D-backs still in play as Deadline nears
Heilman, Qualls among names being discussed in deals
PHOENIX -- With only a few days left until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the D-backs are still right in the thick of the trade rumor mill.
The club made a splash on Sunday by dealing ace Dan Haren to the Angels for Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez, Pat Corbin and a player to be named later, which will probably be highly-regarded lefty Tyler Skaggs.
The trade fulfilled the criteria Arizona had set about getting help immediately (Saunders), while also adding depth at the Minor League level (Rodriguez) and two high-ceiling prospects (Corbin and Skaggs).
However, the D-backs don't appear to be done dealing just yet.
Arizona would still like to deal relievers Chad Qualls and Aaron Heilman, along with catcher Chris Snyder, and the club is open to trading first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Arizona would also listen to offers on right-hander Edwin Jackson.
"If we could get a player back that could help at the Major League level immediately, as well as help restock the farm system, we would listen," team president and CEO Derrick Hall said.
Foxsports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported that the Rays are interested in Qualls "if he shows even a little consistency."
Though it's unlikely the D-backs will move them, the club does not appear to consider shortstop Stephen Drew or second baseman Kelly Johnson untouchable, though that seems to be the case with third baseman Mark Reynolds.
And while the D-backs were at one point considering moving Reynolds, that seems to have changed in recent weeks.
Arizona started this season with a payroll of about $77 million, which figures to go down next year. How much lower remains to be seen.
"We don't have a number that is set in stone," Hall said. "We need to be smarter in how we reallocate the dollars we spend on certain players and balance that with our need to have depth both at the Major League and Minor League levels. We still plan on being competitive the next couple of seasons even if the payroll is lower. Having an $80 million payroll did not help us win. Having a better mix of players, we think, will lead to improvement."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.