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D-backs still searching for a starter

D-backs still searching for a starter

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the D-backs front office headed back to Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, they did so with bags under their eyes from a lack of sleep, but not with a starting pitcher they were looking for when the Winter Meetings began.

The Meetings were not a complete loss for the D-backs, as they were able to acquire Minor League first baseman Chris Carter in exchange for outfielder Carlos Quentin on Monday. Since then, they've had lots of discussions but no deals.

"Just yesterday, we were getting closer on an idea that I think is now sort of not going to work, so we'll keep plugging away," Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes said.

One Major League source said that the D-backs were close to a multiteam deal that would have involved the Tampa Bay Rays, but it fell through.

All in all, the week left the D-backs feeling unsatisfied.

"These are long days; you put a lot into it," Byrnes said. "When a deal gets pretty close and ultimately looks like it's not going to happen, it is frustrating. There's a lot of work that goes into it."

The D-backs will continue to talk to the A's about pitcher Dan Haren. The two teams had at least a pair of discussions about the right-hander and will speak again. There has been speculation that Oakland GM Billy Beane will wait to deal Haren.

"Some of the big names that have been rumored to be traded have yet to be traded," Byrnes said. "I think one affects the next. It's hard for me to really know the mindset of the clubs who might trade those guys."

The D-backs will likely get a visit next week from Japanese free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.

"We hope so," Byrnes said. "We want him to see our city and who we are and factor that into his decision."

Arizona got a lot of inquiries from teams about its stable of prospects for a couple of reasons. One, they are highly regarded, but just as important, teams realize that the D-backs have a young nucleus of position players at the big league level which would allow them the freedom to deal the surplus in the system.

Winter Meetings

"I think a lot of teams are maybe looking at the prospects who haven't got quite as much attention, yet have a chance to be good Major League players nonetheless," Byrnes said.

Augie is back: The D-backs were close to finalizing a one-year contract for backup infielder Augie Ojeda on Thursday morning. Ojeda was eligible for salary arbitration.

Deals done: Dealt outfielder Quentin to the White Sox in exchange for Minor League first baseman Carter.

Rule 5 activity: The D-backs selected first baseman Baltazar Lopez from the Angels organization in the Double-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Arizona did not lose anyone in the Draft.

Goals accomplished: Dealing Quentin was something the D-backs felt they had to do given the lack of a spot for him on the roster and the fact that it would have been unfair to send him back to Triple-A. They made at least a little headway in finding out what it will take to pry Haren away from the A's.

Unfinished business: The D-backs are still hunting for a starting pitcher. They will continue to talk to the A's about Haren and will await a visit next week from Kuroda. Arizona is believed to be offering a three-year deal around $30 million to Kuroda.

GM's bottom line: "We have to keep staying after it, especially those few ideas that seem to make some sense. Just keep plugging away at it." -- Byrnes, on where the D-backs go from here

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
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