Murphy Left Off 40-man; What About Javy

The Diamondbacks set up their 40-man roster in preparation for the Rule V draft and the Winter General Manager Meetings. Mike Rizzo will be there, along with Josh Byrnes and a contingent of D'Backs front office officials. Among the surprises in the way they set up their 40 man was the fact that Bill Murphy, the Diamondbacks talented lefty starter, was left unprotected. For Rizzo it was one of the toughest decisions.

"That whole process is getting more and more difficult, because we have so many good minor league players now.  Jerry Gil, Marland Williams and Billy Murphy are all guys we don't want to lose, but you can only protect 40 guys, and it gets really tough when you have to make decisions like that.  It's really a testament to the state of our organization now.  Our minor leagues are full of really talented players, which is a change.  When I first got here in 2000, we were searching for enough guys to fill our 40 man, now we have way too many."

Certainly one of the major topics on the menu will be the fate of Javier Vazquez, but Rizzo says that's not the focus.

"When you go into meetings like this, the focus is improving your ball club," Rizzo says, but don't the discussions start there? 

"I don't think we have to put everything else aside.  Certainly we will listen to offers for Javy, because he's a valuable commodity."

Rizzo also disagrees with the concept that the Diamondbacks will be unable to get fair market value for a player they are forced to trade.

"He's such a good pitcher, that I don't think that will be the case.  It's not about what position we're in, there will be a lot of clubs interested in a pitcher like Javier Vazquez, and we'll listen and accept the offer that makes the most sense for us."

To complicate matters even more, the Diamondbacks are carrying only 37 men on their 40 man roster, but that was also part of the plan.

"We want to give Josh Byrnes some flexibility.  There is a strategy and a reason behind it, because you want to make sure you have room on the roster so that if we got a two-for-one or three-for-one deal that added some 40 man roster caliber players to our organization we would have space for them.  It also allows us to look at guys who will become free agents and take a look at acquiring somebody in the Rule V draft too.  There are a lot of reasons for it, and it just makes it even more difficult to decide who you keep on the 40 man."

While Vazquez's pending trade will certainly be the focus of the fans and the media, the D'Backs front office is keeping an eye on the bigger picture.  The key is remembering one thing.  Javier Vazquez will not be here next year, so the focus can't be on him, it has to be on who can help the D'Backs win in '06.

DBacks Insider Top Stories