His team’s continued mediocrity seemed to be weighing heavily into Mike Hazen’s decision-making process, but the Diamondbacks’ general manager wasn’t ready to proclaim his club an outright seller on Monday afternoon.

Still, after dropping three of four games to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend – the latest contending club on which the Diamondbacks have failed to gain ground in recent weeks – Hazen sounded more open than ever to shifting the organization’s focus toward the future. 

“The belief that a .500 team is going to win the World Series, get through the wild-card format that we have and win the World Series is – I don’t think, objectively, that’s a position we should be staking ourselves to,” Hazen said. “We need to win more games …

“When we’re facing the teams we’re in direct competition with, we’re kind of around .500. The last month, we beat the Phillies, we beat the Rockies once, we lost to the Dodgers, we lost to the Cardinals, we lost to the Brewers. It’s not a great recipe to – it’s a recipe that is forcing us to at least consider all options, put it that way.”

The Diamondbacks’ record before Monday night’s game was 50-50. They sat 2 1/2 games out of the NL’s second wild-card spot. And they had eight games remaining before the 1 p.m. (Arizona time) July 31 trade deadline, nine when counting the afternoon game on deadline day itself.

Hazen said his front-office group is “actively having conversations with a lot of teams,” with most of the discussions and energy focused on the prospect of selling. But, he said, that’s not necessarily because the Diamondbacks are leaning that way.

Instead, Hazen said the potential for trading away veterans opens up “a much broader spectrum of thoughts,” where as if the club were to buy he doesn’t see it being overly active.

“If we end up (buying) I wouldn’t see a lot of significant additions to the team,” he said.

While the Diamondbacks might still try to execute some combination of buying and selling, the team still has time to convince Hazen and his group to be strict buyers. With consecutive series upcoming against last-place clubs in the Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins, the Diamondbacks have a clear opportunity to pad the win column. Hazen said his group will cross that bridge if and when it gets there.

“We’ll factor that part in,” he said. “We’ll have to see what our competition does, as well. If we’re standing in a playoff spot eight days from now it’s probably a little harder to make certain decisions. But up to this point we haven’t done that (separated themselves from .500).”

While Hazen said he can’t yet say with much certainty what kind of talent his players might bring back, he said there’s no shortage of teams calling to inquire.

“There is significant interest in our players,” he said. “I can’t categorize it any more than that. We’re not that deep into these (discussions). It’s more due diligence at this point.”

Hazen doesn’t like being in this position – he called making big, organizational decisions based on day-to-day outcomes “the last thing I want to be doing” – but he doesn’t seem to have any regrets about taking his club in this direction, saying again how much he values the chance at winning.

“The goal is to win the World Series every single year,” Hazen said. “We’re not in a position to do that, in my opinion, on a basis where we can go out there every offseason and say, ‘This is what we’re going to be doing next year.’ We’re still building towards what we want to ultimately become.

“(But) having a team that goes out there and plays hard every night for the fans and represents for the city and state and organization and goes out and competes and vies for playoff appearances, I think that’s something to be proud of.”

If the scouting presence at Chase Field on Monday evening was any indication, rival clubs seem to be thoroughly preparing for the Diamondbacks to sell. A number of contending teams had scouts in attendance, including the Cubs, Indians, Dodgers and Rays.

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.