The Diamondbacks are open to talking about trades involving first baseman Christian Walker, The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro reports. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Walker is being shopped, it does provide another view into how the D’Backs could be approaching the trade deadline.
Arizona is in last place in the NL West, with a 39-51 record and sizeable deficits to make up in the division race (20.5 games behind the Dodgers) and the wild card race (nine games). As such, it looks like the D’Backs will be deadline sellers for the third consecutive year, yet their willingness to discuss Walker represents something of a change from the team’s strategy. In both 2020 and 2021, the Diamondbacks were only looking to move shorter-term veterans, rather than deal any core players and trigger a wider-scale rebuilding effort. As such, players like Zac Gallen and Ketel Marte were kept, and Marte even signed a new contract extension prior to the season.
Walker represents perhaps a middle ground between veterans under short-term control and what Arizona considers its core players. Walker is a veteran in own right, playing in his age-31 season, and yet he is still only in his first year of arbitration eligibility. After agreeing to a $2.6MM salary for 2022, Walker is arb-controlled through the 2024 campaign.