12/17/2013 6:54 P.M. ET
Dealing D-backs not finished in busy offseason
Towers focused on locking up frontline starter and bringing back Chavez
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- So far this offseason the D-backs have acquired a power hitter in Mark Trumbo and a back-end reliever in Addison Reed, but general manager Kevin Towers still has a big item left on his wish list.
"Still looking at starting pitching," Towers said.
In addition, the D-backs would like to add a couple of bench players, in particular Eric Chavez, but the big ticket item is still a frontline starter.
Of course wanting to add a frontline starter and actually being able to are two different things.
There are still some pitchers available on the trade market such the Rays' David Price and the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija, but the D-backs are hesitant to trade any more prospects after dealing David Holmberg, Tyler Skaggs and Adam Eaton so far this offseason.
Arizona still has one of the top pitching prospects in the game in Archie Bradley, but the team has thus far refused to part with him.
So without being willing to drain the farm system any further, the D-backs will need to look to the free agent market for help.
The D-backs' top target appears to be Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka should he be posted, but there figures to be quite a bidding war for him and whether the D-backs could compete with some of the big market teams remains to be seen.
Towers said Monday that the team was not in a holding pattern waiting to see if Tanaka gets posted.
"I think we're focused on the guys that are here stateside," Towers said. "If for some odd reason he becomes posted, then we'll circle back there."
They have been interested in free agent right-hander Matt Garza, but they may be hamstrung by their desire to not offer more than a three-year contract to a pitcher not named Tanaka.
"I see us being probably more cautious when it comes to term than it is dollars," Towers said. "Not that dollars aren't important too. I would say that's still probably an issue with us. If it's beyond three years, I don't think we feel comfortable going there."
Since Garza does not have draft pick compensation attached to him, he's been getting a lot of interest from teams and seems almost certain to get a deal longer than three years.
So for now it seems the D-backs will wait and see if either the trade or free agent market prices come down as well as what happens with Tanaka.
In the meantime, Towers continues to try and get Chavez re-signed. The D-backs made an offer to him earlier in the offseason, but Towers said Chavez's main desire was to be on a contending team and so he wanted to see what moves the D-backs made.
An answer could come before the end of this week or early next week.
"I think both sides would like to have some kind of resolution before we break for the holidays," Towers said. "So I'm hopeful by the end of the week we should know one way or the other and I'm hoping it'll be him being a D-back."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.