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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-12-04

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-12-04

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-12-04
The Diamondbacks are courting low-priced second basemen in an attempt to fill the void left by the impending departure of free agent Orlando Hudson, and they seem to be considering a platoon.

General manager Josh Byrnes offered a one-year contract with a team option to Ramon Vazquez, but Vazquez's agent said his client is seeking a multiyear deal. The sides are expected to speak again.

Byrnes also has had preliminary conversations with the agent for Damion Easley, who spent 2006 with the D-backs. Agent Paul Cohen said no contract offer had been made, and that five teams have expressed some level of interest.

The D-backs also have talked to the agent for free agent Mark Loretta and with St. Louis about a possible trade for Adam Kennedy, but at this point both players seem to be out of their financial reach. Loretta made $2,275,000 last season; Kennedy is due $4 million in 2009, the final year of his contract.

Vazquez, 32, he hit .290 with 40 RBIs in 300 at-bats in Texas last season, playing mostly third base, but he came up as a middle infielder and can play there. He hits left-handed.

"If the right deal comes along, we're going to jump at it," agent Melvin Roman said.

Vazquez was San Diego's starting second baseman in 2002 and starting shortstop in 2003 before falling into a reserve role in 2004. He hit .274 with 21 doubles, two home runs and 32 RBIs in 2002, when he started 104 games. He hit .261 with three homers and 30 RBIs in 107 starts in 2003.

Easley, 39, hit .233 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 189 at-bats for Arizona in 2006, mostly as a right-handed-hitting backup to left-handed-hitting Chad Tracy, Craig Counsell and Stephen Drew.

Easley, the Tigers' staring second baseman from 1997-2002, has been a reserve since and had his best two years in that role with the Mets in 2007-08, combining to hit .273 with 16 homers, 16 doubles and 70 RBIs in 509 at-bats.

Arizona is "definitely a possibility," Cohen said. "It is something he'd definitely be interested in. He feels he can play a lot, but he understands that wherever he is, he likely will be in a super utility role and as a platoon player at second base."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 4, 2008

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