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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Roster Report 2008-12-05

Arizona Diamondbacks Roster Report 2008-12-05

Arizona Diamondbacks Roster Report 2008-12-05
The Diamondbacks will continue building around their top starting pitching and a young nucleus of position players. Most of their key players are either under contract or under control, so there may not be much off-season movement.

BIGGEST NEEDS: They have only one position open, second base, although if they decide to move 3B Mark Reynolds to second they could look for a third baseman. They could use a left-handed bat and will have hole in the rotation if free agent LHP Randy Johnson leaves, which appears almost certain. They do not have a true left-handed bullpen specialist.

FREE AGENTS: 1B Tony Clark, 1B/OF Adam Dunn, 2B/SS David Eckstein, RHP Juan Cruz, 2B Orlando Hudson, LHP Randy Johnson, RHP Brandon Lyon

The D-backs did not offer salary arbitration to Dunn and Johnson, Type A free agents, because they feared each would accept, blowing their 2009 budget, which stands at about $70-72 million. They offered arbitration to Hudson (Type A), Cruz (Type A) and Lyon (Type B), meaning they could get as many as five draft picks as compensation if all three sign elsewhere. Lyon has indicated an interest in returning, even in a setup role.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: INF Chris Burke, C Robby Hammock, OF/1B Conor Jackson, LHP Wil Ledezma, INF Augie Ojeda, RHP Chad Qualls, C Chris Snyder

Jackson, Qualls and Snyder will be retained, and if the D-backs follow their usual path they will stop short of an arbitration hearing. Ojeda is expected to return as a reserve, although it is likely they will non-tender the rest.

IN LIMBO: OF Eric Byrnes is due $22 million over the next two seasons and has a complete no-trade clause, but the emergence of 1B/OF Conor Jackson as a capable left fielder in the second half of 2008 could make Byrnes expendable, if the D-backs can find a taker and if Byrnes is willing to move. 1B Chad Tracy ($4.75 million salary in 2009) could be a trading chip for a second baseman, although he hit well at the end of the season and could stay since he is one of their few left-handed bats. C Miguel Montero, another left-handed hitter, is well-regarded in baseball circles but is stuck behind Snyder, so he might be available in the right deal.


OF Eric Byrnes (torn left hamstring) has been working out at Chase Field after being cleared to run. He opted against surgery to repair a small tear in his right hamstring and expects to be full strength by spring training.

RHP Edgar Gonzalez (sore right elbow) missed the final three months of the season while opting to rehabilitate a strained ligament. He was to first test his elbow in winter ball.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 5, 2008

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