Creativity will help D-backs move at Meetings

GM Hazen keeping payroll in mind in search for additional pieces

December 10th, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Winter Meetings open, D-backs general manager Mike Hazen will continue to work at improving the roster of a team that made the postseason this year for the first time since 2011.

So far this offseason, the D-backs have added to their bullpen by acquiring right-hander Brad Boxberger from the Rays and claiming lefty off waivers from the Red Sox, but they will look to do more.

Among Arizona's priorities will be to add more bullpen arms, find a catcher and add some outfield depth.

Hazen takes to-do list to Winter Meetings

The D-backs used a three-headed approach to their catching situation in 2017 with Jeff Mathis, Chris Herrmann and Chris Iannetta, and they hoped to bring back all three.

However, Iannetta signed a two-year, $8.5 million deal with the Rockies on Friday, leaving Arizona with just Mathis, Herrmann and John Ryan Murphy as catchers on their 40-man roster.

That the Rockies were able to outbid the D-backs for Iannetta is not surprising. In returning just about all of the key pieces of their 93-win team from a year ago, minus J.D. Martinez and Iannetta, the D-backs are looking at a payroll of around $115 million, which would be a franchise record.

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If Hazen wants to continue adding pieces, he'll have to get creative, for instance taking a flier on Owens, who was once regarded as a top prospect in Boston, or working a trade that doesn't involve taking a big contract in return.

Will Hazen be able to make any deals at the Meetings, which run through Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft? Stay tuned to where we will have you covered. Hazen will sit down with the media each evening, and we'll keep you posted on what he has to say.

Hot Stove Tracker

In addition, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo will hold a news conference on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. MT. How does Lovullo intend to reconfigure his lineup with the expected departure of Martinez? What roles will and Boxberger fill in the bullpen? We'll be sure to ask him those questions.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. I'll also try to answer questions via Twitter at @stevegilbertMLB, so please give me a follow.

With signed and the trade of just waiting on a physical, the Hot Stove figures to heat up this week. Make sure you stay tuned.