No Arbitration in Arizona

We got the decks cleared of potential arbitration cases before yesterday morning's deadline, with the following six players agreeing to one-year deals of varying size:

  • Orlando Hudson - $2.3m
  • Johnny Estrada - $2.0m
  • Alex Cintron - $1.6m
  • Luis Viscaino - $1.775m
  • Claudio Vargas - $1.275m
  • Brandon Lyon - $830K

I'm satisfied with most of these deals, though Cintron seems a little higher than I'd have valued him. The apparent lack of interest from other teams in trading for him is perhaps symptomatic of the feeling he's not much better than a replacement player overall - so giving him a 5x replacement player contract won't, personally, improve his trade value.

However, the Tribune reports Colorado might be offering Zach Day for Cintron. The phrase "in a heartbeat" comes to mind, though the credence of the piece is damaged somewhat by its reference to Day as a left-handed reliever (he's a righty, and over the past three years, 50 of 59 appearances have been as a starter). However, other sources say that a bullpen southpaw could be the desired swap for Cintron. MLB.com's Steve Gilbert says, "The Diamondbacks did sign lefty Terry Mulholland to a Minor League contract last week, but he is more of a long-man out of the bullpen rather than a lefty specialist."

Vargas, on the other hand, seems like a bargain. Yes, he wore down last season, but there was a significant period of time whem he was arguably the best - and certainly the most reliable - starter we had. Over eight starts, from July 7-August 18, he posted the following line:
53.2 IP, 37 H, 13 BB, 41 K, 13 ER, ERA 2.19
If he can do that over any eight starts in 2006, then $1.3m would seem a worthwhile investment.

Lyon's deal is something of a punt, given the major injury issues he had last year, and his failure to bounce back at anything like an acceptable level (1.96 ERA pre-All Star break; 13.91 after). Estrada and Hudson should both be good value for their money, and Viscaino's cost seems about the going rate for a reliever of his experience. My main surprise was we didn't try and sign Estrada and Hudson to longer contracts. As is, they're left with the potential of arbitration again next year, and that could prove expensive if they have decent seasons.

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