Arizona Diamondbacks – ‘lockout’ averted

Mike Hazen (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Hazen (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

General manager Mike Hazen of the Arizona Diamondbacks continues to the process of improvement

The regime of general manager Mike Hazen of the Arizona Diamondbacks can continue without interruption.

That’s because a potential lockout by the owners to the players was averted at the nearly the last minute late Wednesday night. Reaching a five-year agreement, representatives of Major League Baseball and the players union put a potentially hazardous situation aside, and worked for the betterment of the game.

Now, Hazen will continue to fill holes and seek ways to improve the product on the field. As well, manager Torey Lovullo is able to gather his staff, construct a regiment for spring training and prepare for the season ahead.

Issues which divided the union and owners did not appear to be monumental and for that reason, an agreement by the midnight Dec. 1 deadline was considered within the realm of real possibility.

While most definitive details surrounding the agreement remain to be finalized, the parties agreed that that recent popularity of the game, and reality of rising revenues, was not worth the risk of a protracted dispute.

Of the so-called significant issue, the owners dropped their demand to include international players in the annual draft. Other questions agreed to be amicably resolved.

Because of travel demands and the desire for more day games on get-way days, especially on flying from one coast to the other, the schedule will start earlier and likely during the week.

Details on revenue-sharing, luxury tax, regular-season games outside of the United States and Canada, the nature of the replay system, pace of game and meal money on the road, are to be finalized.

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Players have asked for tougher penalties regarding violation of the joint drug agreement and for changes in the domestic policy set forth by the owners. Details here are to be finalized as well.

All of which retains peace and stability to the game over the next five years.

With the agreement, the winter meetings, thought to be in jeopardy, can now proceed in suburban Washington, D. C. next week, Here, Hazen can open negotiations with potential free agents and open dialogues regarding trades.

Over the past two winter meetings, not much occurred. Last year, the Cubs signed Ben Zobrist during the four-day event. Two years ago, then Arizona general manager Dave Stewart announced the team signed Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas to a 6-year, $68 million contract.

This time, Hazen could lay the groundwork for possible transactions. That’s what happen at the GM meetings last month in Scottsdale.

Hazen huddled with Seattle general manager Jerry DiPoto and that introductory session lead to the eventual trade of infielder Jean Segura to the Mariners for right-hander Taijuan Walker.

Mark Your Calendar

The Diamondbacks announced their annual FanFest will move from Chase Field to Salt River Fields, the team’s spring training site.

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Scheduled for Saturday February 18, this free event will offer fans access to current players, coaches, alumni and broadcasters, including autograph and photo sessions. With the move to Salt River Fields, the annual event will include new opportunities, including unique access throughout the award-winning Spring Training complex.