Derrick Hall: D-backs move forward after emotional trade deadline
A foursome of MLB trade deadline moves by the Arizona Diamondbacks were about baseball-related flexibility, president and CEO Derrick Hall told Doug & Wolf of Arizona Sports.
While the deals clearly ruffled feathers in the locker room, the team is moving forward hoping to use that financial leeway to improve next year.
Hall said that shortstop Nick Ahmed, manager Torey Lovullo and general manager Mike Hazen have spoken after Ahmed was critical of Hazen’s assertion that the four trades indicated the 2020 version of the D-backs was perhaps set to take the foot off the gas pedal.
“They’ve all spoken, and it’s an emotional time for a team that has gone through what we have and with the expectations being so high,” Hall said Thursday. “Certainly understand the frustration and emotion that was involved. (Ahmed is) a very passionate player, passionate person and one of the leaders on our team.
“Torey is so good at communication,” Hall added. “That’s not something you would ever let go or let continue to boil. It’s already behind us.”
Ahmed was asked Tuesday about a letter to season ticket-holders signed by Hazen and the GM’s comments about looking toward 2021 and 2022 following a busy trade deadline on Monday.
“That’s infuriating,” Ahmed said. “Hopefully, Mike stops making comments like that. No one is packing in the towel, no one’s saying we’re giving up on the season. As a player, that pisses me off big-time.”
Lovullo and the team have been left to move on from those raw emotions and refocus amid 12 losses in 13 games.
Hall on Thursday reiterated that the fire sale was a baseball-related decision. The president said that Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick did not direct his baseball executive team to make cost-cutting moves.
The D-backs traded franchise favorite and closer Archie Bradley, starting pitcher Robbie Ray, center fielder Starling Marte and reliever Andrew Chafin, all of whom had looming contract situations in the next two offseasons.
The added depth in the farm system from the returns, and the savings, indicate Arizona’s forward-looking approach.
“I’m proud of the work that they did,” Hall said of Hazen’s staff. “I obviously support the work they did, I approved it. It’s just so strange how 10 days before that (deadline) … we were talking about where we were going to buy. We were in a position where we thought it was best to see what we could get in return for a few players with contract issues.
“That’s who we are. We have to draft, we have to develop, we said that. For us to be active in the offseason and to build the roster for next year, not only are we going to have to look at the free agent market, but we’re going to look at trades. In order to do so, you have to have depth.”