The big Arizona Diamondback news of the day (so far) from the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL was the deal that was almost done with first baseman Paul Konerko. The D-backs reportedly offered Konerko a three-year deal worth $30 million to replace Adam LaRoche at first base. Right now, someone called Juan Miranda is penciled in to play that position. Konerko accepted a $37 million contract to stay with the White Sox instead of coming to Phoenix.
The other signing of the day is left-handed pitching legend Mike Hampton. Hampton, you might recall, signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks last season and was with the club for the final few weeks of the summer. At 38 years young, Hampton will compete for a spot in the bullpen and/or become the official "old man of the pitching staff" and provide a team that was lacking experience even more of it.
Kevin Towers, having now signed Hampton along with the aging Melvin Mora to platoon at third base, still isn't done looking for old guys that understand how to play the game "the right way." Backup catcher Henry Blanco is also reportedly (allegedly) close to signing a one-year deal with the team.
To recap, the Diamondback had revamped their bullpen with the addition of three power arms: David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio, and closer J.J. Putz. They traded away strikeout/power hitting third baseman Mark Reynolds. They replaced Reynolds with veteran utility guys Melvin Mora and Geoff Blum. They signed lefty Zach Duke to the starting rotation. They underbid on Konerko and they resigned Hampton and are closing in on Blanco.
The big questions remaining on the roster are in left field -- which is basically open with potential young players Brandon Allen and Gerardo Parra being shopped -- and of course first base could certainly benefit from an upgrade.
Financially, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic estimates that the team still has approximately $8 million left to spend in their budget. Perhaps some of that money will go for a new team mascot? We kid, Baxter, we kid!