Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Kevin Towers of the Diamondbacks, Jerry Dipoto of the Angels and Rick Hahn talked to the media today about pulling off a three‑way trade. Here are some of their answers.
MODERATOR: We’ll let each gentleman make an opening statement, and open to questions.
KEVIN TOWERS: I want to speak for all of us here, I think we’re all pretty excited about what transpired in the last half hour. We all addressed some of our biggest needs with us acquiring a power bat with Paul Goldschmidt, we’ll give him some protection. Mark Trumbo coming from the Angels, and with Rick we’ll get an opportunity to get a great leadoff guy in Adam that will be going to Chicago.
But for us, we came here to these meetings looking for pitching and looking for power. We tried to add offense, and we’ve got a guy that we can control now for three years. Two of the probably better right‑handed power bats in the National League, and excited for spring training. Excited to see how it all works. Had to give up a lot to get it, but I think we’re all pretty happy with how things worked out.
JERRY DIPOTO: I agree with that. For us we came in with a shopping list and looking for young, controllable starting pitching, guys that can make an impact in the big leagues sooner rather than later. Feel like after Santiago’s and Tyler Skaggs, we were able to address those needs. It doesn’t come without its element of pain. Loosing Mark Trumbo is not an easy thing for us to do. We love him as a player and a person and we’ll miss him. But for us to sink our teeth into a 26‑year‑old and 22‑year‑old lefty, to move forward with, we feel like we have a very good move for our organization, and we’re looking forward to seeing it get out there.
RICK HAHN: It’s nice when you’re able to have three clubs up here all feeling good about things. Obviously as Jerry pointed out, it does hurt a little bit, but it costs something to get something. Giving up Hector Santiago, a strong, young left‑handed starting pitcher who was tremendous in our clubhouse and a great individual, he’s going to be missed.
But those who have followed our club closely, you know we had a number of positional player needs. We had a problem getting on base last year. We lacked a little bit of energy and a little edge. We weren’t a real balanced lineup. And adding a guy like Adam Eaton at the top of the order, who is going to bring that energy, hit left‑handed, play solid defense and get on base for us for the next five years is an opportunity that was too good to pass up.
Q. For Rick Hahn, with Eaton, obviously he had the injury early last year. What did you see from him in the second half when you came back that kind of let you feel good about him going forward after kind of a setback here?
RICK HAHN: The elbow injury wasn’t something we felt and our medical people felt would be a long‑term issue. We were able to see the same player who knew the strike zone and was able to work the count, had a short, compact, line drive stroke, ran well, obviously not affected by the elbow injury and still had the plus arm.
So we certainly paid attention to what he looked like coming back from that injury, but it was the kind of thing that shouldn’t be a lingering issue. We didn’t feel it was the same as last year.
Q. Rick, team speed and on base percentages for last year, did you feel you accomplished two things with one move here?
RICK HAHN: That and balancing out the lineup too was another issue for us here that motivated us to get this done as well as the character of the individual. This is a dirt bag baseball player. This is a guy who has been described to me by someone at this table with words I can’t use. But looking to give us an edge that we were lacking a little bit in recent months. He’s a real nice kid for us. He’s one of the names at the top of our target list. He’s probably been a pain in J.T.’s side since he started the off‑season, and bugging him about Adam Eaton, which you can attest to. And we were able to work something out three ways to make everybody happy.
Q. Jerry, do you think both these guys will benefit from moving into a more pitcher friendly ballpark?
JERRY DIPOTO: Yeah, I don’t know too many pitchers that wouldn’t prefer to pitch in a pitcher friendly place. So the answer to the question simply would be yes. I don’t know in this particular case if that is the primary reason why I would acquire him. We believe in both pitchers, their stuff, their upside. Obviously Santiago has had success at the Major League level, and we believe he’ll transition just fine into our park, and it gives Ty a place to pitch that he’s a little familiar with and fits his style. Again, we have the opportunity to get the reps out there, which is an important thing.
Q. Rick, I guess (indiscernible) said he prefers to play in the corner outfield. You’ve got a bit of a crowded house, do you have any thoughts about what’s going to happen there in the corner outfield and what’s going to go on?
RICK HAHN: We do view Adam as the centerfielder for the next several years is the plan right now. With De Aza and Viciedo, we have the option of obviously keeping them both and letting Robins play match‑ups based upon on the opposing pitcher or choices he wants to make on any given day or we’ll likely continue to receive calls on both those players that we’ve had over the last several weeks.
At the end, if we break camp or have all four of those or all three of those players on our roster from opening day, there are ways to make it work.
Q. How did this come together? Did it start with two of you talking to each other and one of you brought the third in that started the GM meetings and it continued? When did it all start to get rolling?
KEVIN TOWERS: Actually, Rick and I have been discussing Eaton for some time, probably over the last month. He just needed to know if he had a direct fit at the time. We would have talked about Mr. Sale. I imagine we might have been doing something directly. But I still can’t get him to budge there.
Actually two days ago we met with Jerry. You know, to me a lot about making trades is relationships. And somebody who worked alongside me a couple years ago who knows our system very well, and specifically Tyler, knew they were looking for young pitching and controllable pitching. We had a good, brief meeting and sent him a text. Said, can I get your attention in that Trumbo deal for Skaggs and Eaton? Sure. Why don’t you come down and talk? So that’s where it all kind of began. I think he had more of a need for pitching and brought up Santiago’s name to me. I said I think there might be a nice little three‑way here because I know that Mr. Hahn and the White Sox really would like to have Eaton. They like their left‑handed pitcher like our left‑handed pitcher. We like your right‑handed power hitter, and it basically came together rather quickly. Probably within the last 24 hours.
Q. Jerry, do you see both Skaggs and Santiago starting the year in the rotation or one of those guys in the bullpen or the minors?
JERRY DIPOTO: Right now they’re both on the map for us as starting pitchers. There is a lot of time that has to transpire between now and opening day.
One of the things we like most about Hector is his versatility. He’s been successful in the big leagues as a starter and middle reliever. Right now we’d line up with both guys as starters in our equation, but there is still a lot that has to happen between now and opening day.