Pieces Falling Into Place

This column has been written for over a week. All the details were accurate. All that was lacking was confirmation from the team. Unfortunately, that did not come. Finally on January 28, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced the signing of Brian Anderson to a three year deal. BA will be paid $11 Million in salary. The contract is laden with incentive clauses which could give Brian an extra $1.25 Million if he reaches certain milestones. The three-year contract all but insures that Anderson will be a major part of the Diamondbacks starting rotation for the forseeable future. Anderson seemed pleased with the terms of the contract saying he and his wife felt that Arizona is where he would like to play. With the loss of Andy Benes to the St. Louis Cardinals, Anderson will be among the starting rotation that includes Randy Johnson, Todd Stottlemyre, Omar Daal, and Armando Reynoso. This contract means that all of the Diamondbacks starters are under contract through at least 2001.

The Diamondbacks also signed closer Matt Mantei to a one year deal. Mantei was seeking a long term contract that would pay him similar money to Trevor Hoffman but the Diamondbacks were unwilling to commit that type of money at this juncture. Instead, the team and Mantei decided to sign a one year agreement and negotiate based upon Matt’s performance in 2000. This agreement leaves pitcher Brad Clontz and utility man Andy Fox as the only players eligible for salary arbitration. General manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said he felt confident that these two players would be signed before their scheduled arbitration hearings in February.

During the recent winter meetings, the Diamondbacks presented their case to the Commissioner regarding the player to be named later in the Matt Mantei trade. The Florida Marlins had selected Abraham Nunez while the Diamondbacks had balked at the notion of sending their top outfield prospect. While not announced publicly, it appears the Commissioner’s office has upheld the trade. This tilts this deal heavily in the Marlins favor. Don’t look to see the Marlins and the Diamondbacks do business for quite some time. Tempers and negotiations have been heated since this deal. One thing about Jerry Colangelo, he rarely forgets being treated unfairly.

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