The 2012 baseball season is officially in the books with the San Francisco Giants sweeping the Detroit Tigers in less than dramatic fashion. Congrats to them and let it be known that they are the team to beat in the N.L. West. The Diamondbacks will surely need to bolster their starting rotation while adding a reliever to contend with a healthy 2013 Giants club. But enough with gloating about our rivals already…
There are still a good amount of things on the Major League calendar to keep us all interested in the baseball world even with football being shoved down our throats on the mothership. In two days the Free Agency pool opens up officially where players can sign with new teams. Next Wednesday- and officially 12 days after the World Series ends- is the final day a player can accept arbitration from their current team.
At Venom Strikes we’ve discussed both the deals already done and possible deals to fill holes on the club. For the Dbacks, it isn’t even November 1st and they have zero free agents remaining. J.J. Putz was resigned and Takashi Saito was designated for assignment on the same Saturday we saw both Putz’ option picked-up and Heath Bell arrive in Phoenix through a three-team trade. Towers will have the opportunity to pickup 32 year old reliever Matt Lindstrom’s $4 million option or the club can buyout his deal for $200,000. I would assume the buyout is more likely with Matt Albers also eligible for arbitration and at a lesser cost (he made $1 million in 2012).
In all the Dbacks have six players eligible for arbitration including our team ace Ian Kennedy. I would expect an uptick in salary for the 27 year old as he made a shockingly low $520,000 in 2012. Other arbitration eligible players include Brad Ziegler, Brad Bergeson, Gerardo Parra and Chris Johnson. Technically Mike Zagurski is eligible too but if the Dbacks even offered him a free hot dog at the ballpark in 2013 I would be disgusted with the decision. So let’s count him out, as well as journeyman Cody Ransom who is also eligible (although I do like Ransom off the bench).
It has been reported that the Dbacks are comfortable with their payroll creeping up around the $80 million range after beginning 2012 at $75 million. Knowing that Towers enjoys a good off-season trade we should all expect at least one more shuffling within the clubhouse before pitchers and catchers report in February.
Here are a couple other important dates to mark on your calendar:
Nov. 12: AL, NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards – Dbacks’ Wade Miley should be front runner
Nov. 13: AL, NL Manager of the Year Awards announced
Nov. 14: AL, NL Cy Young Awards announced
Nov. 15: AL, NL MVP Awards announced
Nov. 30: Last date to tender contracts (midnight)
Dec. 6: Rule 5 Draft in Nashville
Two other sets of dates worth mentioning since Kevin Towers is our general manager are the GM meetings from Nov. 7-9th in Palm Springs, CA and the ‘winter meetings’ from Dec. 3-6th in Nashville leading up to the Rule 5 Draft. So keep at least one eye on the Dbacks and the rest of baseball as there are sure to be some interesting changes heading into spring training.
Follow me on Twitter at @ndougherty313 and our team at @venomstrikes.