2007 Arizona Diamondbacks

Next up, the D’Backs.

Josh Byrnes’s 2007 contract obligations:

C – Chris Snyder – $0.341MM
C – Miguel Montero – $0.33MM
1B – Conor Jackson – $0.328MM
2B – Orlando Hudson – $2.3MM
SS – Stephen Drew – $1.5MM
3B – Chad Tracy – $2.75MM
IF – Alberto Callaspo – $0.33MM
IF – Robby Hammock – $0.33MM
1B – Tony Clark – $1MM
LF – Eric Byrnes – $2.25MM
CF – Chris Young – $0.33MM
RF – Carlos Quentin – $0.33MM
OF – Jeff DaVanon – $1.25MM club option
OF – Scott Hairston – $0.33MM

SP – Brandon Webb – $4.5MM
SP – Livan Hernandez – $7MM
SP – Claudio Vargas – $1.275MM
SP – Juan Cruz – $0.575MM
SP – Brandon Lyon – $0.83MM
SP – Edgar Gonzalez – $0.33MM
SP – Enrique Gonzalez – $0.33MM
SP – Micah Owings – $0.33MM
SP – Ross Ohlendorf – $0.33MM
SP – Casey Daigle – $0.33MM
SP – Dustin Nippert – $0.33MM

RP – Jose Valverde – $0.359MM
RP – Luis Vizcaino – $1.775MM
RP – Randy Choate – $0.75MM
RP – Greg Aquino – $0.342MM
RP – Jeff Bajenaru – $0.33MM
RP – Brandon Medders – $0.327MM
RP – Tony Pena – $0.33MM
RP – Doug Slaten – $0.33MM

May depart
C – Johnny Estrada – $2MM (trade?)
IF – Andy Green – $0.33MM (sold to Japan?)
RP – Jorge Julio – $2.525MM (trade or nontender?)

Already gone, counted against payroll
SP – Russ Ortiz – $7.5MM
RF – Shawn Green – $5.8MM

The Diamondbacks started 2006 with a $72.5MM payroll, but hope to be in the $60MM range in 2007.  By my calculations (assuming Estrada, Green, and Julio do not return) the D’Backs have less than $50MM tied up including raises.  Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic arrives at the same figure – the team has around $10MM to spend.

The catching situation looks good and cheap with Snyder/Montero.  Johnny Estrada is doing everything he can to burn his bridges, anyway.  Luckily for Josh Byrnes, Estrada had a fine offensive season at .302/.328/.444.  A return to Philly is possible if they don’t want to try Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste next year.  Other teams that may be in the market for a backstop include the Blue Jays, Angels, Astros, and Cardinals.

The infield is pretty much locked down, unless the right deal comes along to upgrade at third base.  Most likely, the D’Backs will just hope Tracy can bounce back.

The outfield is set as well.  The team will move Byrnes to left to accomodate for Chris Young.

That’s it for the offense, right?  Maybe not.  The possibility of acquiring a hitter was raised in this Jack Magruder article. As Magruder says, some kind of shakeup would be required.  One name I’ve seen is Pat Burrell.  Of course, it would require Burrell’s approval and the dollars could be difficult.

And then there’s the rotation.  Webb and Hernandez are locks, and Vargas seems likely to remain at the back end.  There are a host of kids with varying degrees of promise.  There’s Brandon Lyon, who was once a starter.  The larger plan, as has been publicly stated, is to acquire a frontline guy via trade. 

Magruder names some pitchers of past interest such as Jake Westbrook, Brian Bannister, Jason Windsor, and Dontrelle Willis.  Westbrook, who just had his option exercised, was a target at the trading deadline.  His groundball style mirrors that of Webb, and he’s a smart choice.  Juan Cruz could be trade bait; he’s said to interest Philadelphia.  The aforementioned Estrada and Scott Hairston could be dealt as well. 

Another good acquisition would be Jason Jennings.  Jennings improved his control and strikeout rate to post his best season yet.  He’ll be a free agent after ’07.  Another possibility, which I found via the comments on an AZ Snakepit post, is Mark Mulder.

Byrnes has mentioned that he will also "tweak" the bullpen.  He has a strong preference for trading, so maybe he’ll target an Aaron Heilman or Ryan Madson

Last year, Byrnes’s wheeling and dealing brought in Miguel Batista, Orlando Hudson, Orlando Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino, Chris Young, and Johnny Estrada.  And that was all in December.  I’ll be very interested to see how this winter plays out.  The D’Backs are a few moves away from contending.

Updated 10-14-06 – Mike Koplove and his $1.175MM salary are gone as he cleared waivers and became a free agent.

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