The Arizona Diamondbacks made a move on Tuesday. The details of the trade were covered by MLB.com's David Adler and they are as follows: "The D-backs have acquired Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez...Arizona sent prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King to Detroit" (July 18th). A look at the standings could actually make the deal seem pretty risky due to Arizona's probability of having to play in the NL's wild card game.

Dodgers' lead too big?

The Diamondbacks have parted with prospects for talent right now, roughly two weeks ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline. Certainly, if they plan to compete with Los Angeles in the National League West, they had to make a move without delay.

But therein lies part of the reason why this trade requires some analysis.

Heading into Wednesday, the Diamondbacks are so far back of the Los Angeles Dodgers that catching them doesn't seem realistic. Not only would the Diamondbacks have to play excellently to overcome a 10.5-game deficit in the next two and a half months, but they would need the Dodgers to slow way down. Heading into Wednesday, Los Angeles has won 30 of their last 34 games. That's unbelievable and they may yet challenge for a .700 winning percentage this season.

What does that mean for the Diamondbacks' playoff outlook? It means that Arizona is probably heading for the NL's one-game playoff - at best. The next-most-likely scenario is that they don't make the playoffs at all, a scenario that seems improbable.

But overtaking the Dodgers in the NL West is a distant-third possibility. Martinez is some insurance that could help the Diamondbacks make it to the Wild Card game, but here's the thing: if you project yourself as heading toward that scenario, at best, is parting with the farm a good idea? Even if you upgrade your current big-league team, baseball has too much parity.

The do-or-die one-game playoff presents a 50-50 coin toss in a straight-elimination game.

Marginal better outlook for Arizona?

The Diamondbacks were already huge underdogs to win the NL West and large favorites to make the Wild Card game. Maybe their chances of winning that one-game playoff in the future are better now, but the difference might only be slight with the addition of Martinez.

If you are going to trade the farm for help in the majors right now, you should do it to win a division's pennant - not to coin-toss in the Wild Card game.

The only way the trade makes sense is in light of Arizona's recent slide. They enter Wednesday winners of just two games in their last 10. While getting Martinez can't be expected to help the Diamondbacks avoid the coin-toss Wild Card game, it seems that maybe they were worried about just making it there.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!