Hazen 'fully anticipating' to keep Greinke

Hazen 'fully anticipating' to keep Greinke

PHOENIX -- Since taking over as general manager of the D-backs last month, Mike Hazen has been circumspect about what, if any, changes were to come for the team this offseason, but he was a little more open Wednesday on the future of ace pitcher Zack Greinke.

"Yeah, I would anticipate that he's going to be back next year," Hazen said when asked if he could definitively say he wouldn't deal Greinke. "We're fully anticipating that Zack is going to be back next year. Not too many teams have No. 1 starting pitchers, and we do."

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Greinke, who signed a six-year, $206.5 million free-agent deal last offseason, went 13-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in 2016. Prior to last season's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Dodgers were among the teams that checked with the D-backs to see if they were interested in dealing him.

Hazen, who met Greinke when he was going through free agency, recently spoke with him and had a series of text-message exchanges.

"We've had some good conversations," Hazen said. "On the phone, and we've had a chance to go back and forth a little bit. The intelligence is off the charts. His passion for baseball, especially the scouting aspect of it, is awesome. It's great to see. It's hopefully something we can embrace. I love the fact that he has opinions and strong opinions about the game. His intelligence is phenomenal, a huge asset for him and for us."

Hazen and his staff have spent the General Managers Meetings talking with other teams to get a feel for what the trade market looks like, something they hoped to have a better handle on once they wrapped up Thursday.

"I think right now, where you're able to just listen more than talk, hear what other teams have to say and agents have to say, and then, again, as we get our arms around our roster and what direction we want to move in, we'll make those [roster] decisions," Hazen said.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.