Hall joins fans for a Web chat
D-backs president discusses the upcoming season
D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall chatted with fans about Fan Fest, Spring Training, a multiyear contract for Mark Reynolds and Brandon Webb's presence in the rotation.
Hall: Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for joining me for today's chat. Hard to believe Spring Training starts next week. I cannot wait!
lancecole: Are all of the health issues with Conor Jackson resolved?
Hall: He seems to be fully recovered. He played exceptionally well in the Dominican Republic during winter ball and has had no setbacks during his workouts here. He looks really good and is motivated for a strong return.
dbakmaniak: Will the D-backs be retiring Luis Gonzalez's number even though he probably won't be entered into the Hall of Fame?
Hall: It has been our internal policy to only retire a number after the player enters the Hall of Fame. We are actually reconsidering that. We have worthy candidates, like Gonzo, who deserve consideration and perhaps the recognition.
rockstar11: Hi Derrick! I am looking forward to Fan Fest this Saturday. My question is, do the players choose their own at-bat/pitching warm-up music or does the person who plays their music do it for them?
Hall: They do select their own music. This season we will ask them for a few choices, so that we have the ability to play one of their picks that may be more upbeat in crucial moments, rather than a downer of a song. I look forward to seeing you Saturday. It will be another great event.
PrplQueen: Are the D-backs switching back to purple yet? Just kidding. Are the restaurants in Chase Field staying the same as last year? I hope there will be more healthy foods available. Also, the D-backs need bigger sized clothing for women in the team shop.
Hall: Purple Queen! I love it. Most will be the same, but we are replacing Garcia's with Macayo's this upcoming season. They cooked for all of our employees today and it was outstanding. Our staff is excited about the change.
degameover: I am a huge D-backs fan and I like the trade the team made to acquire Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the pick up of Andy LaRoche to be Reynolds' backup. However, I am confused as to why the D-backs let Trent Oeltjen go instead of offering him an Opening Day spot.
Hall: Trent had a great stretch when he was called up for a bit and is a terrific kid. We have several outfielders as it is. With Conor Jackson returning, and likely seeing the majority of his time in left with the arrival of LaRoche, he now joins Chris Young, Justin Upton, Gerrardo Parra, in addition to others who can play the outfield when needed, like Ryan Roberts. It becomes a numbers game.
rockstar11: Derrick, when will the new Spring Training facility be completed?
Hall: It will be ready for next spring. We are making tremendous progress out there on the site and it will be the best in baseball. I'm bittersweet about this being our last spring in Tucson, but this new site will be impressive and will provide an amazing fan experience.
lancecole: What role will Randy Johnson play in the organization, if any?
Hall: We have had a few conversations and are both excited about the possibilities. One thing we both agreed to is that it will probably be best for him to take this first year off to spend with his family after his long and successful career. We both decided to keep an open dialogue and create the ideal job description for him over time. It looks promising at this point.
lancecole: Will the D-backs be making a solid offer to keep Reynolds here for a long period of time?
Hall: It makes sense for us. There are a few other players in that same category, who are core parts of this team and our future, and we would like to secure them to long-term deals.
Thanatos: What is your view on the proposed taxes for the Cubs' new ballpark in Arizona?
Hall: I am with the other 13 teams of the Cactus League on this one. We want the Cubs to stay, but do not think it is fair for fans to have to pay taxes for a new facility. It is a terrible precedent to set. What happens when the Brewers' lease comes to an end in two years? How about the A's, Padres, and Rangers, and a few years after that? Will they demand or expect the same? What about the A's, who asked for a few million to upgrade their facility before extending yet were denied? Or the Angels, who spent millions on their own for Tempe Diablo. I believe in a fair approach for all teams who are committed to Arizona. And I definitely disagree with charging our fans extra to build it. I would like to entertain other solutions to keep them here.
dayday95: Do you plan to move Chris Snyder?
Hall: There were some trade possibilities in the offseason that did not pan out. Honestly, I am glad they did not. We were able to expand the budget a bit and get creative with free-agent signings so that his salary still fits. We are a better team with a catching duo of Snyder and Miguel Montero.
gonzofan01: I have a question about the autographed tickets. Can up to four for each session be purchased like previous years?
Hall: Yes, it is the same as last year. Up to four per person, per session is permitted. Enjoy the day!
rockstar11: What will happen to Tucson Electric Park after this Spring Training?
Hall: Hopefully they will be able to attract other Major League teams from Florida in the near future. We tried to do so in order to stay, but were unsuccessful. We believe Tucson needs four teams for it to really work from a travel and competitive standpoint. I also understand that the county is looking at some international teams as replacements for the White Sox, Rockies and D-backs.
Thanatos: What is the plan if Brandon Webb is not ready to go by the start of the season?
Hall: Ouch, don't say that. We are obviously hoping he will be ready. There is less pressure on him with Dan Haren, Jackson and Kennedy, but he definitely changes the look and feel of the rotation. We have some depth for the fifth spot, should we not sign a free agent, and for spot starting, should there be minor injuries.
dlj108951: As a resident of Tucson, I can't wait for Spring Training to start, but I'm very sad this will be the D-backs' last year here. Have you considered anything with Tucson ties past Spring Training?
Hall: Absolutely. With my wife being from there and my in-laws still living there, I need to, unless I want the locks changed. We are looking at special discounts for all Tucson or Pima County residents to hopefully get them up to the new ballpark. We will still have a strong presence there with TV, Training Centers camps, perhaps Fantasy Camp, etc. We are also planning a Tucson Appreciation Day in Spring Training this year, and hope to have Tucson Appreciation Nights during future regular seasons.
az_todd: How much flexibility do the D-backs have for potential moves during the season?
Hall: We always try and hold some flexibility in the budget for moves that we can make, should we be in a tight race or setting up for a playoff run. I certainly hope that is the case this year.
Hall: I am being told we are out of time. These were some great questions and I appreciate the excitement expressed over Fan Fest and the upcoming season. I hope to see all of you here at Chase on Saturday for the SUBWAY D-backs Fan Fest. Thanks again everyone, and go D-backs!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.