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The Winter Meetings and Arizona: Rumors and News, Day 3

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"As a group I was not real happy with the attitude of the ball club at the end of this year. I certainly know, with losing clubs sometimes comes bad attitudes, but we definitely need to change the culture in our clubhouse. We need to bring more winning type players into the fold. Guys with a little bit more grit and a little bit more fire.

I sensed from our clubhouse at the end of the year a little sense of entitlement, guys being comfortable. What Kirk and I talked about is that we want to make it an uncomfortable clubhouse. We want guys to earn playing every day. That's our hope, that when we come into spring training, it will be a different culture. I think our fans will see a different attitude to our ballclub. We're not going to lay back and let the game come to us - we're going to press people, and be playing with a little bit of grit and fire."
  -- Kevin Towers speaking on KTAR

Interesting comments from Towers to chew over, as we head into the second half of the winter meetings in Florida. Will we get our "alternative" outfielder? Might Gerardo Parra or Brandon Allen be traded? Is Mike Hampton coming back? We'll update you as necessary... [Updated: 5:15 pm]

  • Paul Konerko signed with the White Sox, so cross him off. Three years, $37.5m, with a lot of money in the third year deferred. According to Nick Piecoro, we offered him 3/$30m or so. [Hat-tips to Emily and TheMusician]
  • Tom Verducci writes about the bullpen rebuild. "The acquisitions of Putz, Hernandez and Mickolio fit Towers' established style: he doesn't care much about balancing righties and lefties, he likes different looks among his relievers and he likes a trick pitch or tricky delivery sprinkled in his 'pen."
  • Nick has "Heard the Dbacks have some interest in Reds OF Chris Heisey," but it is "internal discussions only, at this point." I'm presuming this is a trade: Heisey was a rookie last year, but posted a 103 OPS+ in 226 PAs with the Cardinals. He'll be 26 next season.
  • If you missed Kevin Towers speaking to the MLB Network yesterday, here it is.
  • Nick also looks at our 2011 payroll. Right now, he concludes, "They’re probably in the $52 million range. It’s believed they’ll have a payroll in the $60 million-$65 million range, which gives them at least another $8 million to spend."
  • Looks like we "are "very close" to signing free agent C Henry Blanco to be their backup to Miguel Montero," according to Nick. He adds it is "Likely to be a one-year deal."
  • Ken Rosenthal says the Diamondbacks' offer to Konerko was a "special case," and "that money will not simply go to another player." Jack Magrudeer quotes Paul (I think) as saying the offer was "intriguing. It was definitely was a possibility," and that Arizona are "going to be a lot better .. on their way up."
  • Konerko's agent on the AZ offer. "“He was very tempted. (The D-Backs) clearly were his second choice. We had already made up our mind that if things broke down with the White Sox, the next thing we were going to do was get more serious and engage the Diamondbacks to accomplish a three-year deal for Paul in Arizona.”
  • Nick Piecoro says, "LHP Mike Hampton is coming back to the Diamondbacks on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training," and will compete for a bullpen spot. [Hat-tip: justin1985]
  • Rusty Ryal is going to Japan [hat-tip: TheMusician]. Seems to me we've sent so many players over there, we could start up the Nippon Ham Diamondbacks...
  • Jack writes about Captain Kirk's "mission to change clubhouse culture." No kidding. Gibson says, "If you want to fly your toy airplane, you can stay home an extra hour. I'd rather have you come in an hour later and be prepared and ready to get to the baseball related activities and preparation... There are some things that are going to change in there. It's non-negotiable. We need to go in there at a certain time, lock in, and be ready to prepare for the game. And there is nothing else we have to do from that time on.” Hmmm... 
  • Nick has more quotes from Gibson on a variety of topics. “We have nobody to blame for our performance but ourselves or nobody to thank but ourselves. We're the ones on the field. We're the ones in the clubhouse. We're the ones that are either going to execute or not going to execute, and I'm just not into excuses about it.”

And that's it for me today. 'charmer will be bringing you the day's recap a bit later, so stay tuned for that. I'll be back with the last day's rumor-mill in the morning.