The Arizona Diamondbacks have fallen out of the playoff race, and that likely means they will be a seller at this week's trade deadline. One player several teams could have interest in is closer Addison Reed, who's apparently available if the price is right.
Jayson Stark of ESPN reports Reed headlines a group of players who could be moved from the desert over the next few days. He lays out the team's plans, which feature at least five players who could be considered on the block:
The Diamondbacks are telling teams they'd talk about moving closer Addison Reed, but aren't likely to move reliever Brad Ziegler. Arizona is also still listening on Aaron Hill, Oliver Perez and, for the right offer, Martin Prado and Josh Collmenter.
On the surface, Reed is having a pretty solid season. He sports a 3.80 ERA and 1.15 WHIP through 44 games, which are both slightly below his career averages. The right-hander also has 49 strikeouts in 42.2 innings for Arizona.
Yet, the 25-year-old San Diego State product also has five blown saves, putting him on pace to tie his career-high total of eight. His WAR is also on the negative side at -0.3 (via Fangraphs), and he's given up nine home runs, already three more than any other season, with plenty of baseball to play.
Joe Sheehan of Sports Illustrated believes a combination of diminished velocity and location are key factors in his lack of consistency:
Addison Reed was 94-95 two years ago. Tonight, he's 91-92. Huge difference for a guy working up in the zone.— Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) July 29, 2014
At the very least, it certainly helps explain the uptick in homers against.
During one of those rough patches earlier in the month, Reed was asked about what type of issues he was working through. Jack Magruder of Fox Sports Arizona provided his response, which included a two-fold fix.
'Sometimes I just get fastball happy and think I can get by with some well-located fastballs,' Reed said. 'The thing with me is, I've been getting hurt a lot of times leaving the ball up and over the middle of the plate instead of hitting the corners. Obviously I need to start throwing more sliders and start mixing it up a little more, and when I throw the fastball I need to locate where I am supposed to.'
Where do you project Reed will be when the deadline passes?
He hasn't given up a run since those comments were passed along on July 9. That represents six straight scoreless outings.
In turn, for teams looking for a bullpen boost down the stretch, Reed becomes an attractive option. He probably wouldn't slide right into the closer role for most postseason contenders, but he would bolster that bridge from the starter to the ninth inning.
The question is how much the Diamondbacks would want in return. He's had some struggles this season, but he's still a young reliever with nearly 100 saves under his belt already. He will also remain under team control through the 2017 campaign.
All told, it's hard to blame Arizona for seeing what's out there on the trade market. But there isn't a great need to move him if the front office isn't blown away by any of the offers before the deadline.