Diamondbacks sign Drew and Saunders, and will we see Heilman return?

Today is the day where players seeking arbitration trade salary figures with the team, and the Diamondbacks have already made moves to avoid arbitration with two of their players, while there are rumors that the team is resigning another name who we might see in a different (but long sought after) role in 2011. More details (and names, if you didn't read the title) after the jump.

The first announcements came this morning, when Jon Morosi reported a source that said the Diamondbacks would sign Stephen Drew to a two year, $13.75 million deal, with a mutual option for 2013. This takes care of Drew's final years of arbitration, and, given some of the other deals signed by short stops this off-season, looks to be a pretty decent deal for all involved. Drew made $3.4 million last year, and would have been looking for a decent raise from that. According to Jack Magruder, Drew will make $4.65 million this year, $7.75 million in 2012, and the option is $10 million with a $1.35 million buyout. If Drew continues to give us production like he has for the past couple of years, I think this contract is one we'll be pretty happy with.

Not long after the rumors of Drew's extension were roaming around, Steve Gilbert reported that the Diamondbacks also reached an agreement with Joe Saunders to a one year contract. According to John Gambadoro at KTAR 620, Saunders's deal is around $5.5 million. That's a bump from the $3.7 million he made last year. Saunders had a 4.25 ERA in his 13 starts for the Diamondbacks last season, and while that may not be flashy, it's pretty solid. We need a reliable, innings-eater type of a pitcher, and hopefully Saunders can give us that for $5.5 million.

The third signing remains a rumor as of yet, but Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks will be bringing back Aaron Heilman for another year, and giving him the chance to start. Heilman's started in his first three seasons in the majors, but hasn't taken the mound to start a game since 2005. He's wanted to return to the rotation from the bullpen, and I wonder if that's one of the main reasons we'll be seeing him back in Sedona red next season. Jack Magruder reports that Heilman will be getting $2 million this year.

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