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Is Xander Bogaerts a Possibility for the Diamondbacks?

Mike Hazen not ruling out any options to improve the team

Together with several members of his baseball operations team, a relaxed Mike Hazen sat down in his hotel suite to answer questions from the local beat writers. Here is what he had to say on the hot topics of the day. 

Shortstop

With rumors swirling about regarding the D-backs supposed interest in Xander Bogaerts, Hazen was asked directly if he were looking at the free agent shortstop market. He would not get into specific things that may involve free agents. But he made clear the Diamondbacks are looking at any and all areas they can to improve their ball club.

 "We are exploring every avenue to make the team better, and just because something may look on the surface that it's not a fit, doesn't mean we're not engaged in that market". 

He said they've been exploring a number of different things that don't exactly fit the blue print of what they talked about on October 6th at the end of season interviews. 

Bullpen

Hazen also indicated he still might make one or even two moves with the bullpen, and that could come either by free agency or trade. 

"I still want to aggressively pursue trade opportunities as well. We have, we just haven't pushed anything over the finish line."  Hazen said that as free agents go off the board trades become easier to pull off. 

They are still looking to add power to the back end, probably more right than left at this point. When clarifying power he said that it's more about swing and miss than just pure velocity.  He talked about how much pressure was put on the team defense by putting a lot of balls in play late in games and wanting to remove some of that volatility.

Outfielder Trade Scenarios

Asked if he were more likely to utilize the DH to spread outfield at bats around, and whether Jake McCarthy could end up with the heavy half of a DH platoon with Kyle Lewis, or if he were more likely to  use one of the player options he has on all of his outfielders that he mentioned this morning, Hazen gave an unexpected response:

"Either scenario could end up being a scenario, I think where we stand right now we're still pursuing offensive options to add to our team, some of which could fill some of those DH at bats. But short of that, yes, those four outfielders are going to play if they're on the team. But we're still pursuing other offensive avenues that in some cases would eat up some DH." 

Hazen also indicated that they are still open to bringing in another right handed outfield bat that could play both DH and corner outfield.

Draft Lottery

Tomorrow night MLB will hold it's first ever draft lottery. The Diamondbacks have only a 1.4% chance at the first pick, which Hazen said is not looked at as a realistic possibility, he was more intrigued by the chance to move up from number 11 to 6th or 5th, of which there is roughly a 10% chance. 

"I think it's good for the game. There's a level of excitement around it. It's interesting, we all talk about it. Every team that is in the lottery is dreaming about hitting the lottery. "

"Everybody dreams on their own player"

Asked why it's more difficult to make a young player for young player deal, as opposed to the established player for prospects deal, Hazen gave a really interesting response. 

"Because everybody dreams on their own player. We all have outsized valuations of our own player. So when you go to make that trade everybody is always worrying about the worst case scenario, which is my player turns into a superstar and I'm getting the risky young player on the other team that doesn't turn into anything"

In the current environment where he is looking to utilize his young player capital to improve the roster, it forces him into more objectivity when it comes to evaluating your own player. 

"If we were rebuilding the easy move would just be sit tight, don't do anything. Wait and see who rises to the top.....I just don't think we're in a position to do that."

"The other dynamic that's at play is I think the percentage of have nots is way lower than it's ever been.....I think it's probably in the mid 20's somewhere of teams that are realistically looking at contending, or thinking they're contending. Nobody wants to do a prospect trade. And rightly so. Everybody wants major league players."  

Pavin Smith

Smith's Dominican Winter League ended after he participated in 16 games, (he hit .292 with a .920 OPS). That was the plan the entire time, there is no injury. Hazen indicated that Smith is a player they believe can hit and is in the mix for the DH platoon, depending on other moves they might make.