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MLB Winter Meetings: Diamondbacks Targeting Veteran Starting Pitcher

The annual MLB Winter Meetings have opened at the Anatole Hilton Hotel in Dallas, TX. Unlike years past, the Arizona Diamondbacks don't come to this free agent swap-fest with a long list of needs to fill. They've already solidified their infield with the re-signings of Aaron Hill, John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist. The outfield was already set and the bullpen and starting rotation are largely good to go.

There are three open questions although none of them are major. GM Kevin Towers told us last month that he's interested in adding a veteran starting pitcher to the mix  that already will include Ian Kennedy, Dan Hudson, Josh Collmenter and a bevy of young arms that will compete for a spot in spring training. 

The D-backs have Joe Saunders under control through arbitration and have until December 12 to tender him an offer or lose him to free agency with no compensation. Towers was clear about his intent to explore the market before making a decision on Saunder.

"If we get out there and find that the price for free agent pitching is above and beyond where we think the value is for those guys, we've got a great internal candidate in Joe (Saunders)," Towers said in November.

The two names mentioned are Hiroki Kuroda and Mark Buehrle but both could come at a higher price than Saunders. There is a report out of Dallas that the D-backs are closing in on Kuroda:

Twitter / @HensonYahoo: Dbacks are after a starter ...
Dbacks are after a starter. Kuroda is the target and if he'd drop demand for 2nd year player's option, official sez cld get done this week.

We'll see how that goes.

Other than the search for a veteran pitcher, the D-backs have an offer out to Lyle Overbay to backup first base. They are also going to try and work on an extension for catcher Miguel Montero but he still isn't arbitration eligible until next season so there's time with him.

For more on the D-backs, visit AZ Snake Pit.