2/6/2014 8:02 P.M. ET
Gibson easing players in to closer competition
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There will be a competition for the role of D-backs closer this spring.
Just not quite yet.
With J.J. Putz, Addison Reed, Brad Ziegler and David Hernandez apparently candidates to close, manager Kirk Gibson said Thursday that he wanted them to take their time getting their arms in shape before the evaluation process begins.
"My goal for our pitchers is to get them all to throw the ball the way they're capable of throwing it and to be able to throw with confidence," Gibson said. "Then we'll figure [the closer] out. I don't really want them to come out here tomorrow and try to impress me because they want to be the closer."
Putz has been the team's primary closer since 2011, but during an injury-plagued 2013 season he was replaced by Ziegler, who did a nice job in the role.
Hernandez struggled last season after posting outstanding seasons in 2011 and 2012, during which time he was looked at as the closer of the future.
Reed came over from the White Sox -- where he was 40-for-48 in converting saves -- in a surprise trade this offseason.
"We've got the schedule laid out for good reason," Gibson said. "I want them to go out and throw their pitches, get their delivery together, get efficient with it. We're going take our time and be patient with that."
D-backs reach one-year deal with Trumbo
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs signed outfielder Mark Trumbo to a one-year contract Thursday, and according to a baseball source, the deal is worth $4.8 million.
Trumbo was the final Arizona player eligible for salary arbitration.
Trumbo, whom the D-backs acquired from the Angels in a three-team deal in December, submitted a $5.85 million figure in the arbitration process, while the D-backs countered with $3.4 million.
Trumbo played at first base and third base and in the outfield during his time with the Angels, but the D-backs see him strictly as a left fielder.
"He's very athletic," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think he will be more than adequate out there."
Trumbo has prodigious power -- he smacked 34 homers last season -- and the D-backs are excited about having him take some of the weight off the shoulders of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
"We think he's a young guy, he's emerging, he's got a lot more left in his tank," Gibson said. "He's got huge power. He swings and misses probably a little more than anyone would like him to. I think that's something that as he grows, that he'll be better at and he'll have more connectivity. He's going to be a huge guy in our lineup. He's going to have a huge impact on our team. He's got a great personality. He's one of those character guys. That's why we got him."
Blanco to lead as veteran player, or rookie coach
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- One way or the other, it seems, Henry Blanco will be with the D-backs this year.
The 42-year-old veteran catcher was invited to camp as a non-roster player, and he will be battling Tuffy Gosewisch for the backup spot behind Miguel Montero.
Should Blanco not win that competition, it appears the team will hire him to be its assistant hitting coach. The D-backs did not fill that role this past offseason after making overtures to Blanco about it.
"We'll see how that works out," Blanco said. "Right now I've got my mind on trying to make this club as a player, and we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks."
Blanco played for the D-backs in 2011 and 2012 before departing via free agency, and the team was eager to bring his leadership back to the clubhouse in some capacity.
Blanco had other offers this past offseason, but he chose the D-backs because of the relationships he had built during his previous stint with the organization.
"Obviously this is the place," Blanco said. "This is the place I want to be, and hopefully everything works out good. We won the division here two years ago, and it was pretty special."
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.