The list of 15 free agents by position:
RHP: Scott Dohmann (AAA), Seth Etherton (AAA),
Bobby Korecky (AAA), Ramon Sanchez (Hi A)
LHP: Jonathan Coutlangus (AAA)
C: Orlando Mercado (AA), Matt Tupman (AA)
2B: Ruben Gotay (AAA), Guillermo Reyes (AA)
3B: Augie Murillo (AAA)
SS: Abraham Nunez (AAA), Ed Rogers (AAA)
OF: Trent Oeltjen (AAA), Chris Roberson (AAA), Brandon Watson (AAA)
Trent Oeltjen is the biggest surprise on the list. It was understood that he was obligated to report to Triple-A Reno when he was outrighted off the 40-man roster and no team claimed him off waivers. Multiple sources have confirmed that he is a free agent, however. IT may be that he asked for his release and the D-backs granted that request.
The move is still somewhat surprising, as Oeltjen slugged an impressive .457 as a late-season callup with the Diamondbacks and made some nifty plays in the outfield. His Triple-A numbers were even more impressive, as he batted .303, slugged .500, stole 22 bases, and hit double-digits in triples for the third time in four seasons.
Orlando Mercado is another other notable name on the list. Mercado gunned down 27% of would-be basestealers this year between Double-A and Triple-A, plus reached base 38.3% of the time. His greatest asset was an ability to work with pitchers, however. He even pitched four innings to save the BayBears bullpen arms this season. The D-backs currently have a lot of depth at catcher, but if Chris Snyder is traded as expected, it would be nice to have Mercado in the organization as insurance.
Bobby Korecky was terrific in Triple-A, managing a 2.10 ERA and leading the farm system with 13 saves. He turned 30 in September, however, and failed to contribute at the big league level in his brief audition there. Ruben Gotay amazed by walking 102 times in 118 games, but the D-backs' second base situation is suddenly crowded, so he is not expected to return.
Agustin Murillo's departure from the organization comes as no surprise. He was suspended for 50 games this season in violation of the league drug policy and failed to produce upon his reinstatement. Ramon Sanchez was the FututreBacks.com Most Improved Pitcher in 2007, but failed to come back strong this year after Tommy John surgery sidelined him in '08.
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