Diamondbacks Sign Womack to Extension

The Arizona Diamondbacks avoid salary arbitration by signing infielder/outfielder Tony Womack to a 4-year contract extension valued at $17 million. Womack spent much of the 1999 season playing right field for the Diamondbacks after being traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates in February. Current plans have Tony moving back to the infield for the 2000 season taking over the everyday shortstop job. Womack is one of four Diamondbacks players eligible for salary arbitration. The team continues to negotiate with the other three players, Brian Anderson, Andy Fox, and Matt Mantei. The Diamondbacks hope to have all under contract before the middle of January.

During the final day of the Winter Meetings, the Arizona Diamondbacks finally pulled off a deal although not the blockbuster trade everyone had been expecting. The Diamondbacks received right-handed relief pitcher Brad Clontz from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later. Clontz has a 22-8 lifetime record in 6 major-league seasons. He appeared in 56 games for the Pirates last season, finishing with a 1-3 record and a 2.74 earned-run average. Clontz was picked up to help solidify middle relief for the Diamondbacks and act as a set-up man for Matt Mantei.

Stories continue to surface about Travis Lee’s future with the Diamondbacks. During the winter meetings, Lee was rumored to be going to the Mets, Padres, and Angels. None of these deals seem to have merit. Talks are on going with Cincinnati that would send Travis to the Reds in exchange for either Scott Williamson or Danny Graves. Chances of this trade being pulled off seem remote at this juncture.

The Diamondbacks will most likely remain quiet in the free agent signing period. Look for them to possibly sign some pitching help as spring training begins. It appears the team will offer minor league contracts to a couple of unsigned veterans with invitations to spring training.

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