Former Diamondbacks Find New Homes

For all intents and purposes, the Arizona Diamondbacks are still a relatively new organization. Having played just over a decade there is not much history yet established. Granted the team has had their share of success but 12 years is hardly long enough to classify as history.

They had the sixth best record for an expansion team during their inaugural season and made the post season in just their second year. Of course no discussion of Diamondbacks history would be complete without mentioning the World Series championship in 2001. Still, the team is not nearly as storied as many of the franchises in Major League Baseball.

That being said, there have been a number of changes that have occurred over the past 12 years. The Diamondbacks have turned over quite a few players either via free agency or traded them making the term “former Diamondback” a much more recognizable term than perhaps many fans would care to admit.

With Spring Training less than two weeks away teams are beginning to finalizing their rosters before Grapefruit League and Cactus League play begins in early March. Like last year there are several players still on the market and more than a few have the moniker of “former Diamondback”. The number of these players have dwindled as several have found work over the past few weeks.

During his tenure with the Diamondbacks, Orlando Hudson brought stability to the infield and a clubhouse presence that the young team desperately needed. Last off-season the O-Dog found himself out of work late into the new year.

This was attributed to the wrist injury he suffered at the end of the 2008 season while with the Diamondbacks. Hudson ended up signing a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. By season’s end the Dodgers had benched Hudson going with Ronnie Belliard down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Hudson again found himself a free agent this season and again saw the market relatively light given his skills. He finally came to terms last week with the Minnesota Twins who negotiated a deal to bring Hudson’s slick defense and consistent bat to the new Target Field.

Pitcher Dana Eveland was part of the deal that brought starting pitcher Dan Haren to Arizona in exchange for several prospects to the Oakland Athletics. Eveland struggled in 2009 with the A’s and found himself traded to the Toronto Blue Jays where he will battle for a starting rotation position. Eveland was traded for cash considerations.

When manager Bob Melvin was let go last May there were many around the league that were shocked to see the former Manager of the Year dismissed. He bounced around a little consulting with several teams. Yesterday he was hired by the New York Mets to be a major league scout.

Last season the Diamondbacks surprised many by signing pitcher Jon Garland to a one year contract with an option for a second year. Garland was traded in mid-game to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trading deadline. He became a free agent after the season and just signed a deal with the San Diego Padres for the 2010 season.

The news was not complete good for all the “former Diamondbacks”. Pitcher Yusmeiro Petit who spent several seasons with the Diamondbacks in the minor league system as well as with the parent team was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners when they signed free agent Erik Bedard to a one year deal.

I wish only the best of luck to these players and manager. Their time with the Diamondbacks is fondly remembered and hopefully they will find success except of course when they face the Diamondbacks.

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