Hall chats Winter Meetings online with fans

Hall chats Winter Meetings online with fans

D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall chatted with fans online about the many moves the D-backs made during the 2010 Winter Meetings.

Derrick Hall: Welcome to today's chat. Just returned from the Winter Meetings, where our baseball staff was plenty busy. It was exciting to watch.

ruthie350: What's with hiring all these ballplayers over 35 ... wouldn't it be more cost efficient to bring young players up from the minors?

Derrick Hall: One of our objectives this offseason was to actually bring in some experienced veterans who have strong leadership qualities. Mora and Blum bring a tremendous presence and help balance the age of the team. Veteran free agent signings were a huge part of the Giants success this past season.

dbacker20: Any news on Brandon Webb?

Derrick Hall: Brandon is now a free agent and testing the market. He elected free agency shortly after the season.

schuetze: Hello. I am from Germany. What are you thinking for first base or left field the D-backs?

Derrick Hall: We have option right now that include Parra, Allen and Gillespie for left field, and Mora and Blum for third base. We will continue to talk to teams about possible trades and test the free agents available as well.

Hinchtoblame: Who can be our first and third basemen in 2011?

Derrick Hall: And at first right now, we have Miranda, Allen and Blum.

vindeaz: Is Miranda "big league ready", and what is the likelihood that he is our starter at first with Konerko committed to Chicago?

Derrick Hall: Yes, he spent time in the Majors with the Yankees, but was behind Teixeira. He has great power and is good defensively.

schuetze: Thinking you must sign another starter -- is the starting five good enough?

Derrick Hall: Our starters look pretty good. We have Hudson, Saunders, Kennedy, Enright and Duke. Additionally, we should be prepared to see Parker join us at some point during the season.

bigbear5928: Great job on changing the bullpen, the trade of Reynolds. What do you think of Lee at first base and Thames in left field?

Derrick Hall: Thanks. We obviously needed to focus on the bullpen and Hernandez, Putz and Mickolio make us stronger. That has been our trouble spot the last two-three seasons for sure. As for the free agents you list, we will discuss and investigate most for our positions that have need.

sirsimon: D-backs! LOWEST MLB ERA IN 2011! LOVING THE MOVES.

Derrick Hall: Thanks. The reaction to the moves has been positive. Now we need them to perform. We are in a division that has great pitching. I certainly hope we can compete, but everyone can look to the Giants and see what happens with strong pitching.

phx_mike9: How do the moves of the other teams in the division affect the moves you make?

Derrick Hall: We are always watching one another, but each team needs to stick to its own plan. There is a lot more of the "chase" in other divisions. We have to remember who we are and how we will get better with a solid blend of home-grown talent and free agents who fall within our budget.

ceilm: Mr. Hall, thank you for making yourself available. This is my first chat. What changes do you anticipate manager Kirk Gibson making starting in Spring Training?

Derrick Hall: Thanks for joining us. Gibby is excited for spring and cannot wait to set the tone. It will be professional and efficient. The players will be held accountable and will understand his game plan. He and his new coaching staff will most definitely have the players' attention from day one.

bizzob: What is the likelihood Jarrod Parker starts the season in the rotation?

Derrick Hall: He will impress everyone in spring, that we are confident about. But we need to do what is best for him and his entire career. He did not pitch all season, and we need to ease him back into competition. It probably makes more sense to start him at Mobile and let him get his legs under him again. He will push it though because he is such a competitor. He is a special talent who we are lucky to have and eager to see.

ceilm: Is there going to be more emphasis on on-field performance and less on the fan experience now that we have a more "seasoned" manager?

Derrick Hall: We have always wanted to emphasize both, but we are definitely more focused on team performance right now. We will always provide the best experience off the field for our fans. But now we are focused on improving on the field as well due to the backward steps we seemed to take the last few years. This coaching staff has tremendous experience and knows what needs to be accomplished.

bkarizona: When will the D-backs be free of debt for players no longer on our roster?

Derrick Hall: The large payments we have been making will be behind us for the most part at the end of 2012.

ceilm: Yes, but the Giants did it mostly with pitching. How are we doing on that front?

Derrick Hall: No doubt! Their pitching carried them. They constructed their roster well last year with the additions of seasoned veterans as well. We have good young pitching, and believe we can compete.

vifinn: I was wondering if you guys are going to trade Justin Upton and what you are looking for as far as prospects if you do trade him?

Derrick Hall: There are no plans to trade Justin - he is a rare talent. However, we will listen to teams interested in any of our players to see if we can improve. The cost for trading for a player like Justin is probably far too rich for any other team.

squirrel85: Are the D-backs looking into retiring Randy Johnson's number? Holla atcha boy D-heezy!

Derrick Hall: Great message! We are very interested in retiring Randy's number, and his will be the next one. We just need to work with him on timing, logistics, and if he is ready for it.

bloski1: What other moves are expected for the offseason?

Derrick Hall: We will look at free agents for back-up catcher, outfield, and perhaps first base. But again, we already have several pieces in our system for each of those. We can expect to see a left-handed reliever or two signed as well.

vifinn: Are you guys sticking with Stephen Drew as your shortstop? Last year there was a rumor he might be traded.

Derrick Hall: Stephen Drew is our shortstop, and we are thrilled that he is. There are plenty of teams who would be interested in Drew, but he is too valuable and that is a tough position to fill.

markyj: Pumped up, just ordered my Holiday Pack tickets. Depending on the moves, I may order more.

Derrick Hall: I appreciate hearing that and appreciate all of the excitement and support out there for the upcoming season.

lancer777: Is Jarrod Parker going to build his arm strength and innings to be a starter at AAA, and ultimately be a starter with the big league club during 2011?

Derrick Hall: We want to build him back up. Double-A is more pitcher-friendly. He does not necessarily need to go to Triple-A before coming to Arizona.

bloski1: Is Kirk Gibson still going to expect players to mingle with fans and sign autographs?

Derrick Hall: You bet! It is very important to both he and I. That is one of the qualities I love about Gibby.

vifinn: What did you guys like in your Rule V Draft Pick, Joe Paterson today?

Derrick Hall: He has a very deceiving delivery and has always had success against left-handed batters. He was acquired to be our left-on-left specialist, or at least have the opportunity to compete to be such.

Derrick Hall: He has a very deceiving delivery and has always had success against left-handed batters. He was acquired to be our left-on-left specialist, or at least have the opportunity to compete to be such.

Derrick Hall: We have run out of time. I tried to go a bit longer because we had so many questions. I am grateful to all of you who joined me today. This has been an exciting off-season and it will get even more exciting as we approach spring training. Go D-backs, and we will see you at Salt River Fields!