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12/13/07 12:32 PM ET
Notes: D-backs offer arbitration to six
Club will seek to sign Valverde and Co. before hearings
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The D-backs offered salary arbitration to all five of their eligible players on Wednesday.
Had the club not extended the offers to pitchers Juan Cruz, Brandon Lyon and Jose Valverde, along with catcher Chris Snyder and second baseman Orlando Hudson, they would have become free agents.
"All guys were major contributors to our club last year, so it wasn't a difficult decision to offer arbitration," general manager Josh Byrnes said.
Infielder Augie Ojeda, who was also eligible for salary arbitration, signed a one-year contract last week.
The D-backs will continue to negotiate with the six in hopes of avoiding an arbitration hearing, something the organization has been able to do for much of its 10-year existence. Arizona has only gone to hearings with two players -- catchers Jorge Fabregas and Damian Miller -- and has settled each of its cases since Byrnes took over in November 2005.
"I think a hearing is a failure in negotiations," Byrnes said. "It's a last resort. We spend a lot of time and put forth a lot of effort to try and avoid that."
The D-backs had not heard as of early Wednesday if Japanese free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda had decided which contract offer to accept.
There were various reports that said he had selected the Dodgers, but Dodgers officials had no knowledge of that.
"We expect to hear from the agent at some point in time," Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said. "We hear [Kuroda] is in Los Angeles, but that shouldn't be misinterpreted. His agent is out here."
The Kuroda-to-the-Dodgers report followed a media report that said the Mariners were the front-runner.
In addition, multiple sources said that the D-backs had not increased their offer in either years or dollars for Kuroda.
Talking: The D-backs continue to talk to the A's about a deal involving Oakland ace Dan Haren, but a report earlier this week that the club was waiting to hear back on an offer appears to have been premature.
Byrnes would not discuss the Haren deal in particular, but said he was still actively working the phones.
"The week after the Winter Meetings a lot of trade ideas are either close to happening or close to going away," Byrnes said.