Exclusive one-on-one chat with GM Hazen

January 19th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Steve Gilbert's D-backs Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

When the D-backs headed into the offseason, they had a number of goals -- strengthen the bullpen, find one or two right-handed bats, add to the catching position, add a veteran leader in the clubhouse, resolve their glut of young left-handed-hitting outfielders and possibly add some starting-pitching depth.

They checked off all of those boxes, though it remains to be seen if the bullpen will produce better than last year. So I thought it would be a good time to get D-backs general manager Mike Hazen's thoughts on the offseason.

MLB.com: It seems like you guys accomplished a lot of what you set out to do when the offseason began. How do you feel overall about how the offseason went?

Hazen: I think it was OK. On paper, I think we're stronger and deeper. I'm not sure that we necessarily raised our ceiling from that standpoint where we made some moves in terms of players being traded out and traded in. But I do think longer term, I think we're set up in a better, deeper, stronger situation. And I've said to you guys before, like I feel like the upside for us on our roster is the continued growth of the players that were already here, and there's still a lot of room for that to happen for us. And my hope is that we're going to continue to see that this season, and that's going to translate into more wins.

MLB.com: Are you still working on some things? There's still some time before camp opens, so could there be any other additions?

Hazen: Yeah, my expectation is from a reality standpoint, you're probably looking at non-roster invitees at this point. But in some cases there could be some trades that happen, and there's still opportunity for us in the free-agent market, too. So it's hard to say. We're still actively looking for help -- strength to the bullpen specifically.

MLB.com: You guys always talk about wanting a lot of competition in Spring Training, and it seems like you've built the roster to the point where you're going to have a lot of it both on the pitching and position-player side of things.

Hazen: Yes, look, there's not going to be a lot of jobs pinned down when we walk into camp, specifically the back end of the rotation and then the bullpen, and that's a good thing. So I think there should be a level of urgency around earning those spots. I think that competition is going to be healthy in Spring Training.

MLB.com: It seems like when you have depth like you do in the rotation, a lot of people wonder how you're going to find a place for all of them. Is that a concern?

Hazen: That's not a real thing. That's never a real thing because you always wind up needing more. Things have a way of working themselves out in those situations.