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Looking down the road, Diamondbacks could have money to spend

The excitement the Arizona Diamondbacks have generated during their recent six-game winning streak may not be short lived.

The Diamondbacks, who have won eight of their last nine games, are starting to show signs of life for this season and if you look towards the future it gives reason for optimism. Especially from a payroll view of things.

Arizona’s current 2012 payroll obligation is $28.908M if Zach Duke’s option is declined. The Diamondbacks, who have had a payroll above $70M in each of the past two seasons, will likely have just over $30M to spend in the upcoming offseason.

This is significant to a team that has been tight on cash in each of the past two off-seasons.

Kelly Johnson will be the team’s biggest free agent at the end of the year, unless his production increases and he is traded at the deadline. The Diamondbacks will also have a $1.15M mutual option on backup catcher Henry Blanco and a $1.1M mutual option on Willie Bloomquist.

Joe Saunders, who is eligible for arbitration and currently making $5.5M, will play a key role in the Diamondbacks’ offseason plans. However, Saunders is currently 0-5 with an ERA over five and will likely become a non-tendered free agent.

While it is unlikely that the Diamondbacks will be able to sign an Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes type of player, the $30M is a substantial amount that the team could use to bolster either their offense or starting pitching.

If the Diamondbacks are smart with their money and sign quality free agents, the current winning streak could be just the beginning of a promising future.


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