D-backs GM Hazen watches standings, doesn’t want top MLB Draft pick

Aug 18, 2021, 4:20 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on ...
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Feb. 14, 2019. (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)
(Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)

Mike Hazen has no shame in admitting he watches the MLB standings.

Currently, that means the bottom of them as the general manager’s Arizona Diamondbacks toil among the MLB bottom-feeders.

“What’s my answer supposed to be?” the GM told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Wednesday. “The waiver (order), you’re seeing what we’re trying to do specifically with our bullpen, is we’re trying to claim guys that we’re giving opportunities to run into our bullpen, guys who we’re going to have control over beyond this year. You’ve seen us do it probably four or five times this month. We’re going to continue to do it.

“That matters. We’re still second (in the order) as of today, but yes.”

That’s a fair point.

Arizona has been aware and active culling the talent of released relievers, most recently grabbing J.B. Wendelken from the Oakland Athletics.

But Hazen also has no shame in declaring something that might be controversial just as the D-backs (38-80) fell out of first place in the upside-down rankings thanks to the spiraling Baltimore Orioles, who on Tuesday lost their 13th game in a row.

Standings-watching is a bit more significant this year considering the stakes.

IMG Academy outfielder Elijah Green, a five-tool prospect with power and speed, is widely regarded as the top player in the 2022 draft class. Some might have considered him a top-five prospect if he were eligible to be drafted this past year.

Regardless, Hazen would rather the Diamondbacks keep creeping up in the standings, as they’ve done with four wins over the last five games that has expedited the Orioles catching them in the tanking rankings.

“And as far as the long-term, if your question was more about do I want to finish with the first pick, no I don’t, frankly. I do not,” Hazen firmly added. “That is not something that (I want), wearing that around your neck through the entirety of the offseason.

“I think we’ve proven in the draft that we can find good players at six, we’ve proven in the draft we can find good players at 15, and frankly, we’ve proven that we can find good players in the 30s. So yes, I understand what the first overall pick can mean in cases, but that’s not something that I would like to have happen, no.”

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D-backs GM Hazen watches standings, doesn’t want top MLB Draft pick