Arizona Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall answered questions from fans during his December Web chat. Hall chatted online about Winter Meeting trade rumors, acquiring another starter, Daniel Hudson's recovery and improving on the basepaths next season. Derrick_Hall: Good afternoon, everyone. What a day, as we were just recognized as a Best Places to Work company for the seventh straight year. chrisb8s: Tell us a little about some of the prospects in the farm system that have a chance to make it to the big club?
Derrick_Hall: We have a great deal of pitching prospects, with Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer, David Holmberg, Archie Bradley, Charles Brewer and Chase Anderson, to name a few. Three of those pitched here at the big leagues last year. Naturally there was a lot of interest in these names from other clubs. tdog19: Hello Mr. Hall. Are you still looking to trade outfielders? If so, who? Derrick_Hall: We are not so much looking. We have a great outfield. We will keep fielding offers, but we are happy with what we have. Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra, Justin Upton, Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock will all be in the mix. teddy1934: Merry Christmas to you, your family and loved ones and all the D-back fans, Derrick. Wishing you a happy and HEALTHY New Year, too! Will we ever hear about Mark Grace on the website in the future now that he's no longer a employee? Derrick_Hall: Thank you. I am regularly in contact with Mark and have let him know we still want him to be a part of this organization. I am a huge Gracie fan. He will likely be in uniform this spring helping out our staff and I anticipate finding the perfect spot for him soon. tdog19: Do you have a plan yet for center field? Derrick_Hall: At this point, we are comfortable with Eaton and Pollock, and Parra looked great there as well last year. fvk8: I've heard rumblings of an impending Kubel trade. Do you envision Parra as the starting left fielder for most of 2013? Derrick_Hall: That would be the case if Kubel was moved. Right now, the plan is more in line with sticking to what we have. fvk8: How is Daniel Hudson's recovery from Tommy John surgery going? Any chance we'll get him back before the All-Star break? Derrick_Hall: He would like to be ready before then, but we need to be smart and careful. Rushing his schedule would be a mistake. He cannot wait to get back out there, and obviously I cannot either. But he is doing extremely well. tdog19: Are Miguel Montero and Wil Nieves going to be the only catchers? Derrick_Hall: I am glad we re-signed Nieves on Wednesday. He was a strong backup last season once Henry Blanco was injured. dbacks2007: Which D-backs players have committed to play in the World Baseball Classic? Do you worry about pitchers playing in the tournament? Derrick_Hall: There are no commitments yet, but several of our players have received an invitation. Playing does not concern me that much. Players are equally at risk of injury playing in Cactus League games. The World Baseball Classic is great for our sport. dbacks2007: Good afternoon, Derrick. Upton has now been mentioned three times in the last year or so as being involved in a possible trade. How do you discuss this type of thing with the players? There has to come a point where Upton says, "Enough is enough -- trade me." Derrick_Hall: I understand and agree how frustrating it must be for players. He has handled it well. Unfortunately, there will always be interest in Justin because he is such a good player. Teams have come to us on him for the last few years, but we have never made a deal. We owe it to all of you to listen and see if we can improve our team with any potential move. dvrabbit: Good afternoon, Mr. Hall. How are the team, coaches and players addressing the problems with running the bases? I feel if the D-backs were a little more disciplined in that area, we could score more runs, and win more games. Derrick_Hall: Absolutely. It was a very disappointing part to our season. That is one of the key areas of focus. Manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers have been interviewing first-base-coaching candidates who have a history in successful baserunning. Huge focal point. jdaz: What about shortstop? Derrick_Hall: Always looking to upgrade, but we are more than comfortable with the group of Cliff Pennington, Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald. tdog19: Besides Paul Goldschmidt, who else will be playing first base? Derrick_Hall: We have signed both Eric Chavez and Eric Hinske, pending physicals. They can both play first base. Those are two veterans who will bring us experience and power off the bench as well. fvk8: Do you think that Ian Kennedy will be able get back to 2011 form, or somewhere close to it? If not, is it possible that we could trade for a true ace? Derrick_Hall: He won 16 games for us last season and looked a lot like 2011 for his last two months. tdog19: Who do you have in mind for the starting pitchers? Derrick_Hall: We would like to acquire another starter through free agency or trade. He would join Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley and either Corbin, Skaggs, Josh Collmenter or Bauer. And we would still have Hudson coming back from surgery later in the season. fvk8: Thanks for doing these chats, Mr. Hall. I tried to follow the Winter Meetings as best I could, and I of course saw a lot of Upton rumors. An Upton-for-Asdrubal-Cabrera trade doesn't really seem all that fair -- were those rumors false? Derrick_Hall: Most of the news that went out was false. It is always fun to read that one of your players is close to being traded, even though you have never spoken to a team about him. Lots of speculation. It is a constant rumor mill. tdog19: What are the options for second base? Derrick_Hall: We are thrilled to have Silver Slugger Aaron Hill back. He sure delivered last season. Coop2303: Greetings from Australia, Mr. Hall. If the likely happens and Upton isn't moved, would you discuss an extension with him, to make him the D-backs marquee player and if so, do you possibly think he would even consider it after all the trade conjecture? Derrick_Hall: We are fortunate to have him for three more years as the contract currently exists. Jypsy_Jen: Hi, Derrick. Any special plans for FanFest this year? I've been looking forward to the start of 2013 and I can't wait to see what the team has in store. 2013 is the year of the snake! Go D-backs! Derrick_Hall: Thanks. Subway D-backs FanFest will be terrific again this year. You can expect to see what you have in the past, and then some. Additionally, we announced that our first Race Against Cancer will take place that morning and lead right into it. Derrick_Hall: Thanks to everyone for being a part of this today. We appreciate your interest and support and cannot wait for spring to start. Go D-backs!