D'backs Add Eckstein

Blue Jays get minor league reliever for veteran shortstop




The Deal
The Diamondbacks acquired veteran shortstop David Eckstein from the Blue Jays, sending high Class A righthanded reliever Chad Beck to Toronto in the trade.
The Big Leaguer
Eckstein, 33, has been his usual pesky self this season, batting .277/.354/.358 with 24 walks and 27 strikeouts in 260 at-bats for the Blue Jays, hitting predominately first or second in the lineup. Though his range has diminished and he never has had more than average arm strength, Eckstein continued to see most of his time in the field at shortstop. He's a career .286/.351/.362 who has played shortstop for two World Series winners: the 2002 Angels and the 2006 Cardinals. The Diamondbacks won't be committed to Eckstein beyond this season, as he's on a one-year, $4.5 million deal. 
The Prospect
The Diamondbacks selected Beck in the 14th round of the 2006 draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette, and he's worked mostly as a reliever since signing. The 23-year-old righthander made 15 starts (out of 25 appearances) for high Class A Visalia this season, moving from the Oaks' bullpen to the rotation in June and going 6-5, 3.98 with 89 strikeouts, 25 walks and eight home runs in 95 innings. Beck also spent 17 2/3 innings with low Class A South Bend, where he struck out 19 and walked three. His future figures to be in the bullpen, though the Blue Jays plan to start Beck so that he can develop his average slider to go with a plus 94 mph fastball.
Quick Take
Beck is the second Arizona A-ball reliever to be dealt for big league reinforcements this summer, joining Evan Scribner, who went to the Padres in the Diamondbacks' trade for Tony Clark.

In the absence of Orlando Hudson, Eckstein will function as Arizona's starting second baseman down the stretch. Despite minimal big league time there, it's the position he played throughout his minor league career.

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