Hazen's thoughts as Winter Meetings close

December 11th, 2020

PHOENIX -- As the (virtual) Winter Meetings wrapped up Thursday with the Rule 5 Draft -- the D-backs selected right-hander Zach Pop in the Major League portion but immediately traded him to the Marlins for a player to be named -- general manager Mike Hazen held a conference call with reporters.

Here are some key takeaways from the session:

There are no imminent moves for the D-backs at the moment

That is, of course, subject to change with one phone call. There was an uptick in conversations this week, but Hazen wasn’t sure whether to chalk that up to the Winter Meetings or just things starting to get moving.

“There’s been more conversations, but nothing really closer,” Hazen said. “There are some things lost without the Winter Meetings. We would probably have more random meetings with other teams. I don’t know if that spurs on more discussion that leads you to a deal, but there’s probably more secondary activity that happens, information that you pick up.”

The D-backs are getting the most inquiries from other teams on their starting pitching

In general, most conversations -- both incoming and outgoing -- have centered around pitching for the D-backs, which makes sense since they need to add to their bullpen and they do have some starting-rotation depth.

With Major League Baseball (hopefully) returning to something closer to a regular 162-game schedule next year, the ramp-up in innings for starters may make depth more important. With that in mind, Hazen said the team will need to have a backup plan to replenish its starting depth if a pitcher gets traded away.

“I think we have to be in a position to listen to what people have to say,” Hazen said. “I think we’re somewhat reluctant to talk about pitching, just because of our feeling on the amount of pitching we’re going to need.”

Don’t ask about the payroll

Hazen did not want to entertain any questions as to what the team’s payroll situation would be or even if it was set. This has been his policy since the end of the regular season and reflects a desire to not give away a competitive advantage by letting other teams know.

Much love for Archie, but not talking about him either

A lot of D-backs fans were clamoring for the team to sign Archie Bradley back after he was non-tendered by the Reds recently. With the D-backs looking for bullpen help, could Bradley be a good fit?

“I’m not going to comment on any one specific free agent and what our goals are,” Hazen said. “I love Archie Bradley. I don’t think that’s a secret. I love what he did for us for so long. But I’m not going to get into any specific conversations or strategy with the offseason.”

They haven’t given up on reworking the offense

The D-backs' offense has struggled for extended periods over the past three seasons and there’s been much discussion about how to avoid that in the future. Is it approach? The wrong mix?

Several key players like Eduardo Escobar struggled offensively, and a return to previous production levels would help.

“We’re still being mindful of where we can add to our offense and improving our offense,” Hazen said. “Something we’ve talked about before, with regard to getting our guys back to where we were wrapping up in 2019, and looking for ways to supplement the offense if we can.”

Stay tuned

With the non-tender deadline over and with the free-agent market beginning to move a bit recently, the Hot Stove may heat up soon.

“I still think there’s a ton of activity coming,” Hazen said.

How much of that will involve the D-backs remains to be seen.