2016 has officially made the Arizona Diamondbacks cry uncle.
Early season injuries paired with underperforming players at key positions has made the summer more miserable than the Valley’s triple-digit temperatures. Arizona, mired in last place and saddled with the worst run differential in baseball (-126) heading into Wednesday’s game against the Mets, couldn’t help but notice this transaction.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 17, 2016
Just 15 months ago the D-backs selected the Vanderbilt star with the first overall pick. He was dealt to the Braves in December along with outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitching prospect Aaron Blair for Shelby Miller.
The 25-year-old Miller went 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA and 34 walks in just under 60 innings pitched. He’s been far from an ace, in fact, he’s a Reno Ace trying to solve his season-long issues in the minors.
Nobody knows how Swanson will handle making the jump from Double-A to the majors but his promotion certainly doesn’t help the public stigma of an organization who has heard the whispers from other executives around baseball.
“This could be very embarrassing for the Diamondbacks there’s no doubt about it, especially if he does well,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Wednesday. “At the time of the trade there were a lot of national people that just laughed at this deal saying how one-sided it was for Atlanta…you don’t get number one picks very often…now here we are just  months later and he’s going to make his Major League Debut.”
The D-backs reasoning behind the eye-opening deal was to acquire Miller to slide into the rotation behind then recently signed ace Zack Greinke. The consensus from within the organization was the re-tooled Diamondbacks could compete for a playoff spot this season. In a cruel, sharp contrast the complete opposite has happened.
In short, this trade could come back to haunt the franchise for many years according to Gomez.
“This has the potential to be one of the worst trades in the history of baseball and certainly in recent memory,” he said bluntly. “It absolutely could be viewed that way.”
Arizona hosts the Braves in a four-game series starting Monday.