One of the more interesting rules within the collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player must be offered a contract or salary arbitration by a specified date or the player is eligible to become a free agent. The date for 2007 happened to be Wednesday December 12. The Arizona Diamondbacks had six players that fell under this stipulation. Fan favorite and reserve infielder Augie Ojeda agreed to a one-year contract last week with the Diamondbacks eliminating the need for salary arbitration. The remaining five players were all offered arbitration thereby protecting their status as Diamondbacks players. Those five include pitchers Juan Cruz, Brandon Lyon, and Jose Valverde as well as catcher Chris Snyder and second baseman Orlando Hudson. Offering salary arbitration to this group was not much of a surprise. Each of them played a valuable role in 2007 and are expected to have an important part in the success of the 2008 Diamondbacks. The question is what is the next step for each of these?


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