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D-backs add veterans during Winter Meetings

D-backs add veterans during Winter Meetings

D-backs add veterans during Winter Meetings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The D-backs were the center of a lot of blockbuster rumors during the Winter Meetings this week. But while they were not able to swing a trade, they crossed several more items off their winter to-do list.

Looking to add veteran presence to the bench as well as upgrade their options on the left side of the infield, the D-backs inked veteran Eric Chavez, who will partner with Chris Johnson to handle the third-base duties.

Arizona further strengthened its bench by adding first baseman Eric Hinske, who can serve as a left-handed complement to Paul Goldschmidt while also offering some power for late-inning-pinch-hit situations.

And the one move that general manager Kevin Towers said he had to make coming into the Meetings -- finding a backup catcher -- he accomplished by re-signing Wil Nieves.

The D-backs remain in multi-team trade talks involving right fielder Justin Upton and Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera as the centerpieces, but deals like that are tricky to pull off and appeared to be a less-than-sure thing as the Meetings came to a close.

That is fine by Towers, who said, while he will remain open to deals, he no longer feels compelled to do anything.

"We're not in a situation where we have to chase anything," he said. "We'll just kind of sit and wait for the right deal to present itself or not. If we go to Spring Training where we're at, we're OK."

As the rotation stands right now, the D-backs have Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill and Wade Miley slotted in. That would leave Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer leading a group of young prospects competing for the final two spots.

Ideally, Towers would like to add a veteran to that mix to not have to rely on the younger hurlers, but that is easier said than done given the demand for pitching throughout baseball.

"We've got a lot of young pitchers to compete for those last two spots and we're fine with that," Towers said.

Deals done: Signed Hinske to one-year, $1.35 million contract. Signed Chavez to a one-year, $3 million contract. Signed Nieves to a one-year, $800,000 deal.

Rule 5 Draft activity: The D-backs selected right-handed pitcher Starlin Peralta.

Goals accomplished: The D-backs solidified their bench and filled their one glaring need at backup catcher. Towers has long favored an experienced bench, so nabbing veterans like Hinske and Chavez fit his modus operandi.

Unfinished business: The D-backs still have one too many outfielders and would like to free up some playing time for Gerardo Parra by dealing Jason Kubel. However, they won't deal Kubel if they trade Upton. Arizona is still in the market for a veteran to add to its rotation, though that is looked at as more of a luxury than a real need.

Team's bottom line: "What I wanted to do was kind of leave here kind of filling really the key holes, which was our bench and our backup catcher, and we've done that." -- Towers

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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