Now that the World Series is behind us, it's officially time to kick off the postseason. What better way to begin than by taking a look at the approaching free agent season?
As per the collective bargaining agreement, commissioner Bud Selig delayed the beginning of free agency, which means that at 9PM PST, free agents will be able to negotiate with their current clubs. On November 3, free agents may begin speaking with other teams.
The Diamondbacks have a relatively small class of free agents this offseason. In fact, their opening lineup and pitching staff are looking much more solid at this point than many other teams heading into next year. D-Backs GM Kevin Towers says that the team doesn't have a lot of holes. Although the team is undecided on starter Joe Saunders, who is arbitration-eligible, the D-Backs have a crop of young arms waiting in the wings, including Jarrod Parker and Wade Miley.
Second baseman Aaron Hill is one of the few question marks in the offseason. He has an option that Towers says the team is not planning on picking up, but they would like to try bringing him back at a lower rate. Stephen Drew is also expected back from the ankle injury that cut his 2011 season short, although he may miss the first few weeks of play next year.
Free Agents: Pitcher Jason Marquis, first basemen Lyle Overbay and Xavier Nady, shortstop John McDonald
Arbitration Eligible: Pitchers Joe Saunders, Brad Ziegler and Micah Owings, infielder Ryan Roberts, catcher Miguel Montero, outfielder Gerardo Parra
Club Options: Hill, pitcher Zach Duke
Mutual Options: Infielder Willie Bloomquist, catcher Henry Blanco
It seems pretty likely that Roberts and Montero will be tendered, and the team is sure to take a look at Overbay and Nady as options to back up Paul Goldschmidt next year.
All in all, it looks like a very easy offseason for the Diamondbacks front office, and they look to begin the 2012 season with much of their team intact for another run at the playoffs.
Discuss the comings and goings of your favorite team with your fellow fans over at AZ Snake Pit.