniel Hudson is only 25 years old, but he has three years in the league. He struggled early with a 7.35 ERA through nine games and was sent down, but he went 16-12 last season.

    This puts the count at five in terms of competition for Cahill to make the roster, and there is still one more.

    If Cahill was not already on the bubble, add in Ian Kennedy. Kennedy was a Cy Young candidate in 2011 and earned over 20 wins. He is only 13-11 this season, but he was crucial to the Diamondbacks' 2011 run.

    Cahill could very well still be with Arizona next season. There is no rule that says all of the D-backs youngsters have to make the rotation. But Cahill's 2012, his contract and the depth of the organization make it very plausible that Arizona could trade him.