Outdated Baseball Thing

Travis Finucane
Yahoo! Sports

Inside Pitch

Sign of the times: The Diamondbacks saved money by avoiding arbitration with all seven of their eligible players, coming to terms with the last five just before the Jan. 18 deadline. But those players sure got some impressive raises.

The biggest increase went to second baseman Orlando Hudson(notes), who had an excellent 2007 season -- .294 average, 63 RBI and his third consecutive Gold Glove -- but also finished the season on the disabled list after undergoing a thumb injury that required surgery. He made $3.9 million in 2007 but will take home $6.3 million this year.

Brandon Lyon(notes), a candidate to become the closer after the Diamondbacks traded Jose Valverde(notes) to Houston, also will be paid handsomely. His new salary is $3.1 million, up from $1.5 million last year.

The others: catcher Chris Snyder(notes) goes from $400,000 to $1.85 million, right-hander Chad Qualls(notes) from $441,000 to $1.3 million, infielder-outfielder Chris Burke(notes) from $415,000 to $995,000. Qualls and Burke were acquired in the Valverde deal.

Earlier, the Diamondbacks also avoided arbitration by signing infielder Augie Ojeda(notes) ($550,000) and right-hander Juan Cruz's(notes) money ($1.9 million).

Notes, Quotes

2B Orlando Hudson avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $6.3 million contract. He made $3.9 million last year.

RHP Brandon Lyon avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $3.1 million contract. He made $1.5 million last year.

C Chris Snyder avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $1.85 million contract. He made $400,000 last year.

IF-OF Chris Burke avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $995,000 contract. He made $415,000 last year.

RHP Chad Qualls avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $1.3 million contract. He made $441,000 last year.

RHP Juan Cruz, who posted a 3.10 ERA in 61 innings last season and filled a multitude of roles in the Arizona bullpen, signed a one-year deal worth $1.9 million, avoiding arbitration.

INF Augie Ojeda, who is expected to win a job on the Diamondbacks' bench in 2008, avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal worth $550,000.

Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said the club's season-ticket renewal rate is better than it ever has been, pointing out that of the roughly 12,000 season-ticket holders, more than 93 percent have renewed for the 2008 season. The previous high was 92.3 percent following the team's World Series championship season in 2001.

Hall is hoping season-ticket sales advance to the 15,000 range.

"It would be a giant jump," he said. "That's what we're hoping to get. I think we can get it; there's a lot of excitement out there."

The Diamondbacks announced that their reporting date for pitchers and catchers is Feb. 15, with their first workout to follow the next day. The rest of the team will report Feb. 20, and the first full squad workout is scheduled for the next day.

The team will conclude its spring training schedule with a game at Chase Field against the Mexican League champion Monterrey Sultanes on March 29. It will be the first meeting between the two teams.

By The Numbers: $13.2 million -- Combined 2008 salary of the five players the Diamondbacks signed Jan. 18, avoiding arbitration.

Quote To Note: "It was something I wanted to do in college. I had read up on it and studied it. It was just something that always intrigued me. I'm not going to lie. I had the same thoughts Pat Tillman had. We grew up in the same area and I knew Pat. The thing is, Pat acted on it and I didn't, and I've got all the respect in the world for him. He was a much bigger man than I'll ever be." -- LF Eric Byrnes'(notes) monster dunk on entertaining thoughts of becoming a Navy SEAL when he was in college at UCLA.

Roster Report

The Diamondbacks entered the offseason with not a lot of holes to plug, but foremost among them was another front-end starting pitcher to complement RHP Brandon Webb(notes) and LHP Doug Davis(notes). They landed their man, RHP Dan Haren(notes), in an eight-player deal with Oakland.

Arrivals: RHP Dan Haren (trade with A's), RHP Billy Buckner(notes) (trade with Royals), RHP Chad Qualls (trade with Astros), 2B/OF Chris Burke (trade with Astros).

Departures: LHP Randy Choate(notes) (free agent, signed with Brewers), OF Carlos Quentin(notes) (traded to White Sox), INF Alberto Callaspo(notes) (traded to Royals), LHP Dana Eveland(notes) (traded to A's), RHP Jose Valverde (traded to Astros).

Free Agents: INF Jeff Cirillo(notes), 1B Tony Clark(notes), RHP Livan Hernandez(notes), RHP Bob Wickman(notes).

The Diamondbacks will not bring back Clark, as their bench is full with the acquisition of Burke. The team isn't expected to re-sign Hernandez. Wickman plans to retire.

Arbitration-eligible: None remaining.

The Diamondbacks reached agreements with all seven arbitration-eligible players: 2B Orlando Hudson; RHPs Brandon Lyon, Chad Qualls and Juan Cruz; IF Augie Ojeda; IF-OF Chris Burke; and C Chris Snyder.

In Limbo: 3B Chad Tracy(notes) underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee and may not be ready for the start of spring training, and with Mark Reynolds(notes) having established him at third following a surprise call-up straight from Class AA, Tracy could be wiggling a bit this winter.

Medical Watch:

LHP Randy Johnson(notes) (back surgery in August 2007) had the same herniated disk repaired for the second time in a year. Although he is expected to be ready when the team reports to spring training, the 44-year-old's health will always be a question.

2B Orlando Hudson (left thumb surgery in September 2007) will be completely recovered by the time the team reports to camp in February.

3B Chad Tracy (microfracture surgery on right knee in September 2007) had his rehab slowed in November by a blood clot. He still hopes he'll be ready for the start of the 2008 season.

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