PHOENIX -- Managing general partner Ken Kendrick is pleased with the work done by his general manager, Kevin Towers, this offseason.
"It's not over yet, but we had some needs, and ... I think if it was a Christmas list, you could check off all the needs as met at this point," Kendrick said.
Kendrick pointed to the fact that Towers has strengthened the team's bullpen, added an upper-tier starting pitcher, solidified the bench and, they hope, improved at shortstop.
The D-backs' payroll figures to rise to the mid-$80 million range this year after being around $77 million last year.
"We have Brandon McCarthy, who I think is very affordable for the talent he brings," Kendrick said. "We have a shortstop [Didi Gregorius] that we have control over for six years, who has a lot of upside. Of course he's a young player and he's got to improve himself. Eric Hinske is a good-luck charm for every team it seems he plays on. Eric Chavez is a very fine player and gives us a righty-lefty [combination at third]. Heath Bell might be a candidate for a real bounceback. Tony Sipp, a great lefty, fits really well in our bullpen. [With] a mix of all those guys, with not an enormous amount of financial commitment, I think you can say, 'Job well done' to KT."
Very early in the offseason, Kendrick said it was highly unlikely that outfielder Justin Upton would be traded. When Kendrick was reminded that Towers said the same thing following the Gregorius trade, he smiled.
"You said it for me, and I don't have to repeat myself," Kendrick said. "I think those are the words that others are beginning to use, and I've been using them for a while. I'm a big Justin guy and hope to have him be a Diamondback for a long time."
The D-backs certainly face plenty of challenges in the National League West. The Giants are coming off their second World Series title in three years, and the Dodgers' new owners likely will have the highest payroll in all of baseball in 2013.
"You do look at what the other guy is doing, but you're more concerned with what you're doing and how to make your team better, and it isn't always the money that makes for a winning team," Kendrick said.