Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen tells Jody Oehler on The Drive, Fox Sports 910 Phoenix that he has recently talked with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and has been transparent about the ball club's open-minded approach to the offseason
“We just try to be as transparent and as honest as possible with all our guys, but certainly with Paul (Goldschmidt) more than anything else. You know I had some conversations, had a chance to meet with him as we were winding down towards the end of the season and into the offseason. Just trying to be as transparent as possible knowing that this is a very volatile game in the sense of what you’re trying to accomplish. We don’t really know what exactly is going to transpire. I think the position we’re in now is we need to be open minded to multiple constructions. Not just looking at the roster and say “well if we just add one more guy we’ll be “X”.” I don’t really feel like we’re in that position right now.”
The GM tells Fox Sports 910 Phoenix the D-Backs will be searching to boost an offense which struggled in 2018
“For us, we feel like there are obviously some changes that need to be made on that side of the ball (offense). If we’re comparing the offense to the defense/ (and) pitching”
“As an offense we have to uncover every rock. I don’t think there is any one thing that we can sit here and talk about today say if we fix “X,” we would shoot to the top five-to-ten offensive teams in baseball. I think it’s probably more systemic than that.”
Hazen believes the D-Backs need to take more risks discovering hitters in particular
“Taking even small risks by giving opportunities to players, growing those players, coaching those players maybe into becoming a different offensive profile-type of player. I think what separates you today is that your ability to take on the right risk. Give opportunity to the right risk is ultimately going to lead to more success. That’s what we’re more focused on. I do think there is a path to success on there on the offensive side. Something that we started doing and are trying to do, but we need to do more of.”
Hazen says the Diamondbacks are looking to improve their overall hitting philosophy and offensive personnel. He believes re-signing Eduado Escobar takes a step in that direction, who signed a 3-year, 21-million dollar deal.
After leading the NL West at the beginning of each and every month of the MLB season the Snakes failed to reach the playoffs for a second consecutive year. A feat only accomplished once in franchise history, 2001 and 2002. Hazen thought the '18 ball club failed in crunch time in previous areas of strength.
“It certainly came to down a number of different areas that sort failed us. The challenging part for us is a lot of those areas were strengths for the majority of the season. Especially on the pitching and defensive side of things. We were one of the best pitching and defensive teams in baseball and that those seemed to get away from us a bit in September.”
The general manager shed more light on the offensive struggles from the catching position and how it isn't a priority
“We emphasize defense behind the plate. The catching position has so much impact on what you’re trying to do from a pitching staff standpoint. We’re not the same pitching team without executing behind the plate.”
Hazen tells Jody his ideal dream catcher is Boston Red Sox great, Jason Varitek. Also Hazen says bullpenning isn't expected to come to Chase Field anytime soon from the home dugout
“It’s not the first place that we’d like to go.” And “I would prefer to have five starting pitchers but it’s not something we’re going to close our minds to.”