The Diamondbacks are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Robby Hammock, Micah Owings, Gerardo Parra, Ryan Roberts
- Second time: Brad Ziegler, Sean Burroughs
- Third time: Joe Saunders, Miguel Montero
Hammock ($900K), Burroughs ($600K), and Owings ($800K) are likely non-tender candidates. Hammock was barely on the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster, so they probably won't feel the need to keep him there. Burroughs was outrighted in June and re-added, so he could be expendable. And while Owings was useful on the surface, he's a pitcher the team could non-tender and try to re-sign to a minor league deal.
Parra, a potential Super Two, projects to earn $1.7MM. Roberts projects for the same, and we have Ziegler at $1.8MM. Montero should make a decent buck at around $5.3MM.
We project Saunders for $8.7MM, which might be high for an innings guy who shouldn't be expected to repeat his 3.69 ERA. D'Backs GM Kevin Towers indicated recently that a non-tender or trade is possible, depending on the team's budget and their confidence in their younger pitchers. I think Towers would find a team willing to tender Saunders a contract.
If Parra, Roberts, Ziegler, Montero, and Saunders are retained, the total should be around $19.2MM. If Willie Bloomquist and Henry Blanco return at their mutual option prices, players under contract will earn $30.758MM for a total of about $50MM before accounting for minimum salary players. A return to the $70MM payroll range would leave around $20MM in flexibility, with the subtraction of Saunders potentially bringing that amount closer to $29MM.
Towers told Nick Piecoro he doesn't see "big, big needs" for his team but wouldn't rule out the right marquee player. As a team free of eight-figure commitments, the D'Backs have the flexibility to make a major addition this offseason.
Matt Swartz contributed to this post.