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Joe Saunders wanted to stay in Arizona, but Diamondbacks “wanted to go a different direction”

Dec 23, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

Joe Saunders AP

Joe Saunders is being linked to a handful of teams now that he’s a free agent, but the veteran left-hander never wanted to hit the open market in the first place.

Saunders told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he “really wanted to come back” to the Diamondbacks, but the team “wanted to go a different direction” and non-tendered him rather than pay around $8.5 million via arbitration.

Of course, Saunders had the opportunity to stay. He just didn’t like the Diamondbacks’ two-year, $12 million offer and when he countered at three years and $27 million they “never countered back.”

Saunders repeatedly called his counter offer “very reasonable,” but odds are he won’t get $27 million as a free agent. He should, however, top the two-year, $12 million offer, although that’s certainly no sure thing for a 30-year-old with a 4.16 career ERA and mediocre secondary numbers.

  1. phukyouk - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    If he was willing to take 2 yrs at 15 Mil plus another 3 Mil in incentives i would say he would be a good fit for the back of the Yankees order.

    • drewsylvania - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      At that price he’d be a fit on most teams. Too bad he wants more than that. Saunders just isn’t that good. Though I’m surprised the Twins haven’t called, since they love their strikeout-less pitchers.

      • sknut - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        Although there were rumors about the Twins being interested he quickly priced himself out of their price range and instead settled on Marquis for 3 million.

      • phukyouk - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:04 PM

        that price is the 9 Mil a yr hes been looking for.. throw in a mutual 3rd yr option with a buyout to make him happy

    • drewsylvania - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      They’re only equivalent if he’s likely to hit the incentives.

    • protius - Dec 24, 2011 at 5:55 AM

      You’re talking about the Murmansk Yankees, right?

  2. rooney24 - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    If the team didn’t think he was worth paying around $8.5 million for one season, why did he think they would pay him $9 million per year for three years? If I had been the D-Backs, I wouldn’t have called him back either.

  3. Kyle - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    They wanted to go a direction that leads away for Joe Saunders. Can’t say I blame them.

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