Diamondbacks Trade For Veteran Closer In Desperate Attempt To Recapture West

In an effort to solidify their bullpen, the Arizona Diamondbacks have made a significant trade, acquiring closer Paul Sewald from the Seattle Mariners.

The deal was finalized on Monday, and the Diamondbacks hope it will help them regain their former dominance in the National League West.

While both the Diamondbacks and the Mariners have similar records – Arizona at 57-50 and Seattle at 55-51 – the trade was a strategic move by both teams. The Mariners capitalized on a scarce pitching market and received three promising hitters in return.

Outfielder Dominic Canzone, utilityman Josh Rojas, and middle infielder Ryan Bliss are heading to Seattle.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, were keen on securing a long-term solution for their bullpen instead of a rental player. In Sewald, they get a valuable asset who will be under team control until the end of the 2024 season.

Sewald, 33, has been a reliable force in the Mariners bullpen since joining the team in 2021, tallying an impressive 52 saves during his tenure with the club.

In the current season, Sewald has been exceptional, recording 60 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 43 innings. His ERA stands at an impressive 2.93, and he has successfully saved 21 games in 24 opportunities.

The Diamondbacks bullpen has faced challenges in recent times, with a 6.37 ERA over the past 30 days, ranking among the bottom in the league. The acquisition of Sewald is expected to bolster their relief pitching significantly.

Following the trade, both Sewald and Mariners manager Scott Servais spoke with reporters to share their thoughts on the deal.

Servais praised Sewald’s contributions, saying, “A guy that’s meant so much to our team and certainly the back end of our bullpen. But we all understand this is a business, and you know, when you’re looking at players and where they’re at in their career and where we’re at, trying to add younger players and guys that could fit in here, and guys that our front office is very high on.”

Sewald, while expressing gratitude for his time in Seattle, acknowledged the excitement of joining the Diamondbacks. “Going to miss this place. It was an amazing three years,” he said. “Changed my life, changed my career. You know, personally, professionally, and I owe a lot to the people here. I feel like I gave them everything I had for three years. It’s going to be tough, but the Diamondbacks traded for me, which meant they wanted me more, and I’m excited to get to Arizona and do what I can.”

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo confirmed that Sewald would join the team on Tuesday, in time for their upcoming game against the San Francisco Giants.

In addition to the Sewald trade, the Diamondbacks also acquired infielder Jace Peterson from the Oakland Athletics for right-handed pitcher Chad Patrick on the same day.

The Mariners, after making their first postseason appearance in 20 years in 2022, have struggled with their offense this season. Sewald’s move is the second time in three years that the Mariners have dealt their closer near the trade deadline, aiming to address their offensive woes.

The trade gives Seattle an opportunity to develop promising young talent like Dominic Canzone, who has excelled in Triple-A with a remarkable 1.065 OPS in 304 plate appearances. With injuries and potential trades affecting their outfield depth, Canzone could see regular playing time in the Mariners’ lineup.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks receive Ryan Bliss, a highly-touted Double-A middle infielder who showcased his talent by hitting .358/.414/.594 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs. Additionally, they acquire utilityman Josh Rojas, who joined Arizona four years ago in a deadline deal for Zack Greinke. Rojas has struggled offensively this season but has shown promise in the past, and the Diamondbacks have three years of team control over him.

The trade is expected to inject new energy into both teams, potentially reshaping the dynamics of the National League West as the season progresses.

What do you think about the trade?