The Diamondbacks lost to the Red Sox tonight, Boston completing the sweep of Arizona. That's nothing new. In fact, it marked the visitors' thirteenth consecutive defeat on the road - the last time they won away from Phoenix was exactly a month ago, beating the Marlins in Florida. Since Arizona came into being in 1998, there's been only one longer streak by a National League club - Washington lost sixteen straight road games in 2008-09.
It seems that the team is beginning a rebuilding process, with the trade to Oakland earlier this week of Conor Jackson, one of the longest-tenured Diamondbacks - only catcher Chris Snyder had been with the team longer. Dan Haren commented after the deal, "Nothing that happens from here on out would be a surprise to me... We understand that things have to change." General Manager Josh Byrnes seems to agree, saying...
"We aren't where we need to be in the standings and as far as sort of the things we'd like to do to adjust the roster, there's also payroll considerations as we try to sort of get ready for next year."
The word around baseball is that Kelly Johnson is perhaps the next Diamondback to be traded. He has been performing brilliantly this year, and could well be the team's lone representative at the All-Star Game. This would encourage the team to sell high, and with Johnson's club-friendly contract, as well as him being under team control for 2011 (his third arbitration year), there would seem to be potential for a decent haul.
However, it might not stop there, with the club willing to listen to offers for almost anyone currently on the roster. The only "untouchables" would appear to be third-baseman Mark Reynolds, right-fielder Justin Upton and starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who has an ERA+ of 127 in his first full season, and could quite possibly be the best of the chips traded between Arizona, Detroit and the Yankees over the winter.
Otherwise, after finishing last in the NL West in 2009, and looking likely to do so again this season, the Diamondbacks appear ready to rip it up and start again, less than three years after reaching the National League Championship Series.