The Diamondbacks and GM Mike Hazen have agreed to a new contract extension, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Hazen is now under contract through the 2028 season, and the D’Backs hold a club option on his services for 2029. In addition to extending Hazen, Piecoro reports (via X) that assistant GMs Amiel Sawdaye and Mike Fitzgerald also got new contracts.
Club president/CEO Derrick Hall said a couple of weeks ago that the D’Backs had spoken with Hazen about a new deal, so today’s news isn’t particularly surprising. Hazen’s previous contract ran through 2024 with a club option for 2025, so technically, there wasn’t any overt urgency for Arizona to work out an extension this quickly. However, given that the Red Sox also reportedly had some interest in speaking with Hazen (who formerly worked with Boston and hails from Massachusetts) about their own front office vacancy, that might’ve also spurred Arizona to act sooner than later in locking Hazen up for the rest of the decade.
Hazen took over Arizona’s front office following the 2016 season, and immediately ended a string of three losing seasons by taking the Diamondbacks to a wild card berth in 2017. Two more winning (though non-playoff) seasons followed, as Hazen attempted the tricky task of retooling the D’Backs roster and reducing payroll while also keeping the team competitive. The trade of Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals in December 2018 was the best example of how Hazen tried to better position the Diamondbacks for future, even if it meant making the painful call to part ways with a homegrown superstar.
The difficulties of Hazen’s strategy manifested themselves with three straight losing seasons from 2020-22, with the nadir of a 110-loss campaign in 2021. Still, Hazen resisted the urge to tear the roster down entirely, and to some extent doubled down by signing such notables as Ketel Marte and Merrill Kelly to extensions rather than trading either player for younger talent. As it happened, Arizona was still able to add quite a bit of younger talent anyway in other transactions and through the draft, to the point that the Diamondbacks now have one of the higher-ranked minor league systems in baseball.
More to come…