2013 Contract Issues: Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (4)

  • Joe Saunders - Top pitching prospects such as Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs provide the Diamondbacks with more affordable options than Saunders, who earns $6MM in 2012. He's pitching well, but it won't be surprising if the team lets him walk this offseason.
  • Takashi Saito - A strained calf landed Saito on the disabled list at the beginning of the season, and he has yet to appear in a game for the Diamondbacks. There are no guarantees for the 42-year-old going forward.
  • Miguel Montero - The Diamondbacks could reach a deal with Montero before the offseason, but the catcher wants a $50MM commitment.
  • Lyle Overbay - Manager Kirk Gibson has limited Overbay's exposure to left-handed pitching and the early results (a .964 OPS) are excellent. Perhaps Overbay will return on a one-year deal to complement the right-handed Paul Goldschmidt.

Contract Options (3)

  • Stephen Drew: $10MM mutual option with a $1.35MM buyout. Drew has been sidelined with a fractured ankle since last July and at this point it's hard to envision a $10MM commitment from the team.
  • J.J. Putz: $6.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout. As MLBTR's Dan Mennella recently explained, it seems likely that the Diamondbacks will exercise this option.
  • Henry Blanco: $1.24MM mutual option. Mutual options are rarely exercised by both sides and Blanco turns 41 this year.

Arbitration Eligible (7)

Kennedy, Parra and Hernandez will be relatively well compensated even as first-time eligible players, but this entire group might not cost much more than $15MM. GM Kevin Towers could consider trade offers for Ziegler and/or Breslow if he needs to clear payroll, since both will earn more than $2MM in 2013.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The Diamondbacks have already committed nearly $45MM toward next year's payroll. They'll spend approximately $75MM on this year's payroll and they've averaged $70MM or so since 2009, so they can be expected to have $10MM or so to work with after retaining their arbitration eligible players, barring another payroll increase from ownership.



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