Roster Roulette Begins

Just three days after the completion of the 2009 World Series and already the changes have begun for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was to be expected that the team would make some adjustments to their roster given the fact that the team finished in last place some 25 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arizona wasted no time in getting started. Their first order of business was the 2010 option on Brandon Webb. From the comments coming from General Manager Josh Byrnes and Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick it came as no surprise that Arizona picked up the option ensuring that Webb would begin the season at the top of the Diamondbacks rotation.

Some of the other moves the team has made have left me scratching my head wondering what Byrnes plan is for this off-season. It is quite early still so I am far from panicked but I have to admit I am not sure I am following his train of thought.

As expected left-handed pitcher Doug Davis filed for free agency on the first possible day. Davis has made it known he is looking for a three-year contract. The Diamondbacks expressed interest in bringing Davis back but only for a year. The length of contract and monetary figures suggested by each party makes it highly unlikely Davis will be back in Sedona Red next season.

Left-handed reliever Scott Schoeneweis likewise filed for free agency. The struggles of Schoeneweis coupled with the emergence of Clay Zavada and Daniel Schlereth make it doubtful that Arizona will resign him either. It has been a tough year for Schoeneweis with the tragic loss of his wife and his challenges of managing the grief and battling a bout of depression. I hope for the best for Schoeneweis regardless of where he pitches next season.

Another anticipated move was the Diamondbacks declining infielder Chad Tracy’s 2010 option allowing him to become a free agent. With Mark Reynolds becoming an important part of the young Diamondbacks core, Tracy became expendable. It did not help Tracy’s cause when he struggled against left-handers and he could not really find his grove offensively or defensively.

With the departure of Davis, Schoeneweis, and Tracy the Diamondbacks had cleared room on their 40-man roster to reinstate Webb, Conor Jackson, and Chad Qualls. The Diamondbacks were not done.

At the same time Arizona outrighted outfielders Trent Oeltjen and Alex Romero to the Reno Aces. Both players cleared waivers and were removed from the 40-man roster. The team also cut ties with pitcher Daniel Cabrera allowing him to file for free agency.

Left-handed reliever Doug Slaten was placed on waivers and was claimed by the Washington Nationals. Right-handed starter Yusmeiro Petit also went on waivers and was claimed by the Seattle Mariners.

These last two moves were a little confusing. The Slaten move was a result of Zavada and Schlereth being productive coupled with the struggles Slaten has suffered the previous two seasons.

Petit had been up and down for the Diamondbacks during his tenure. One game he would look like a viable option as a fifth starter and his next start it seemed as though he had never seen a strike zone before.

With the Diamondbacks searching for two starting pitchers this off-season I would have expected Petit to at least get another look. Granted I wouldn’t sleep too well knowing Petit could be taking the ball every fifth day but any arm at this point is better than no arm at all.

It did not appear that the Diamondbacks needed to be at 35 on their 40-man roster at this point so I question just putting these players on waivers. Obviously two teams were interested in the Diamondbacks pitchers otherwise they would not have been claimed on waivers.

If nothing else perhaps the team could have gotten a minor league player in exchange. Instead, both players were allowed to walk with no compensation to the Diamondbacks.

I do not propose to be a General Manager but these moves seem confusing at best and ill-advised at worst. Hopefully the pieces of the puzzle will become clearer as the off-season progresses. Until then the fans will second-guess these moves as they have all the others Byrnes have done during his tenure with the Diamondbacks.


  1. Dbacks are planning to go back to old school and pitch on 3 day rest

    • Well it did work for the Yankees. Max Scherzer is going to need to be a lot more economical with his pitches if that’s the case.

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