D-Backs Out Of Sheets Derby, Payroll Stretched Thin

The Diamondbacks were one of several teams who sent representatives to Ben Sheets' throwing session today, but according to Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic, the Snakes don't have any interest in the free-agent hurler.  Arizona GM Josh Byrnes tells Piecoro that the club is probably finished their winter shopping aside from maybe a bit more pitching that would have to come at a much lower cost than Sheets' estimated $7.5MM price tag.

Even if Arizona had taken a shine to Sheets, the club wouldn't have been able to afford him given Piecoro's news that the Adam LaRoche signing pushed the Snakes' budget to just under the $79MM mark for 2010.  Ergo, if the D-Backs struggle this season and don't contend for a playoff spot, the team is going to lose some money.  This isn't a major problem for Arizona Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick, who tells Piecoro, "we're willing to take that risk. We're not about making money. We're about winning and trying to avoid significant losses." 

LaRoche signed for a reasonable $4.5MM salary for 2010, but considering his notorious hot-and-cold stretches at the plate, D-Backs fans may not look too kindly on LaRoche slumping given his status as the "real difference-maker" (to quote Kendrick) of a player that the team broke the bank for.

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