Hall: Team overhaul not necessary
D-backs president chats about club strengths for 2008 season
D-backs president Derrick Hall said during a Web chat Thursday that the team is mostly set for 2008, with only a few tweaks and additions needed. He also discussed the status of Tony Clark, Randy Johnson and Chad Tracy, and talked about some of the prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League.
Derrick Hall: Good afternoon D-backs fans. Welcome to today's chat. Let's get started.
cfarris1: Good afternoon Derrick. Would the potential signing of Joe Torre with the Dodgers alter any offseason moves for the D-backs?
Hall: We have a strong plan and direction. Other team's moves would not likely alter any moves we would make. Our baseball staff has determined areas for improvement and will work towards filling those needs.
degameover: What are the plans to improve the D-backs for the '08 season?
Hall: Our young players will improve automatically just by having a year under their belts. As for changes, there are some options. Josh Byrnes and his staff have stated that pitching would be an area for improvement. However, every team wants or needs better pitching. We are in a unique situation where we are mostly set and will be tweaking here and there. An overhaul is not necessary -- just adjustments.
odogfan1: The published schedule for 2008 does not include the exhibition games. Any idea yet what team we will play?
Hall: We are working on the exhibition games. There is a possibility that we could have some international teams in here to play which might be fun for our fans.
cnaylor62: Just read the Q&A regarding Tony Clark. Can we be optimistic by saying the D-backs will re-sign him for two more years?
Hall: Tony is wonderful and he is our leader. I certainly hope we come to an agreement with him. We have been working on it. We have to keep "Anybody. Anytime," alive -- he's the author.
odogfan1: Do you think we will we see Greg Smith in Spring Training? It seem like we could use another lefty in the bullpen.
Hall: Greg pitched well for us this year. He is doing a fine job in the Fall League as well, as is Max Scherzer. Max has been virtually unhittable.
db2007: Will the D-backs possibly sign Curt Schilling or Tom Glavine?
Hall: We will definitely look at all available players, but they need to fit within our chemistry and our budget. We cannot stray away from the plan. We are not big players in the free agent market. We get creative through trades, much like we did with Doug Davis last offseason.
erboxer: We are third-year season ticket holders and would like to change seats. We would like to come to the ballpark to do so. What is the time table for this process?
Hall: We will send out a renewal letter with relocation process included. We are looking at the first couple of weeks of December. Thanks for your continued support.
D-BACXRULE: When you say that we just need to tweak our pitching staff, how are you planing on doing that?
Hall: By adding an arm or two. Our staff was fantastic, and we have only lost Livan Hernandez. Dustin Nippert continues to strengthen, and we have options from Triple-A. It is always a luxury to have extra arms for the bullpen, so perhaps a deal or two will work to our advantage in landing a reliever.
odogfan1: Can you give us an update on Randy Johnson?
Hall: Randy had successful surgery near the end of the season and began rehab in September. We are expecting him to be back and ready to go for Spring Training. He was so valuable to us for that five-game stretch before his season-ending injury.
cherw: Is there any chance that Orlando Hudson will be returning?
Hall: He is a D-back. His surgery went real well and he will back. He had a great season for us and was a major reason for our success. It was unfortunate that he could not play in the postseason.
cfarris1: I have heard that Carlos Gonzalez did well last season. Why wasn't he given the chance like Justin Upton?
Hall: Carlos did have a tremendous season and has a wonderful future ahead of him. Our baseball staff felt that Justin was ready for the move and he proved he was. When Carlos went down with his injury, Upton was the logical choice to replace at that time.
admin1013: What kind of improvements can fans expect at Chase Field next year?
Hall: We will have our new video board up by Opening Day, which will be the largest and nicest in all of baseball. We also hope to have Baxter's Den and the Peter Piper Playhouse moved up to our new kids' section, and a museum built out in center field where those two are now. We may also be introducing a new candy shop in the ballpark with D-backs branded candies.
warthogs50: What are your thoughts on the young, solid hitting outfielder Aaron Cunningham? Any idea as to how soon he'll get called up?
Hall: He has played well for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. I was able to see him play the other day against Team USA and I am excited about his future. He is not far away, which is usually the case when we assign a player to the Fall League.
krodversion2: Are there any plans to revive the MVP Rewards program in 2008?
Hall: Great question. As you know, we were not thrilled with our last loyalty program, so have shelved it until we develop one that will benefit all. In the meantime, we brought back our kids' loyalty program, and worked with Fry's to create a rewards initiative at their stores that was hugely successful. We will expand on that program and hope to provide fans discounts and promotions to be applied at either the grocery store or the ballpark.
cfarris1: What was you favorite D-backs play of the year? Mine was Jeff Salazar robbing Brian Giles of that homer. Can we expect to see him next year? He reminds me of David Dellucci.
Hall: That was a great play. I think of that one, as well as the back-to-back-to-back walk-off games as big moments. Salazar's home run at San Francisco, along with Stephen Drew's home run at Chicago and his walk-off versus Trevor Hoffman were memorable as well. Too many great moments to pick one. Hopefully we will have that same problem next season.
krodversion2: What is the status of Chad Tracy and will third base present a problem when he's healthy?
Hall: Chad is still recovering from his knee surgery and we look forward to his return. When he does, he can play either first or third, which is a luxury. With Mark Reynolds at third and Conor Jackson and possibly Tony at first, we again have some great options. It is always nice to have his left-handed bat and lifetime .300 average in the lineup.
Hall: My time is up. I look forward to my next session with you in December. As we continue to plan for 2008, I can assure you that customer service, affordable pricing and strong performances on the field are top of mind. This season was the start of something big, and we cannot wait for Spring Training.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.