"Probably, since I've been managing, it's the toughest one I've ever done," Gibson said. "He was well-liked, loved him, did everything we asked."
Hinske started just three games for the D-backs, and was used extensively as a pinch-hitter.
"I put him in a tough position," Gibson said. "Had 52 at-bats and didn't get any regular playing time, and I asked a lot of him. He gave everything he had. I told him not to be a stranger, and I hope to see him around."
Hinske's days in the Arizona organization may not be over. It's possible that Hinske could accept a Minor League assignment if he clears waivers.
"He was classy about it," Gibson said. "He understands what goes on, but I know when I got released in '92 how it feels. You're just somewhat stunned, somewhat numb and it's not something you ever forget. So while I'm doing it, I remember that day. But you know what? It's up to him. He's got more baseball in him if he chooses to. He's been designated now, and I think he goes on waivers Monday, and then if he clears, then it's possible that he could rejoin our organization in a different capacity."
Unless Hinske is claimed by another team, the D-backs are on the hook for the rest of the $1.35 million contract he signed during the offseason.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.