On January 29th, the Diamondbacks signed starter Jon Garland to a one-year deal with a mutual option. Garland will earn $6.25MM in '09 and the team is not permitted to offer Garland arbitration after the season if he's a Type A free agent. There's a mutual option for $10MM for 2010. It's a $2.5MM buyout if the club declines and a $1MM buyout if Garland declines.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic recently talked to Garland, who doesn't want to worry about the option:
"I'd love for the team to get off to a good start. I feel I'm fitting in pretty good with the team. I hope they see that. And maybe midway through the season we could tack on a year or two and maybe get something done. I truly hope I never see that option come into play."
Garland was surprised he wasn't able to land a bigger deal, even coming off a 4.90 ERA. His thoughts on that:
"I'm not going to say my true feelings about some of the stuff that went on, because I definitely feel there were some things going on. But it definitely wasn't the funnest year to be a free agent, I can tell you that."
Is he hinting at collusion? At any rate, Garland blamed his off 2008 on too many bad pitches, switching back and forth between catchers, and trying to do too much in a contract year. Garland is in a contract year again and has to work with both Chris Snyder and Miguel Montero, so hopefully he can limit the bad pitches.