Diamondbacks, Brewers Pull Off Six-Player Swap

Starting pitching is in high demand as usual, and the Diamondbacks added a piece to their rotation, landing Doug Davis from Milwaukee as part of a six-player deal between the two clubs.

Along with Davis, lefthander Dana Eveland and outfielder David Krynzel were included in the trade, while the Brewers acquired catcher Johnny Estrada and righthanders Claudio Vargas and Greg Aquino.

Davis went 11-11, 4.91 with a 159-102 strikeout-walk ratio in 203 innings–marking the third straight season in which he logged over 200 frames. The 31-year-old will likely fill the No. 3 hole in the rotation behind 2006 National League Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb and Livan Hernandez.

Eveland, a 16th-round pick in 2002, spent most of the year at Triple-A Nashville where he went 6-5, 2.74 with 110 strikeouts in 105 innings. He split time between the rotation and the bullpen with Milwaukee in 2006, going 0-3, 8.13 in 28 innings.

Eveland features an 88-90 mph fastball that tops out at 94; plus slider, curveball and changeup. At 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, Eveland’s build resembles that of David Wells, and has had trouble keeping his weight down in the past.

Krynzel spent the majority of the season at Nashville, where he hit .231/.314/.359 with seven homers in 359 at-bats. A plus defender in center field, Krynzel’s greatest asset is his speed and his biggest weakness is his plate discipline. He struck out 107 times in Nashville, and whiffed 245 times in the last two seasons in Triple-A. The 11th overall pick in 2000 is out of options, and could be placed on waivers if he doesn’t make the big league club out of spring training.

On the flip side, the Brewers’ major piece is landing a reliable catcher. Arizona is convinced Miguel Montero is ready for the everyday job, making Estrada expendable.

The 30-year-old Estrada batted .302/.328/.444 in 414 at-bats for the Diamondbacks last year. He spent just one season in Arizona after spending three years with the Braves and two with the Phillies after coming up in the Phillies system.

Vargas started a career-high 30 games for Arizona in 2006, also setting a personal mark for innings pitched with 168. The 28-year-old Dominican went 12-10, 4.92 while throwing four pitches for strikes, featuring a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.

Aquino was originally signed as a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic in 1995, and spent the first four years of his career in the infield before the Diamondbacks converted him to the mound.

Aquino has an upper 90s fastball that sometimes reaches triple digits, and a low 80s plus slider with two-plane break. He went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore elbow in August, but pitched all of September healthy. The 28-year-old went 2-0, 4.47 with 51 strikeouts in 48 innings in his second full season in the majors.