The Diamondbacks are nearing an eight-year contract extension with president and CEO Derrick Hall, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The new contract will replace Hall’s expiring contract and run through the 2024 season. Hall has been the club’s president since 2006 and CEO since 2008.
While Hall’s fate looks to be sorted out (with the result coming as little surprise), the same can’t be said of chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and GM Dave Stewart, both of whom are currently in limbo as their superiors (Hall included) evaluate what has been a wildly disappointing season for the D-backs. Stewart’s contract is reported to have an option that must be exercised by the end of the month of August, but Hall tells Piecoro that the team will push that decision back a ways. “We’ve decided we’ll go until the end of the season and then we’ll evaluate everything,” said Hall. “It was pretty successful last year, and we know there have been a lot of injuries, a lot of things haven’t gone our way. There’s a lot to think about here.”
In an effort to take some of the heat off of his baseball ops department, Hall stressed that while La Russa and Stewart may be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the club, he plays a role in those decisions by having a say on final approval as well. “I’m obviously just as guilty with approvals or disapprovals and all the meetings I’m a part of,” he said. “I think we all have to look in the mirror right now when it comes to baseball and really turn the page and start to produce.”
Piecoro also asked Hall about a weekend report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, which stated that Hall and owner Ken Kendrick stepped in and vetoed a trade of Shelby Miller to the Marlins and the dismissal of manager Chip Hale. Hall didn’t deny either report, and in reference to Miller said that he didn’t feel this was an instance of ownership being too involved in operations, explaining that about 95 percent of proposed deals receive approval, but there is also a “small percent that we challenge or push back.” Regarding Hale, Hall simply said that as was the case with Stewart, the team plans to see how the remainder of the season plays out before making any kind of final decision. Hale, like Stewart, has an option on his contract for the 2017 season.
The D-backs have limed to a 53-74 record that is currently tied with the Padres for the second-worst in all of Major League Baseball this season. Injuries to the likes of A.J. Pollock, David Peralta, Chris Owings, Zack Greinke and Rubby De La Rosa (among others) have certainly played a significant role in that lackluster performance but have also magnified the poor results from a number of the team’s other recent personnel moves, prompting speculation about the futures of La Russa and Stewart.