D’Backs May Trade Joe Saunders

7:38pm: A source tells Piecoro that the Red Sox are one of several teams interested in Saunders (Twitter link).

6:42pm: The Diamondbacks' acquisition of Trevor Cahill may lead them to trade lefty Joe Saunders, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

Saunders was considered a non-tender candidate earlier this offseason, but the D'Backs apparently offered him a two-year contract earlier this week. Saunders' camp countered Arizona's offer, but nothing yet has come of that, and during a conference call with reporters to discuss the Cahill trade, D'Backs GM Kevin Towers said there's a "significant gap" between the sides.

MLBTR's arbitration projection pegs Saunders for a salary of $8.7MM in 2012. He's logged no fewer than 186 innings in each of the past four seasons but was worth just 6.6 WAR in that span, according to Fangraphs.

107 Responses to D’Backs May Trade Joe Saunders Leave a Reply

  1. Jeremy Johnson 4 years ago

    Still cant believe what the D-Backs gave up for Saunders.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      Remember when the Angels tried to use him as a centerpiece to acquire Roy Halladay from the Jays? Good times.

      • grownice 4 years ago

         I remember when they thought Aybar and Saunders was an overpay. Face… Palm…

    • Imagine Haren with Kennedy, Cahill and Hudson.

    • qudjy1 4 years ago

      Skaggs and Corbin say hi.

    • James Attwood 4 years ago

      They gave up Haren for Skaggs and Corbin and Saunders was the big league talent was needed to make it a fair trade. So we got a few years of 200 IP left starter at a reasonable price out of Saunders and have a LHP Ace in the wings with Skaggs. Seems fair enough.

    • We didn’t give up anything FOR Saunders, we gave up Dan Haren for Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin.  Joe Saunders was thrown in just we we’d have a temporary filler and Anaheim was willing to give him up since they were getting an immediate replacement.

  2. Remington 4 years ago

    Saunders is pretty good, why trade him? He could be solid in the back of the rotation for them

    • James Attwood 4 years ago

      $8.7MM is a LOT to pay a back of the rotation guy, especially for AZ.

  3. tomymogo 4 years ago

    Maybe Angels as a 5th starter

    • Devern Hansack 4 years ago

      Jerry Dipoto loves him for his winning attitude.

      • deltarich87 4 years ago

        Dipoto had to say something to appease the masses. At the time Skaggs was the PTBNL so he couldn’t comment on him. Pretty clear he was the prize of the deal and in the end it’s lookin like a great deal for both sides. Angels get a few more great seasons of Haren at a reasonable price(and they have the payroll for it) whereas the Dbacks shed some money to make them more flexible, all the while adding key pieces for their future(mainly Skaggs, but Corbin isn’t a slouch either)

        Win/Win for both teams

    • thebigbangdito 4 years ago

      i can see angels trading for him.. especially since they have players that need to be moved now (abreu/callaspo/etc)

    • oh god please no.

      • thebigbangdito 4 years ago

        why not? yes hes not the best but hes good enough to be a number 5 starter going agasint other teams #5’s….. and that way williams can go minors to develop more.. or even bullpen for long relief…

        you also have to remember that he would most likely love to come back to the angels… since when he was originally traded he was crying because he loved the team so much….

        • Williams doesn’t need to develop anymore.  He’s not a prospect.  He’s a veteran at this point who fell out of the league and just worked his way back to the majors finally.  He’s continued to pitch well in winter ball this off-season as well and should have no problem holding down the 5th spot this year for the halos.  That being said, I would love to get Saunders back.  Hated to see him go. 

          • El_Bobo 4 years ago

            I’d like to see Trevor Bell get a shot at the 5th spot. Or at least sometime this year in case someone misses time.

  4. Tyler Jedrzejak 4 years ago

    keep him. 5th man of the rotation. he would do fine

  5. red sox or cubs could use him

    • Yeah but what type of deal would it take to get it. Cubs barely have anything in the minors.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        They don’t NEED anything in the minors for him, Saunders is a non-tender candidate salary dump.

  6. Who would want him? Oh wait, I know the Orioles.
    We need depth and he’s a good citzen. He comes from “Good Stock” meaning the Angels orgaznization. I mean Kevin Gregg got his start out there and look at what kind of job he did for us in 2011.

    I Say Duquette is on the phone right now with Towers and saying something like, “Kevin, what exactly is going to get this deal done right now”?

    • The Mythical One 4 years ago

      You’re darn right the Orioles would and should jump on a chance to get Saunders. A 180-200 innings guy is something we can certainly use. Another lefty, sure, go for it. I just have no idea that we have anything left in the minors or on the current team that the D-backs would want in return and that the Orioles want to part with. You want Reynolds back?

      I would think it would take something fairly significant unless the D-backs are looking to drop some salary. Saunders did earn $5.5 million and is arbitration eligible again. He turned in a nice season, so I can see him easily getting another $2 million in arbitration.

      • thegrayrace 4 years ago

        – Of course the D’backs are looking to drop some salary.

        – A non-tender candidate shouldn’t take anything “fairly significant”.

        • A non-tender candidate shouldn’t take anything “fairly significant”. Tell Duquette that after his trade for Eveland, he might just tell Towers, I will give you Matt Wieters.

      • Hey Mythical One, I am surprised you didn’t sense the sarcasm a little bit from seeing (reading) me from here (MLB Trade Rumors) to the Oriole Insider and to the School of Roch. Especially with me mentioning Kevin Gregg.
        Saunders is ok, but I would rather sign Oswalt or trade for Gio Gonzalez. Heck, even Fransisco Liriano would be interesting as another lefty. Just not sure what it would take to do anything of that. 

      • Howard 4 years ago

        Saunders for Markakis 

  7. BrandonDbacks 4 years ago

    Dbacks should keep him until the trade deadline just in case Skaggs/ Bauer isnt ready for the 5th spot in the rotation.

  8. I miss seeing Joe in Anaheim, but now with CJ, hopefully the Angels have their lefty.

  9. AJV19 4 years ago

    Trade him to the A’s for Parker.

  10. StanleyHudson 4 years ago

    Could be just what Cherington is looking for. Inexpensive, would come cheap, and would slide nicely behind Buchholz as a number 4 starter.

  11. mmwatkin 4 years ago

    Tigers are looking for a lefty to fill out their rotation. Not sure how much they are willing to spend, though. 

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      Considering the money he will cost, I wouldn’t do anything more than Andy Oliver.

      • EightMileCats 4 years ago

        I’m with us on that Jacks.
        Wouldn’t give up much for him… Would’ve like Bedard at 5mil tho

  12. LeoAcevedo 4 years ago

    As a met fan i think Parnell for Saunders is a good deal.

  13. Bombercules 4 years ago

    I’ll stop my earlier complaining about Cahill since they seemed to have this planned in advance. Getting rid of Saunders and taking on Cahill is a huge improvement, half the salary and likely double, maybe closer to triple, the WAR. I’m sad to see Parker go, but Cahill does have upside as well. This might be the first good thing the front office has done since the draft (assuming Saunders is traded or otherwise does not remain on the team).

    • James Attwood 4 years ago

      First good thing? Hill/McDonald for KJ wasn’t a good thing? Putz signing and Hernandez deal weren’t good?

      With Cahill in the fold Saunders is a goner. It’s just a matter of what the Dbacks get back. I’m suspecting it will be bullpen depth, and seriously talented depth at that. Saunders may not be lights out, but he’s an effective lefty that gobbles up innings.

    • James Attwood 4 years ago

      Nevermind…I missed the “since the draft” part. My bad. Although I still think the Hill/McDonald for KJ was a good deal.

      • Bombercules 4 years ago

        Johnson is going to be worth more than Hill next season, the question is just how much more. I don’t really know why we have McDonald, his bat is such a liability that we’re paying him quite a bit just to play short in the 8th/9th innings of games.

        • James Attwood 4 years ago

          KJ may or may not be better than Hill next year. But the Dbacks need McDonald to give Bloomquist time off. He filled in admirably last year, but showed significant signs of tiring. McDonald gives the Dbacks a spot starter for those days where Bloomquist’s legs aren’t under him. They’re going to need it since Drew is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season.

  14. James Attwood 4 years ago

    With Cahill on board, unless Saunders takes the 2 year contract for less money, he’s so gone. Even if he DOES take the contract, I don’t see him sticking around past the trade deadline mid-season unless there are pitching injuries. The question though is what can the Dbacks get back now that all of MLB knows that they are motivated to move him now as opposed to willing to sit on him?

  15. chris_synan1 4 years ago

    red sox

  16. MAGOO11111 4 years ago


  17. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    even if he were non-tendered he’d be near the bottom of my list of scrap heap 5th starters for the red sox. do not want in a trade. at all

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I’d rather him not on the Red Sox but I’m far from calling him near the bottom of the scrap heap. A number 5 pitcher who can provide 200 innings would be an asset. That said, no major prospects and money better be coming back for the trade to make sense.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        he can provide 200 innings (of 4.75 FIP ball) to arizona and anaheim. put his left-handed weak sauce in fenway against the lineups of the al east and watch him lackey it up

        i’d take almost anyone on the free agent list over him, not to mention internal options

        • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          Hmmm. Probably should have looked at the number of long balls he gives up… All things considered he’s still not the worst #5 pitcher out there when you take into account the Red Sox offense is still arguably the best in the MLB and the trade market for pitchers will be expensive.

          Still I wouldn’t give up anyone of consequence and I’d want the Dbacks to throw in a few million.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i concede he’s not the worst pitcher out there. but think about it. 4.78 FIP while pitching in the nl west. the most modest conversion of those numbers to the al east and fenway park is a 5+ FIP

            well, that’s exactly what andrew miller provided last year. would you trade something for another one of him right now?

            add in the out-of-options presence of felix dobrount and also kyle weiland waiting in the wings and i just don’t see the purpose

          • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

            The difference is Miller has no control whatsoever and Saunders has at least average control. Though I do concede to the rest of your points.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            he’d probably be the worst 5th starter on a playoff contender though

        • CircusFresh 4 years ago

          “…watch him lackey it up.” 

          Pure Awesomeness.   Much respect for that line.

      • Jim McGrath 4 years ago

        We have Wake who is begging to come back that can give the Sox 150-200 inns. for $1 M and a sub 5 ERA. In addition they have a few Min. League pitchers that could do the same–I say no to Saunders.

  18. We’d take him in Seattle. Help be a nice innings eater for this year to fill out the back end of the rotation.

  19. MAGOO11111 4 years ago


  20. JonBoyd 4 years ago

    Maybe Dbacks will get Bard from BoSox

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Don’t bet on it unless something bigger is coming to the Sox.

    • I would love to see that happening, but highly doubt it. Maybe throw in there Hernandez or JJ plus Saunders and maybe Miley?

    • I would love to see that happening, but highly doubt it. Maybe throw in there Hernandez or JJ plus Saunders and maybe Miley?

  21. Nazzi_Muhammad 4 years ago

    Trade Lackey and Dice-K for Saunders. LOL

    Seriously, damn near $10 mil for a lefty with a plus 4 ERA? With that short porch in Fenway, that’s not good.

  22. Nazzi_Muhammad 4 years ago

    Trade Lackey and Dice-K for Saunders. LOL

    Seriously, damn near $10 mil for a lefty with a plus 4 ERA? With that short porch in Fenway, that’s not good.

  23. NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

    Bring Saunders to the East!!! Would like to see how productive he is when he’s thrown into the wild. Best possible scenario for Saunders, hmmm: 8-13 with a 4.92 ERA maybe. Point being, this guy is a #4 starter that will not solve any of the Red Sox’s issues.

  24. Matt 4 years ago

    I have 2 proposals:

    Joe Saunders for Lars Anderson


    Joe Saunders for Jed Lowrie

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      Both are over-payments on the Red Sox’s part.

      How about: Joe Saunders for a box of fresh air?

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      didn’t AZ sign like 5 infielders who are barely passable as starters already this offseason?

      • Matt 4 years ago

        Lars is just a depth play/ future trade chip. And Lowrie is in case Drew isn’t healthy.

    • CircusFresh 4 years ago

      I have a proposal:

      The Red Sox pick up his 8million+ and the Diamondbacks say thank you.

    • CircusFresh 4 years ago

      I have a proposal:

      The Red Sox pick up his 8million+ and the Diamondbacks say thank you.

  25. RealMETfan0995 4 years ago

    Typical the Red sox want another washed up pitcher, do they want another erik bedard or something? See how well that worked out.

    • Jeremy Johnson 4 years ago

      It worked out well for the Mariners, well the trade to the Red Sox at least.

    • CircusFresh 4 years ago

      I dont think Bedard was a failure.  I would call him a push, but I get your point and agree that they should of just resigned Bedard v. waste a player on Saunders.

  26. dc21892 4 years ago

    I like the idea of Saunders, but that’s a hefty price for a back end SP. At that price, they might as well go for Oswalt or bid on Darvish.

    • grownice 4 years ago

      Bidding and signing Darvish would cost 10x what Saunders would.

      • southpawryno 4 years ago

        for the posting cost alone!

        • CircusFresh 4 years ago

          Which does not apply to salary cap, so its meaningless to the Red Sox who make buckets of money.

          Plus Darvish is younger and has higher potential than Saunders.

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        I’m aware of that, but he has the potential to be an ace. Saunders is a back end of the rotation guy. Boston can’t shy away because they got half a bad contract from Dice-K

        • grownice 4 years ago

           Agreed but you said “at this price that might as well go for Oswalt or bid on Darvish” Pretty huge difference from getting Saunders and bidding on Darvish is all my point was.

  27. Depending on how much money they can get the other team to take on, this is definitely a good idea for the D’backs.

  28. towney007 4 years ago

    Saunders might get non-tendered… why would anyone – much less the Red Sox – want to try and trade for him?

    • southpawryno 4 years ago

      because they get the assurance that no other team would pick him up as a FA. And they get him at only 8.7 mil for one year, rather than the risk of another long term contract

      • towney007 4 years ago

        He’s not even close to worth that money at all. A 4.78 FIP is worse than John Lackey last year. Let people bid him up. He’s a bad pitcher. This year he was 14% worse than the league average. 

  29. Dick Armada 4 years ago


  30. no, red sox…don’t do it.

  31. Jesse Heiman 4 years ago

    To mariners for League ?

  32. Jeff Westcott 4 years ago

    If the Tigers were to sign Cespedes, I could see them doing Delmon Young straight up for Saunders. It would provide the DBacks with about $2MM of salary relief and Delmon would be a good fit for Chase Field. It would only add $2MM to the Tiger’s payroll and they’d have a veteran lefty with some (admittedly limited) upside who’s a free agent next year.

  33. JackPackage 4 years ago

    There is something to be said for the value of a #4 SP who has a positive WAR and can pitch 180 innings a season… that value isn’t $8.7 million but… still…

  34. Marinersforever71 4 years ago

    Seattle Mariners would be a great team of acquiring Joe Saunders as third starting pitcher package w/ Willie Bloomquist (reunion w/ Ichiro and King Felix) for minor league pitcher Paxton, Chone Figgins (also sent to Colorado rockies for Seth Smith or couple minor leaguers), minor league outfielder Jose Campos, and player to be named. This will help the Mariners to compete w/ Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers every year if they alos can sign 1B Prince Fielder.

  35. James Attwood 4 years ago

    That depends on the contract cost. Saunders is a quality LHP that eats innings. Those don’t exactly grow on trees. He’s a decent ground ball pitcher that is nails at getting the dp when needed. He also doesn’t complain and doesn’t get hurt. Plenty of teams would like him.

  36. James Attwood 4 years ago

    I can’t picture KT allowing it to go through arbitration now that Cahill is a Dback. $8.7MM is a LOT. But a 2yr/$13MM would be pretty palatable for most teams (assuming Saunders agrees to the 2 year deal)

  37. Bard – Trouble with his command
    Saunders – Hr’s and ERA issues


    Saunders would get lit-up in Fenway though.
    D’Backs have a good pitching coach, he could work out Bard’s bugs.

  38. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

     lol I love how you break down a completely bogus trade scenario

    Sox wouldn’t give up Bard for a guy who’s going to get non tendered.

  39. If Duquette were still GM of the Red Sox, he would pull the trigger, no doubt.

    Besides, Nick Piecoro started it! (conversation)

  40. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    to be fair, i don’t like him out of fenway either. i like him in the NL. love him in japan

    if he were a free agent, my arm could be twisted. but a trade would be a total nut punch. i’d sooner take wakefield back (ok maybe not)

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