Baseball is math now, right?
Well, the math has changed for the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is like going from multiplication tables to common core. Everything you once thought was true is not anymore.
The Diamondbacks were used to dealing with one financial behemoth in their division in the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have become Amazon; they are so big and so profitable that nothing is really beyond their scale. The Dbacks are a mom and pop shop that has barely kept the doors open the last few years.
Now, a new giant is threatening to change everything all over again.
The San Diego Padres have arrived and this isn't your fathers Padres.
In this instance, one plus one is not two baseball giants standing in the way but the new math says the Dodgers plus the Padres equals impossible for the Dbacks.
This is the same Dbacks team that told MLB insiders that they viewed 31 year old Christian Walker too valuable to trade at the MLB trade deadline. The same team that passed on the chance to cash in on Merrill Kelly's trade value as he won the NL Pitcher of the Month for July hours before the deadline because they, well, I'm not really sure why.
This is the same team that has resisted the necessity to trade any player at the peak of their trade value the last three years under some delusion that this failed core of a roster would somehow evolve to take down the Dodgers. Robbie Ray, Ketel Marte, David Peralta and now Merrill Kelly are all players that at one point have had rock solid trade value but stayed put so the Dbacks could lose with familiar faces.
Now the Padres are here and everything has changed.
That's not the only thing that has changed in the last few years. The Mets have an ultra aggressive billionaire owner. The Braves just spent nearly $400 million on their first and third basemen. The Phillies still play in Philadelphia. The Cubs and Giants are sitting on piles of money biding their time. The Cardinals and Brewers are winning now and both have enviable farm systems.
The Diamondbacks? They have a consistently empty stadium, a flaccid lineup and zero buzz.
The only bright spots are a few top prospects that have either arrived or will be arriving soon to at least change the names and faces of the lineup. But its not enough.
The only other thing the Dbacks have to sell right now? A five hour road trip or quick flight to San Diego; the cost of a trip to Petco Park from Phoenix would make more sense than a trip to Chase Field.
At least the Padres know how to do math.