The biggest unknown in the offseason for the Diamondbacks is whether they should tender a contract to Joe Saunders. In 2011, Saunders went 12-13 with a 3.69 ERA in 212 innings while earning a $5.5MM salary. Concern with Saunders being able to repeat his #'s in 2012 is the main reason there is uncertainty with Saunders. With 12 wins and 212 innings, Saunders' salary could exceed $8.5MM, which would be too expensive for the D'Backs Front Office. Using advanced metrics to evaluate Saunders' performance in 2011 shows he had some good luck with a .271 on balls in play, a 1.6 K/BB ratio (4.58 K/9), a 4.78 FIP (4.38 xFIP) while posting a 1.0 WAR season (good for $5MM). At 30, Saunders could be on the decline and non-tendering him may be the logical choice. On the other side of the argument, Saunders did pitch well at the end of the season at posted good #'s overall. I would non-tender Joe Saunders because his salary is getting too expensive for the production he brings.
If the D'Backs do indeed non-tender Joe Saunders, these are the best in-house options to replace him-