Over the next couple weeks I'm going to cover every team and whether or not they should offer contracts to each of their arbitration-eligible players. Players become eligible for arbitration after accumulating three years of service time, at which point the player can go to an arbitrator to determine a new salary if the two sides can't come to an agreement. After three arbitration seasons, or four if a player reaches Super Two status after two seasons rather than three, a player can become a free agent. But teams don't have to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players; they can either trade them off like Florida did with Jeremy Hermida, or simply non-tender them like Pittsburgh did with Matt Capps. I'm going to say which path each team should take with their respective players, at least in my opinion.
So let's start with Arizona, and we'll do this alphabetically I suppose. And when I reference a raise, that's a raise from a player's 2010 salary.
LHP Joe Saunders - 2nd season of arbitration - Tender contract, raised from $3.7M
Obviously they're not going to non-tender one of the core pieces of the return for Dan Haren. It's kind of sad that Saunders isn't that much of a bargain even while going through arbitration, but he's a useful starter despite the fact that he misses far less bats than he should. I would argue that it's pretty clear that the Diamondbacks value Saunders more than most people do.
SS Stephen Drew - 2nd season of arbitration - Tender contract, raised from $3.4M
A lot of these will be obvious tenders, and Drew is no different as the team's everyday shortstop. An apparently improved glove has significantly helped his value, and he still offers a lot of power and very strong offensive numbers for his position. He'll likely be around at least until he hits free agency after 2012, as the team's best shortstop prospect, 2009 supplement round pick Christopher Owings, is still in low Single-A.
2B Kelly Johnson - 3rd season of arbitration - Tender contract, raised from $3.2M
Arguably the best value signing of the 2009 free agent class, the fact that Arizona gets him for his final arbitration season is a big part of why that is. His numbers are inflated some by Chase Field, but he's been a monster bargain and that won't change even if he gets a raise through arbitration. They'll probably deal him next season if they drop out of contention again, though.
C Miguel Montero - 2nd season of arbitration - Tender contract, raised from $2.0M
The team basically committed to Montero full-time by dealing Chris Snyder to Pittsburgh in July, and it's hard to disagree with that move given Montero's impressive offensive production from the position. He's one of the better catchers in the NL, and is almost certain to be in Arizona at least through 2012, when he hits free agency.
OF Ryan Church - 3rd season of arbitration - Non-tender
Church has been non-tendered before, but it's unlikely he'll find another job again this time after the brutal showing that's been his 2010 season. A .192/.252/.318 is pretty inexplicable, although I suppose there's hope that he could still hit right-handers well, as he did for essentially his entire career coming into this season.
RHP D.J. Carrasco - 3rd season of arbitration (Super Two) - Tender contract, raised from $0.95M
Carrasco isn't particularly special, but he's been pretty consistent the past two seasons and the D-Backs could use a couple reliable arms in the bullpen. He'll still be pretty cheap even with a raise, and delving into the free agent market for relief help has proven to be a risky and often inefficient way of doing things.
IF Augie Ojeda - 4th season of arbitration (Super Two) - Non-tender
Ojeda was a useful piece for Arizona in 2009, but he's reverted back to his ways of worthlessness in 2010. I just don't see how he's worth over a $1 million at this point, and realistically the Diamondbacks can likely do better if they're willing to spend that kind of money. I know there's value in familiarity, but it's not as easy when we're talking about a 36-year-old utility infielder with a .236/.321/.314 career batting line and a total of 14 homers and steals combined in 495 games.