During a live web chat, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall answered questions from fans about the Mark Trumbo deal, sabermetrics, adding a front-line pitcher and more.
Derrick_Hall: Good afternoon everyone. It is good to be back from Orlando where our baseball staff was hard at work. I want to thank you all for joining me today.
tdog19: Do you think trading Skaggs and Eaton was a wise decision since we got Trumbo? Because Eaton was really good.
Derrick_Hall: I agree with you on Eaton and am a fan of his. You always have to give something to get something and KT made it clear that along with a strong starter, our desire was to land a big power bat. Trumbo was the fourth best power hitter statistically last year and it will be nice to have him hit behind Goldy. He is also a terrific young man with a work ethic and desire to improve and win that fits the character of this team. The depth we had in outfielders gave us the ability to make a move, and we have great confidence in A.J. Pollock's ability to play center field for us.
scout01: Besides staying healthy, what do you see as the most important elements to having a successful team?
Derrick_Hall: That will have a lot to do with it. We suffered a tremendous amount of injuries last season and never really fielded our entire team at any point. We have a great deal of confidence in this team. Aside from the blown saves and injuries, there was a lot to be proud of and build upon. We need more consistency from our starting pitching, and need to close games the way we did in 2011.
tdog19: First of all Mr. Hall, Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving! Secondly, who are the prospects we get from the Angels and the White Sox?
Derrick_Hall: Thank you. Happy holidays! We will be announcing the prospects soon, as we make those final decisions based on the lists that we submitted with players we really like.
magikmike: Congratulations on landing the big bat. Are the D-backs done with upgrading the offense and focused on upgrading the pitching only for 2014?
Derrick_Hall: We will still look to add to our pitching either through free agency or trade.
tdog19: Who will be the closer now that Bell is gone?
Derrick_Hall: Heath was not necessarily our closer last season. He did close some games, as did J.J. Putz, David Hernandez and Brad Ziegler. Brad was actually our closer in the end and did a terrific job. It is nice to have many options, but we clearly would like to get back to defined roles again this season.
cslaurel: Good Afternoon, Derrick. I just want to ask about the trade for Mark Trumbo -- I read that he is a first baseman. I wonder why we would need another first baseman when we already have the best in the league, Paul Goldschmidt?
Derrick_Hall: He has most of his experience at first base, but also has playing time in the outfield. He is excited to play out there in left with the athleticism we have in center and right. We have added Dave McKay to our coaching staff, and he is one of the best outfield coaches in the game. We look forward to him working with Mark immediately. He already has one of the strongest arms in the game, one that scouts put a "70" on - a very high mark, with him being a former pitcher.
MichaelJay: What part of your Australia trip did you most enjoy? How long did you, Paul and Pat stay?
Derrick_Hall: I enjoyed watching how much fun Paul Goldschmidt had while there. He was like a kid in a candy shop and the media and fans just loved him. It is a beautiful place and they are very passionate about sports. All of our players seem eager to get there and I hope those D-backs fans who have the ability and means to travel there will be able to. We have worked with Sydney to come up with affordable options for fans.
MichaelJay: I really appreciate the upgrades to the Season Ticket program. Every year it gets better and better. What most excites you about the changes for 2014?
Derrick_Hall: I am very proud of all of the perks and benefits we have compiled for our season ticket holders. We are receiving a huge positive response to all of the new payment methods and options. We will always challenge ourselves to come up with more for our fans to experience. We are leaders in the industry when it comes to season ticket holder treatment and service.
tdog19: Are we going to re-sign Daniel Hudson? In my opinion, he is the best pitcher we've had since Webb and Johnson.
Derrick_Hall: We know he wants to return, and we want him to as well. We will do all we can to make a return here possible. He is working hard, and there is nothing more I want when it comes to him and his return than to see it in his D-backs uniform with the familiar #41.
dc15nc: Good afternoon Derrick. Do you, Kevin Towers, and the rest of the D-backs front office measure players by Advanced Sabermetrics Stats or do you think those are blown up too much?
Derrick_Hall: We do use the stats, and in fact, some of the advanced metrics show that Trumbo could drive in as many as Goldy did this year. We believe an organization needs a strong balance between scouting with eyes and experience, and utilizing numbers and projections.
snakesnos: Hi Derrick. Who do you envision being our back up catcher this year? Is Tuffy ready for the role?
Derrick_Hall: I think Tuffy is ready and he will definitely compete for the job. We usually like to bring in a few veteran player to compete for the back-up position as well.
ssher25: Hope your health is still doing well. How do you think the vote to eliminate home plate collisions will be viewed by purest fans and impact game?
Derrick_Hall: Thank you so much. I am very happy with the new thoughts on the home plate collisions. I care about the safety and longevity of our players, and that is one of the most dangerous aspects of our game that we can avoid with the new policy. My opinion becomes even stronger when I see Hall of Fame catchers and some of the greatest plate blockers in history saying they are all for it.
sweetpea11: Are the D-backs still looking for a front line pitcher and will that be a RHP or LHP?
Derrick_Hall: We are absolutely still looking. As for which arm he throws with, we are not that close yet. There are several options we have been considering, but it comes down to cost, both monetarily and with prospects. We also need to firmly consider that some of our staff missed games last season due to injury and that a prospect like Archie Bradley is getting closer and closer to the Major League level.
MichaelJay: Is the ownership group really ready to commit to a $100 million plus salary target for 2014?
Derrick_Hall: Yes, we are fortunate to have an ownership group that continues to commit. As revenues grow, so will our payroll and overall spend. They have never put a dime in their pockets and never will. We are doing all we can to push the envelope and build a consistent winner.
ssher25: Congrats on the Diamondbacks being ranked #7 in this year's PBJ Best Places to Work in your category. Mr. Hall, how do you think the vote to eliminate home plate collisions will be viewed by purest fans and impact game?
Derrick_Hall: We appreciate that very much. I am proud of our culture and workplace. It starts with the employees, who this award is all about.
Derrick_Hall: Thanks to everyone for joining us. I wish we had time for more questions today. This is always an exciting time for baseball fans and D-backs fans. We will continue to improve this team for your enjoyment. Please be safe, healthy and happy this holiday season. Go D-backs!