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MLB Trade Rumors: D-backs May Trade Joe Saunders

After acquiring Trevor Cahill on Friday from the Oakland Athletics, the Arizona Diamondbacks now have a decision to make with Joe Saunders. The club currently has four starters in place with Cahill, Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Josh Collmenter and have multiple options. According to this update from MLB Trade Rumors, Saunders would not come cheap:

Saunders was considered a non-tender candidate earlier this offseason, but the D'Backs apparently offered him a two-year contract earlier this week, as GM Kevin Towers indicated he'd rather sign or trade Saunders than go to an arbitration hearing. Saunders' camp countered Arizona's offer, but nothing yet has come of that.

MLBTR's arbitration projection pegs Saunders for a salary of $8.7MM in 2012. He's logged no fewer than 186 innings in each of the past four seasons but was worth just 6.6 WAR in that span, according to Fangraphs.

While discussing the Cahill deal on Friday night, D-backs GM Kevin Towers insisted the team would continue to look at any and all options and that the club had a big decision to make before the non-tender deadline of December 12. The D-backs and Team Saunders have exchanged offers and, according to Towers, there remains a "significant gap" between the two parties.

With the price of starting pitchers being through the roof on the free agent market, one could expect Arizona to go with an in-house option to find their No. 5 starter if a deal can't be reached with Saunders. Towers, however, also said he might not be done trading for pitching either in the rotation or for the bullpen.

For more on Saunders and the Diamondbacks, check out AZ Snake Pit.