Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes cut his teeth on the Cleveland model of franchise-building while learning under then-Indians general manager John Hart, and personnel lessons learned there are being repeated.
Catcher Chris Snyder is believed to be close to signing a three-year contract extension that will guarantee him about $14 million over the next three seasons, joining center fielder Chris Young and right-hander Dan Haren in securing his short-term future.
The D-backs signed Young to a six-year, $28 million extension in April, buying out all three of his arbitration years and gaining an option on his first season of free agency. Young could receive as much as $38 million if the D-backs exercise their 2014 option.
"You always try to identify core players. He's certainly one," Byrnes
said when the D-backs signed Young. "He's an unbelievably talented player,
but we wouldn't have done a contract like this unless we believed in the
Haren signed a five-year extension in August that guarantees $31.5 million in new money. The D-backs reworked the final two years of Haren's existing contract, adding a little money there, while agreeing to pay Haren $12.75 million in 2011 and 2012, with a $15.75 million option for 2013.
The D-backs spoke to three-time Gold Glove-winning second baseman Orlando Hudson about an extension late in the 2007 season, but the sides could not reach an agreement, leaving Hudson to test the free agent market this winter after the expiration of his contract.
During his three seasons, Byrnes also has reworked the contracts of veteran left-hander Doug Davis and outfielder Eric Byrnes. Davis signed a three-year, $22 million deal after being acquired in a trade before the 2007 season. Eric Byrnes received a three-year, $30 million extension late in his spectacular 2007 season, when he became the 11th player in major league history to have 20 home runs and 50 stolen bases.
Josh Byrnes himself received an eight-year contract extension the first day of spring training last year, a deal that will keep him with the D-backs through 2015.
--If C Chris Snyder agrees to a contract extension, he will be the third Diamondback to be extended in calendar 2008, joining CF Chris Young and RHP Dan Haren as key building blocks going forward. Snyder is expected to receive about $14 million as the D-backs buy out his final two seasons of arbitration eligibility.
They would also have a team option on his first free agent season, 2011.
--1B Tony Clark still is expected to re-sign with the D-backs this winter, although the signing of free agent 2B Felipe Lopez, the trade for LHP Scott Schoeneweis, and the
likely extension of C Chris Snyder have put the Clark signing on a back burner.
--OF Jeff Salazar, who made major contributions to the D-backs' 2007 NL West title run, was not tendered a contract by the December deadline, making him a free agent. Salazar leaped above the right field fence to take a home run away from San Diego OF Brian Giles on July 13, 2007. On Sept. 10, 2007, he hit a pinch three-run home run on an injured ankle that had kept him out of the starting lineup in San Francisco.
--2B Chris Burke was non-tendered, making him a free agent, a year after being acquired from Houston as part of a four-player trade that sent closer Jose Valverde to the Astros. The D-backs also received RHP Chad Qualls, who has become their closer, and minor league RHP Juan Gutierrez. Burke hit only .194 in 168 at-bats with the D-backs, where was used to back up first base, second base, shortstop and the corner outfield positions.
--C Robby Hammock was not offered a contract, making him a free agent. Hammock, drafted by the D-backs in their inaugural 1998 season, has spent parts of five seasons in the majors and caught LHP Randy Johnson's perfect game in 2004. In 479 major league at-bats, Hammock has hit .255 with 30 doubles, 12 homers and 48 RBIs. Shoulder and knee injuries caused him to miss most of the 2005 season.
--LHP Wil Ledezma, acquired off waivers from San Diego late last season, became a free agent when he was not offered a contract in December.
DIAMOND STAT: 47 -- Quality starts by RHP Brandon Webb (24) and RHP Dan Haren (23) last season, tying for the NL lead among teammates with San Francisco RHPs Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.
QUOTABLE: "I was closest to the rocks and dirt." -- OF Conor Jackson, when asked if he won the "closest to the pin" contest at LHP Doug Davis' charity golf tournament in December.
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