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D-backs Mike Hazen Playing Catchup at GM Meetings

Following a long postseason run, the Diamondbacks front office has been scrambling to get ready for offseason moves.

Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen was among the 15 National League executives to address the media yesterday in Scottsdale during the GM Meetings taking place at the Omni Resort and Spa. He touched on a wide range of topics, 

He's certainly not content to rest on the laurels of a season in which  team won the National League Championship, making it all the way to World Series. Citing the fact that the team won 84 games despite a  -15 run differential and also having lost several key players to free agency, Hazen indicated there is a lot of work to do to strengthen the roster. 

Playing Catch up

One of the challenges Hazen and his baseball operations team is facing is that they were focused on trying to win the World Series for so long that they got a late start to their offseason preparations and planning.  "We're just coming out of the coma right now, just trying to get our arms around the market"  Asked directly if he felt he was behind in the process of evaluation he said  "Yup, but I'm also wired to want to plan very far ahead ......I've tried to step off of being so hyper focused of being planned out ahead and just trying to enjoy this October."  

Now they're playing catch up, starting extra early in the mornings and working a lot of late nights to be ready to go for these meetings and the rest of the offseason. As Hazen said however, "you make that trade-off 100 out of 100 times." 

The D-backs are a little ahead in their free agent evaluations and explorations. Typically in the past they would have already had numerous discussions throughout the month of October to know who might be available in trade.  But he was unable to have any of those conversations during the playoff run, and they've really just begun the trade market exploration this week. 

Arizona as Destination

Beyond making the World Series, Hazen believes that having the young core who are playing an exciting brand of baseball makes the team more attractive to potential free agents. "When you have a bunch of prospects, Major League players don't really care about prospects. They want to have young teammates who are really good".  This was an element that Evan Longoria often cited when discussing why he came to Arizona, and that element can only be enhanced by the season they just had. 


Like virtually every other team, pitching is at the top of the list of needs, , especially starting pitching. Hazen echoed the sentiments of virtually every GM we spoke to. "Pitching always rules the game, it always has, I think it's going to continue to do that. We need pitching we're going to be involved aggressively, hopefully in both the trade and free agent market."


The Diamondbacks ranked near the bottom of the league in production from the DH spot for most of 2023. Rather than try to go with one set DH, they used the position to rotate players through the spot, helping with their load management. While that approach did not provide a lot of production from the DH spot in the order, Hazen felt it still had benefits and indicated the team would likely continue to use the DH in that manner. "the value of keeping guys fresh and healthy is also looking at the production of particular players you also have to factor in the amount of rest they get too in order to produce, and I think that's part of it, or if you have an injury that doesn't require an IL stint, that's also a value for the team"

Third Base

The team will still try to be aggressive in addressing third base, despite having the backup option of moving Geraldo Perdomo to third base and starting Jordan Lawlar at shortstop.  Pressed several times as to whether having those options lessens the urgency to fill the third base void via trade or free agency, Hazen insisted he would still be aggressive. 

Ivan Melendez, Deyvison De Los Santos and Third Base

Melendez is playing third base in the Arizona Fall League at the moment. De Los Santos has played both third and first base throughout his minor league career. When Melendez was promoted from Hillsboro to Amarillo, he received most of the playing time at third and De Los Santos was moved over to first base most of the time. While some have speculated, Hazen said we should not assume that Melendez will definitely be moved back to first as they are satisfied with his work at the hot corner, but did he also did not rule out a return to third for De Los Santos either.

'They're going to get to a point now moving forward where it becomes as much about where you slot in on a major league team as it does what can you actually do."   Christian Walker is a free agent after the 2024 season, so it seems likely one of these two prospect, if not both, could get a chance to replace him in 2025

Free Agent Spending

With the Madison Bumgarner failed free agent contract on the mind, I asked Hazen if such an experience would make him more hesitant to wade back into the deep end of the free agency pool. His answer was succinct. "No, not at all, if it did I'll go find another job"

Tommy Pham and Veteran Clubhouse Presence

Hazen spoke about Tommy Pham's impact on the clubhouse. "I felt like the tone and tenor of our clubhouse in terms of the day to day seriousness with which we approached winning and losing changed.  He was as disciplined and hardworking as any player we brought into our clubhouse."

While Hazen declined to discuss specific free agents, when asked if veteran clubhouse leadership will continue to be an important area in their search to add players, he was emphatic once again. "I feel like the culture of our clubhouse was a major reason why we overplayed  not necessarily our base talent level, but our record and run differential, and won 10 games in the postseason, I think that was a major component for us"

2024 Draft

With Corbin Carroll likely to win the NL Rookie of the year, the Diamondbacks will receive an extra top draft pick. Hazen stressed the importance of next year's draft. ""This draft is going to be really important for us........We could end up with three picks in the top 36, which would be awesome. We moved our draft stock fantastically back 10 spots over that 30 day [postseason] window, which we would always trade for, hoping we would move back one more spot. As it is we're going to be in a pretty good spot coming into this draft"