Hall hosts Facebook chat with fans
D-backs president & CEO Derrick Hall interacted with fans on Dec. 11 during a chat on Facebook. Hall discussed the club's latest moves at the Winter Meetings and outlook for the 2015 season.
Derrick: Welcome everyone. Just landed from San Diego and headed over to Chase for this chat. Thanks for being here. I will try to answer as many questions as I can over the next 30 minutes.
Judy Bost Ingold: The D-backs will be back. Keep the faith! Lots of great things going on!
Derrick: Thanks for that. Some of these decisions are difficult for our staff, but we need to create flexibility and bring in more pitching to establish sustainability.
Matt Prince: What is the organization's true goal? Strip the team and a full rebuild or build real depth? Miggy trade was disappointing as far as our return.
Derrick: This is not a rebuild. These are moves to strengthen us now and allow us to sustain it. Our offseason goals were to bring in a big bat and we have done so in signing Tomas, as well as bringing in more starting pitching. It is always tough trading players, but in this game, you have to give something to get something. We now have Hellickson, Robbie Ray, young prospects from Chicago, and I anticipate rotation help in the move that we will announce soon.
Jeffrey Osburn: Considering that the Giants are WS champs and the Dodgers are shaping themselves up to vie for that title, I don't follow why we get rid of starters (Montero, Miley, Didi) in favor or prospects. And prospects that are not going to start for us either. We had the worst pitching staff in the league last year, yet we have not brought anyone in with an ERA in the 3s. I have faith in La Russa but Stewart hiring one of his old clients is suspicious to say the least. In light of the strides the other teams in our own division are making, I don't see how we are improving ourselves to be anything but taking up the basement yet again.
Derrick: We would agree that the prospects came back in the Montero trade and they are a few years away. However, all other moves have been for Major League players who will join us immediately.
Daniel Bienz: I know there's frustration out there, but I appreciate that Tony, Dave & the D-backs seem to be uncomfortable with the results of last season. It's a breath of fresh air, in my opinion, to see some direction from the front office. My question is, though, that these deals seem to send mixed signals about the expectation for next season. What can fans expect from their D-backs on the field next year, down the road, and in future roster moves?
Derrick: Great question. We are trying to win now, but also setting ourselves up for a sustainable and competitive run. We believe you win with pitching and defense, and that is what we are focused on right now.
Mauri Pacheco: Why get better hitters? Why not get better starting pitchers?
Derrick: That is exactly what we are doing with Hellickson, Ray, the prospects we acquired, and the starters coming in from our soon-to-be-made trade. We agree with you. But our offense needs a lift and to be healthy as well.
Mike Broughton: Please explain how fans are supposed to form any loyalty or fan relationships with players when the fan favorites are continually traded away, usually either for has-beens or "prospects". We used to have the #1 rated farm system, especially for pitching, until Towers traded most them away for has-beens. I was glad to see Montero go, but very, very sad to see Miley go. So how much longer can we count on Goldy being around?
Derrick: Trying to get back to that with our farm system, and again, you need to give to get. Having Goldschmidt, Owings, Pollock, Hill, Trumbo, Inciarte, Peralta, Collmenter, Corbin, Anderson, Lamb, Hernandez, Marshall, Hudson, Reed, etc., is a good thing. The plan is not to trade all of our players. It is to create flexibility with one salary in particular to make those other moves that will strengthen our rotation and farm system.
Warren J Sarvis III: Are we gonna go after any more pitching at the Winter Meetings? Thanks.
Derrick: We are certainly not finished. Just because the Winter Meetings come to a close does not mean trade talks end. We are in strong discussions with several teams.
Bryan Johnny: I like the chances being taken to address our recent season finishes. I hate coming in behind the Dodgers ... my question is this: What benefits do we D-backs fans traveling from outside the valley get to look forward to this season from the organization?
Derrick: Better pitching and playing the game the right way. This will be a competitive team that will hopefully be healthy and catch some better breaks than we have.
Joshua Patch: Is the plan to build around Goldschmidt?
Derrick: He is definitely a player to build around. This is an MVP-caliber player who needs protection in the lineup. He changes games with one swing of the bat and sets the example of how to prepare for all other teammates.
Warren J Sarvis III: I also just want to say I am satisfied with all the moves so far. I don't quite understand the Miley trade though. Could you please explain this trade? Thank you.
Derrick: Trading Wade could turn into two starting pitchers and another player to be named if completed. We need a power arm and have identified where those are attainable, and have been in pursuit.
Chris Larson: So many negative people on here who don't understand what it takes to build a winning team. You can't expect to become a contender overnight! Have patience, stay on board, and don't be a bandwagon fan. We don't need any of that around here!
Derrick: Thanks Chris. This is a work in progress, and fans never like to see players they are familiar with leave. I hate to see someone like Miggy go elsewhere. He is a friend and a super guy. It is the tough part of the business. But our baseball ops team has a definite plan, as described after the season and they are sticking to it. We will be a much better team.
Mike Oshaughnessy: First, nice job this offseason, Mr. Hall. You planted some seeds back on our farm ... we were headed for famine. Second, fans who say we need more pitching, go to the website and look at the depth chart. We have a competitive staff in place and two arms coming mid-season that will impact like a big trade. Everyone needs to settle down and let this thing play out. We have almost a full rotation in the system now that in two or three years will make us feared. For now, stockpile and win 81 or 82 like the previous regime.
Derrick: Thanks for seeing the big picture. Stock piling is necessary and refreshing at this point. You can never have too much pitching, and as our fans know, we have given away too much of it recently. We are committed to restocking the cupboards with talented pitching. And we will be getting solid arms back from rehab this year as we also await the arrivals of our strongest pitching prospects who we have been patiently developing.
Justin Robertson: This year you have the No. 1 pick in the Draft. Does the organization value the Draft and why have so many top picks failed to produce for the team?
Derrick: We have a huge opportunity with the first overall pick and the first pick in each of the rounds. The right pick with the number one could make an impact quickly. Every team has their hits and misses in regards to drafts.
Frankie Hayden: I was impressed with the way Peralta and Inciarte stepped up last season. Peralta hit several triples plus stole home and Inciarte went on a solid hit streak. With all the recent changes (addition of Tomas and Trumbo returning to outfield) can we still expect to see them get a good amount of playing time this year?
Derrick: It will be great competition. With the two of them, Pollock, Trumbo, Tomas and Ross, there are great options. We will also try Tomas at third base this winter and spring to see how he looks there and if he can handle the hot corner.
Derrick: Thanks again to everyone. I know changes are not easy, but it will all make sense and hopefully work out, as these guys have a plan.
Derrick:I wish all of you happy and healthy holidays and look forward to seeing you at Chase Field for SUBWAY® D-backs Fan Fest. It is scheduled for a Sunday this year, February 22. Look forward to having you all out for the fun and to meet our team.