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D-backs trade away three of their best players at deadline

D-backs trade away three of their best players at deadline

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Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Archie Bradley works the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers in a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Mired in last place in the NL West with a 14-21 record and just four weeks left in the regular season, the Arizona Diamondbacks made it clear Monday they would be sellers at the trade deadline.

The D-backs traded away starting pitcher Robbie Ray, relief pitcher Archie Bradley and outfielder Starling Marte in three separate deals.

About two weeks ago, the D-backs were 13-11 and on a six-game winning streak. But since then, Arizona has lost 10 of 11 to fall into the basement.

The Bradley deal

The D-backs sent Bradley to the Reds for outfielders Josh VanMeter and Stuart Fairchild in the deal. The Reds also received cash.

The 28-year-old Bradley has been an important part of the D-backs’ bullpen over the past four years and earned the closer’s role midway through last season. He has a 4.22 ERA and six saves in 10 appearances this season.

Bradley was selected by Arizona in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft. He is 22-25 with a 3.96 ERA and 28 saves in 249 career games. With his long beard and outgoing personality, he was a fan favorite in the desert.

VanMeter has played two seasons in the big leagues. The 25-year-old hit .237 with eight homers, 23 RBIs and nine stolen bases last season while playing first, second, third and left field. VanMeter has struggled in 2020, going just 2 for 34 at the plate in limited playing time. The 24-year-old Fairchild was a second-round pick by the Reds in 2017 and split last year between Single-A and Double-A.

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) throws against the Colorado Rockies during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Ray deal

Toronto acquired Ray, sending Arizona lefty Travis Bergen in the deal. Toronto also received cash considerations as part of the trade.

The 28-year-old Ray was a 2017 All-Star and finished seventh in the NL Cy Young Award voting that year after going 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA. He’s known for his big strikeout numbers and had a career-high 235 last season.

But Ray has struggled with his command so far this year. He has a 1-4 record with a 7.84 ERA. He’s walked 31 batters in 31 innings and given up nine homers while striking out 43. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old Bergen is in his second year in the big leagues. He played for the Giants in 2019 and had a 5.49 ERA in 21 relief appearances. He pitched for the Blue Jays once in 2020, throwing 1º scoreless innings while striking out three.

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Starling Marte scores on a base hit by teammate Christian Walker during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Marte deal

The Diamondbacks received pitchers Caleb Smith, Humberto Mejia and a player to be named in sending Marte, 31, to Miami.

Marte played most of his career with the Pirates, where he was an All-Star in 2016. The two-time Gold Glove winner in left field was traded to the D-backs during the offseason and played well, batting .311 with two homers, eight doubles and five stolen bases while playing center.

The 29-year-old Smith has pitched just once this year, giving up one run in three innings on July 25. He was 10-11 with a 4.52 ERA in 28 starts in 2019. The 23-year-old Mejia made his big league debut earlier this year and has a 5.40 ERA in three starts.

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