D-backs could sign, trade Cruz
But reliever would need to reach deal with another team first
TUCSON -- It appears the Juan Cruz free-agent saga could get even more complicated for the D-backs.
General manager Josh Byrnes said on Monday that it is possible that the right-handed reliever could agree to financial terms on a deal with another team. The D-backs would then sign him to a contract at that price and deal him to the other team in exchange for a player or players.
"I can't say too much," Byrnes said. "But of late, they've talked to the union, we have talked to the Commissioner's Office to see if there is a way where they could sign through us and then we would receive in trade what we would deem as enough value."
Cruz, who made a little more than $1.9 million last year, is a Type A free agent. That means that the team that signs him would have to give the D-backs its No. 1 Draft pick -- unless that pick falls in the top 16, in which case that team would give up its second-round pick. In addition, the D-backs would get a pick in the compensation round between the first and second rounds.
There is a feeling that teams have been reluctant to sign Cruz because they do not want to give up their Draft pick. The scenario that Byrnes laid out would be a way around that.
However, it's anything but simple because not only does another team need to work out a financial deal with Cruz, but it then has to satisfy the D-backs' demand for talent in return.
"Obviously, it's tricky," Byrnes said. "They would have to work out a deal with someone else and then we would have to get back in player value something that we feel is close to the respective picks."
Byrnes said that he has not had discussions with any team yet.
"We're letting the agent drive for now and they are keeping us updated on teams that might be interested, and then when they are farther along in the process then we will have further conversations with a team or teams," Byrnes said. "We'll sort of be involved once they are either close or at a deal and both New York offices are in the loop and then we're pulled into it. So we'll wait for that to happen."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.