Saturday afternoon, a trade was announced between the Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that sent relief pitcher Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana to the Angels for two prospects.
Thatcher has been one of the most effective pitchers on the Diamondbacks’ staff, posting a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings for Arizona, good for third and fifth in each category among players with 10 or more appearances.
On the other hand, Campana struggled offensively in his time with the Diamondbacks. The speedy outfielder hit just .150 with a double, a triple and three RBI in 26 appearances with the big club. However, he did hit a walk-ff single on June 18 against Milwaukee, his final plate appearance before being sent down to Triple-A Reno.
In return, the Diamondbacks received a pair of prospects who could help the team in a couple years.
Outfielder Zach Bornenstein is the higher touted piece of the package Anaheim sent to Arizona. Borenstein was named the ninth-best prospect in the Angels organization and will help Arizona in the future. Between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake, Borenstein hit .262 with seven home runs and 50 RBI in 78 games before the trade. In the field, Bornstein has 10 outfield assists and made two errors/
The Diamondbacks also acquired pitching prospect Joey Krehbiel from the Angels. Between Single-A Burlington and Single-A Inland Empire, Krehbiel made 17 relief appearances without a decision and earned a 2.00 ERA in 18 innings pitched. Krehbiel is a strikeout pitcher, whiffing 23 batters for a K/9 innings rate of 11.5.
The trade shows that Arizona is preparing for the future rather that settling in with its current roster. While the starting lineup appears to be set for the next couple of years, the addition of Bornstein in the outfield provides depth behind AJ Pollock, Mark Trumbo and Gerardo Parra, or maybe just a trade chip that could be swapped for immediate help in the offseason.
Both Bornstein and Krehbiel are young, 23 and 21 years old respectively, and still developing, which is important for a team that currently has the worst record in baseball.
The Diamondbacks have been the topic of other trade rumors around baseball, so this trade may just be the precursor to more moves for the future by general manager Kevin Towers and Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa.