With Shawn Green traded, the Diamondbacks have pared down to the point where they have five players under contract for 2007.
Their financial commitment to Tony Clark, Stephen Drew, Livan Hernandez, Chad Tracy and Brandon Webb next season is about $16 million.
The figure could change if the D-Backs pick up Luis Gonzalez’s $10 million option, but the depth at outfield in the farm system leaves that unlikely.
Depending on how the team views the approximately $12 million owed to Green and Russ Ortiz, it could have about $40 million to spend on the 2007 roster to keep the payroll near this season’s $59 million level.
“Obviously, we got some financial relief in this (Green) deal, of enough significance that we think it will help us in 2007,” general manager Josh Byrnes said. As far as replacing Green with rookie Carlos Quentin in right field at this point of the season, Byrnes said: “Carlos has played very well. Like a lot of our guys, he hasn’t swung the bat in August as well as he did in July.
“He plays very good defense. We trust him to play. It’s a strange pennant race. We believe we are still in this, and we believe Carlos will be a big part of this.”
AN EXTRA DAY OFF
The D-Backs will stay in rotation for the Los Angeles series, with Claudio Vargas, Miguel Batista and Hernandez each pitching with five days’ rest.
“They are all big series. If you are looking at the people in front of you, that is one that’s going to be very, very important to us,” Melvin said.
The D-Backs could have skipped Vargas (10-8) and moved the others up in order to start Brandon Webb on Sunday, but Vargas has made quality starts in five of his last six games and gave up one run in seven innings of a 5-3 victory in San Diego on Saturday, the last D-Backs win.
Webb will start the opener of a three-game series against San Diego on Monday.
The D-Backs will introduce a new sound system at Chase Field tonight, with a cluster of speakers positioned near the center field scoreboard. New speakers also have been placed under the overhangs to supplement areas that have had trouble getting clear sound.
“The new system is set up similar to a concert with boom speakers, which will project the sound out toward the fans, solving our current issues,” D-Backs president Rich Dozer said. “We’ve been testing the system all week and are extremely pleased with the results. Fans will absolutely be able to hear the difference.”
D-Backs under contract for 2007
Player Salary Expires
Tony Clark $1 million 2007
Stephen Drew$750,000 2009
Livan Hernandez$7 million 2007
Chad Tracy $2.75 million 2010
Brandon Webb$4.5 million 2010