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D-backs inquired about Hamels, Chapman

PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Dave Stewart acknowledged that the team has recently checked in on the availability of Phillies ace Cole Hamels and Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

Arizona is looking to fortify its bullpen as well as add a top-of-the-rotation starter that is controllable beyond this season.

As for the Hamels interest, it sounds like at this point the Phillies' asking price in terms of young talent is more than the D-backs are willing to deal.

Trading young players in the system that the D-backs feel can help in the near future appears to be something the D-backs are not going to do.

"In the case of Cole Hamels, I'm not prepared to do that," Stewart said. "It's a going-to-be [trade] that's going to hurt us in a lot of different places. And when you think about that and you look at your rotation and how close we are, it's probably better to wait until the end of the year, evaluate where we are at that point and then strategically plan on who the guys are that fit for what we're trying to do and where we're trying to go."

Chapman, though, sounded like a tempting target for the D-backs.

The fireballing left-hander is under club control for one more year after this, and while Brad Ziegler has done a very good job as closer and Daniel Hudson has settled into an eighth-inning role, the seventh inning has been an issue.

"We think we have some comfort with Zig and Hudson in the eighth and ninth, but the seventh has been kind of a bouncing ball for us and it's been a hit and miss," Stewart said. "So if you add a Chapman and put Zig back in the role that he's been used to -- which is the setup role in the eighth -- and if we keep Huddy in the bullpen, he now becomes the [seventh-inning pitcher] and our starters should certainly be able to get us to six."

Chapman, though, would not come cheap and if Stewart sticks to his guns about not trading away some of the organization's young players it might be tough to find a match.

"This is one of those when you walk into it -- this guy is an impact type closer -- so when you walk into it, you've got to have an idea that there's going to be a cost to pay," Stewart said. "I'm going to go down the path and see where it takes us. Like I said, if I can see that we have an opportunity to do something good without killing us, then we'll explore it. I don't know if it's likely or if it's not likely, but I do know we are talking about it."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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