Eric Byrnes Wants to Remain in Arizona

Eric Byrnes Wants to Remain in Arizona

Eric Byrnes has lead the Arizona Diamondbacks both in most offensive categories and in the clubhouse all season long. It appears that he would like to continue to lead them for many more years. Byrnes claims to be willing to offer a hometown discount to the Diamondbacks. ALSO: Quotes on the recent hitting coach change in the desert.

INSIDE PITCH

Outfielder Eric Byrnes said he is willing to give the Diamondbacks a home-team discount -- "within reason" -- if management is sincere in its recent dialogue with him about possibly offering a multi-year contract.

Discussions between the two sides have been minimal to this point, but they represent a first in that it is the first time the issue of possibly bringing back Byrnes beyond this season has been publicly mentioned. How it plays out remains to be seen, as the Diamondbacks are still assessing just how close outfield prospects Justin Upton and Carlos Gonzalez are to playing in the big leagues.

But Byrnes has filled in neatly for Luis Gonzalez as the face of the Diamondbacks' franchise. He had a career year last season and has been one of the club's most reliable players again this season. He wants a chance to remain with the Diamondbacks, but the deal has to be right.

"I'm all for giving the Diamondbacks a discount," he said. "I want to stay here but I can't be stupid. I will give them a discount within reason. We'll see. Hopefully we can get something done. There's a possibility we could get something done relatively quick."

Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes, no relation, acknowledged that discussions have taken place, but wouldn't go very far into specifics.

"We always want to keep our options open, and he has without question played at a very high level since he's been here," he said. "It's a matter always of the best use of our dollars and how our personnel sets up in the future."

Whatever happens, Eric Byrnes said the contract talks won't drag out through the duration of the season.

"But even if I play the year out, I'm not going to shut the door to the Diamondbacks," he said. "We haven't set a deadline... Either it'll get done or I'll play the year out and we can hopefully come up with something in the off-season."

DIAMONDBACKS 8, PADRES 3: Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak and opened the second half of the season with a convincing victory over the National League West-leading Padres in a game highlighted by a dramatic home run-robbing catch in right field by Jeff Salazar.

Salazar raced back to the wall in the fifth inning and scaled it to pull back a sure home run by Brian Giles that would have brought the Padres to within a run. Salazar added three hits, and he is now 8-for-14 since being promoted from Class AAA Tucson when struggling right fielder Carlos Quentin was sent there to try and improve his offense.

The Diamondbacks had 15 hits, including three by Eric Byrnes and two apiece by Orlando Hudson and Chad Tracy to help support Doug Davis and earn the left-hander his sixth win.

NOTES, QUOTES

--LHP Randy Johnson threw for the second consecutive day on Friday, but he made it clear he's not close to returning to the Diamondbacks' rotation.

"I just don't want to rush it," said Johnson, who is on the disabled list with back and leg pain related to a herniated disk. "I know you guys need to write stuff, a Randy update and all that, but for right now, it's just playing catch and doing more working out."

--3B/1B Chad Tracy was hitting .263 with just six home runs and 28 RBIs in 186 at-bats.

"He's a middle of the order guy and we need more production," manager Bob Melvin said. "We have a lot of guys who are in the same boat, in that 25-30 RBI range."

--RHP Livan Hernandez will pitch Saturday against the visiting Padres, against whom he is 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA this season. Hernandez pitches better at home (3-1, 3.83) than on the road (2.4, 5.16).

--Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin on the firing Wednesday of his hitting coach, Kevin Seitzer, and the fact his club is hitting just .248 as a group: "That's the unfortunate part of this business as a whole sometimes. Unfortunately, to try to do something different you have to make a move like that. He worked his butt off. But it's time right now for a different message."

--Kevin Seitzer, after being fired as hitting coach by the Diamondbacks 90 games into the season:

"It wasn't all the players that were the ones complaining about me. Maybe one or two, but there wasn't the majority. Players aren't stupid. They have the option of working with me and not working with me, and I had a logjam down there in that batting cage."

--Rick Schu was promoted from minor-league hitting coordinator, a position he has held for the past three seasons after being the Diamondbacks' hitting coach in 2004.

"Rick Schu has a lot of history with these guys," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "Hopefully, he can get them back to the things that made them successful in the first place."

--RHP Dallas Buck, one of the Diamondbacks' top pitching prospects, will undergo "Tommy John" surgery in the coming days after leaving his last start early with elbow pain. Team doctor Don Sheridan recommended the surgery after examining Buck. After the Diamondbacks drafted Buck a year ago, it was learned the pitcher had a 40 percent tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, but Buck and the Diamondbacks opted for rehab over surgery at the time.

--RHP Greg Smith, who went 5-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 12 starts with Double-Mobile, was promoted to Class AAA Tucson.

BY THE NUMBERS: 28 -- Combined home runs by the 7-8-9 hitters in the Diamondbacks' lineup, second in the National League.


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