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The Diamondbacks off-season starts here

CBO Tony La Russa, GM Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale spoke to the media today. Some interesting things came out of the final formal press-conference of the season.

@BertDbacks, via Twitter
Mike Harkey will not return as pitching coach this season

This doesn't come as a particular surprise, even if the team's overall ERA did improve from 4.26 to 4.04. We never got any sense of confidence from Harkey, to the extent that his trips to the mound became an anti-meme in Gameday Threads, with bad results being predicted to follow. The team doesn't seem to have had a very good record for "fixing" pitchers in general, and it appears to be something La Russa wants to change. :"We think there's a better fit," he said. The rest of the coaching staff have been offered contracts for next season, but the Padres have requested permission to talk to our third-base coach, Andy Green, about their managerial vacancy.

A new closer? Not necessarily...

Glad to hear this one. While the team is looking to add some depth to the bullpen, Dave Stewart does not believe that has to be in the form of a closer. Stewart said Ziegler "got results" in that role - or, depending on source, "gets results," which has a somewhat different meaning. The team has yet to decide on what role one of the potential candidates for the job, Daniel Hudson, will appear next year - could be as a starter or reliever. La Russa was pleased both Hudson and Patrick Corbin went through the season without apparent health issues.

No short-term fixes

I was going to merge this into the above paragraph, but I think it deserves its own section.

That is the correct answer, and is good to hear. Even if we find ourselves overstocked in one area - and, with six possible outfielders next season, that may well be the case - rushing into a trade purely for that reason makes no sense. Yes, we want to improve our starting pitching, but applying a series of BandAids is not the solution.

Show me the money

Quite was this means remains to be seen, but I'm certainly expecting one top-line starting pitcher to be added to the payroll. Stewart has also spoken to A.J. Pollock with regard to a long-term extension, and the outfielder seemed to be open to the idea.

Behind the mask

The Diamondbacks would like to retain the current catching situation, which would mean Welington Castillo and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Beef is not an issue, and being under contract, should certainly remain on the menu at Chase Field. However, Salty has told the team he is looking to be a starting player, and since he's a free-agent this winter, sounds like he's going to test the market. If he finds a position he likes elsewhere, the team has options. One interesting one mentioned was Peter O'Brien. Chip Hale says he will go into 2016 as a catcher, but one with the versatility also to play first and the outfield.

Bits and pieces