GM Hazen discusses Aug. 2 Trade Deadline

June 15th, 2022

PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Mike Hazen is in a wait and see mode when it comes to whether he will be a buyer or seller come the Aug. 2 Trade Deadline.

After losing 5-3 to the Reds in 11 innings Tuesday night at Chase Field, the D-backs are 29-34, a vast improvement over last year's 110-loss squad, but they are 10 1/2 games behind the first place Dodgers and Padres and 7 1/2 games behind in the battle for the final of three NL Wild Card spots.

"I don’t think the course has manifested itself," Hazen said. "I still think we have some time to go. I think I’ve been pretty consistent at past deadlines. We need to be in position to do those types of things [buy]. The team is going to dictate how we’re kind of looking at things. I want to win as many games as possible. I want to compete until the end of the season for a playoff spot.

"You know, we’re going to have to be mindful of where we stand in the world -- in the division and what that might mean with the extra playoff spot. That’s great, it affords us more than it had in the past, especially with the way our division is shaking out. But I think it’s going to be a little bit before I can really give a firm answer on that."

While Hazen has been aggressive before at the Trade Deadline, like when he nabbed J.D. Martinez in 2017, one thing he has avoided for the most part is trading any of his team's elite prospects.

The one time Hazen did part with a top prospect was at the 2019 Trade Deadline when he traded second baseman Jazz Chisholm to the Marlins. However, Hazen got back another top prospect in that deal, right-hander Zac Gallen.

"The one time we did that, we did it for a specific purpose," Hazen explained. "As good as both of those players have been, I’d do it again -- in the sense that if we had that type of opportunity. That’s usually not a normal occurrence."

Hazen tends to view the Trade Deadline as a way to get a jump on the offseason and given where the D-backs are in their building process, if they're buyers this year they would likely be looking for a player that still has some years of club control.

And along the lines of getting a head start on the offseason, one item that is on their to-do list is to get a little more balance in their lineup. Right now, the D-backs are heavily left-handed.

"It’s been a focus of ours for a decent part of the season," Hazen said. "It’s not something that’s been available to us, really, to reconfigure that at times. But yes, we have been heavily loaded left-handed for the majority of the season. Getting a little more balanced makes some sense for the future. Probably makes more sense on the infield, but I still think having right-handed-hitting outfielders to spell [regulars] on those days is a way we could configure it, too. I wouldn’t say it’s just infield, but infield is probably an easier path."

In addition, the D-backs could look to add to their bullpen or starting pitching depth.

For now, Hazen said they've touched base with seven to eight of the 30 teams as teams are just now starting to have initial discussions.

"We’ll carve through almost every team [over] the next 10 days I would bet," Hazen said.

As for where those talks will lead and where his team will be come the time trade talks really heat up is less of a sure bet.