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The Diamondbacks have made an offer to Joe Saunders

Dec 5, 2011, 7:17 PM EDT

Joe Saunders AP

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he has made a contract offer to the arbitration-eligible Joe Saunders. Piecoro hears that it’s likely a two-year deal, which jibes with what Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported last week.

Saunders, who was acquired from the Angels as part of the Dan Haren deal in 2010, earned $5.5 million this season while posting a 3.69 ERA and 108/67 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. The 30-year-old southpaw stands to make over $8 million in arbitration this winter, which makes him a candidate to be non-tendered or traded.

If the two sides agree on a two-year deal, it would cover his final year of arbitration and his first year of free agency. While Saunders is unlikely to duplicate the success he had in 2011, he remains a pretty useful middle-of-the-rotation starter.

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