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)
- First time: Ian Kennedy, David Hernandez, Gerardo Parra
- Second time: Cody Ransom, Brad Ziegler, Ryan Roberts
- Third time: Craig Breslow
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.