Diamondbacks Non-Tender Joe Saunders and Micah Owings

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks have non-tendered both Joe Saunders and Micah Owings. However, he adds that the team will likely try to sign both, but that the market will likely be "robust" for Saunders.

In two years with Arizona, Saunders went 15-20, but had a decent 3.85 ERA (105 ERA+). He was in his final year of arbitration, and having earned $5.5 million last year, was likely in line for something around $8 million in 2012. Owings, in his second stint with the team, had a 3.57 ERA with three starts in his 33 games and 63 innings of work. He went a perfect 8-0, though it took Ryan Roberts' bottom of the 10th-inning grand-slam against the Dodgers to keep things that way, Owings having allowed five runs in the top of the frame.

Moves over the past couple of days did appear to throw a damper on the chances of both men being retained, with Trever Cahill arriving in to the rotation from Oakland, along with reliever Craig Breslow. The signing of Takashi Saito earlier today likely filled up the last spot in the bullpen, which now looks to be: J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Saito, Breslow, Joe Paterson, Bryan Shaw and Brad Ziegler. As others have noted, there's not much in the way of an obvious long-man there, so it's still possible Owings might serve that role, with Shaw the most likely to be optioned to Reno as a result.

Saunders should have little problem finding some kind of employment for the 2012 season, though whether it will be at the $8 million or so he'd have got if we'd gone to arbitration, remains to be seen. While Arizona will try to sign him, Kevin Towers described the gap between the parties as "significant" when speaking after the Cahill trade, and this decision seems unlikely to have closed it. The Diamondbacks rotation would seem to be leaning toward Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Cahill, Josh Collmenter and whichever one of the pitching prospects impresses in spring training, alongside the likes of those with experience such as Wade Miley, Barry Enright, etc.

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