Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall discussed his organization’s upcoming trade-deadline plans — or, really, the lack thereof — in an interesting recent chat with Zach Buchanan of The Athletic (subscription link). The whole thing is essential reading for the Arizona faithful, but we’ll examine a few key bits relating to the trade deadline.
Hall made clear, first and foremost, that the organization is entering the deadline period without a scripted approach. At the moment, it’s not clear what stance the Snakes will take. “[A] lot could be cleared up over the next few weeks,” he says, as the standings shift in the run-up to July 31st.
Just when and how that’ll be resolved remains to be seen. Intriguingly, Hall even seems to hint that he might rather see the current roster declare itself in one direction or the other more decisively. Per Hall: “We haven’t played great of late, and other teams have struggled as well, which has kept us in it, which is not necessarily a good thing for us.”
It’s not surprising to hear that the Arizona outfit will operate in a flexible manner. As Hall explains, that has been the modus operandi of GM Mike Hazen and his front office. “[O]ur guys, what they like to do is a little bit of both,” Hall said when asked what a sell-oriented deadline might look like, referring to the org’s twin pursuits of acquiring “pieces that can make an impact now” and “rebuilding that farm system.”
If there’s a broader takeaway from the chat, it probably lies in this line from Hall: “I don’t think Mike is in favor of a complete rebuild, and we’re in support of whatever direction he decides.” The organization clearly has placed quite a lot of trust in Hazen’s judgment. And it is obviously interested in maintaining consistent competitiveness while perhaps also achieving inflection points of real contention.
The D-Backs’ long-term vision carries echoes of successful, low-revenue clubs. After referring to the Paul Goldschmidt swap as “a deal that we really had to make,” Hall explained:
“That’s what [the front office is] always going to look to do, bring in young talent that can help the roster now. Even though you may be making moves that are moving some of your assets that we don’t have control over for a long time, you can still bring in individuals you will have that control over but who can impact the roster now.”
It’ll certainly be interesting to see how things play out this summer and beyond. Players such as Robbie Ray and David Peralta could deliver nice returns with one year of control remaining; veteran ace Zack Greinke might finally be dealt away to clear up the team’s books. It seems fair to assume that Hazen will have an open mind on those and other assets, but it’s tough to say at present which particular players will end up being discussed in earnest over the next three weeks.