The latest on the Diamondbacks as General Manager Kevin Towers and Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick opened up a bit on the club's plans..
- Towers told Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com that he has a very open-minded approach to improving the roster and wouldn't rule out a trade of Justin Upton. However, finding the right deal could prove to be difficult. "It's probably going to be very difficult to move him. We've explored it the last couple of years and there wasn't a deal that presented itself that made sense, that we felt was going to make us better," said Towers.
- Kendrick had a similar take in an interview today on KTAR radio, tweets Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. "I would think it’s highly likely that we’ll see Justin Upton in a Diamondbacks uniform next year," Kendrick said. Kendrick also emphasized the club's never-say-never attitude to trades (Twitter link).
- Kendrick seemed to give a less-than-enthusiastic evaluation of right-hander Trevor Bauer. "In an employer/employee situation it’s incumbent on employee to make adjustments to satisfy the needs of the employer," said Kendrick, according to Piecoro (via Twitter).
- When asked if Bauer has a future with the D'Backs, Kendrick responded, "Well he has talent," (via Twitter). Kendrick wasn't asked to expound on his specific issues with the former third-overall pick.
- The club has time to decide on J.J. Putz's $6.5MM option for next season, but Towers termed it a "no-brainer" based on his performance this year and the going rate for closers of his caliber. If Arizona has a sudden change of heart, Putz can be bought out for just $1.5MM.
- Despite falling short of expectations this season, Towers told Bloom that he still believes that the club isn't far from contending once again. The GM also chalked up some of the disappointment for the 2012 season to raised expectations heading into the year.
- Asked about his shopping list for this offseason, Towers said that he will likely target a shortstop to replace Stephen Drew. He doesn't see Willie Bloomquist as a full-time answer given his injury history and John McDonald probably couldn't fill the void at the age of 38. Beyond that, Towers would like to bolster the pitching, but any veteran pitching they acquire would happen via trade. Towers will also look to upgrade at third base this winter.
- Towers won't completely rule out a return for Drew via free agency, but it's not likely seeing as how they already opted to move him this year.
- In general, Towers believes that he will look to improve via trade rather than free agency. The club could free up additional cash by moving an outfielder as they are high on both A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton, though they should already have enough money to contend next season as it stands.