Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/2/11
PHOENIX The Diamondbacks returned two of the supplemental pieces from their NL West title team for 2012 while making their first moves in the free agent market Wednesday. Veteran shortstop John McDonald, who added a defensive presence down the stretch after joining the D-backs on Aug. 23, signed a two-year, 3 million contract, fortifying them at shortstop while starter Stephen Drew continues to work his way back from a severe right ankle suffered in July. The D-backs also are expected to re-sign catcher Henry Blanco, who turned down his side of a mutual option Monday worth 1.15 million next year in what could amount to a largely procedural move. The sides are working on a new deal that could morph into one-year deal with an option for 2013. Blanco was considered not only an invaluable clubhouse but also a mentor for Miggy Montero, who had a career year in 2011. Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay also are persons of interest as the D-backs enter the final day of negotiating exclusivity with their former free agents Thursday. They do not appear to be interested in any of their former players who entered free agency. Although the McDonald signing seemed to signal a diminished desire to re-sign free agent Willie Bloomquist, team sources indicated that the D-backs have not closed the door on his return. Bloomquist, who filled in so well at shortstop when Drew suffered his season-ending fractured ankle in mid-July, declined a mutual option worth 1.1 million for 2012 on Monday after the D-backs accepted their side of the option, saying he hoped to sign a new deal that included at least an option for 2013. More than anything, the addition of McDonald may indicate that the D-backs envision Bloomquist more in a handyman role going forward. It was the role they anticipated when he signed last winter. At the same time, there was been no timetable established for Drews return, and it is not known if he will be ready for the start of spring training in mid-February. McDonald and Bloomquist give them coverage there. The D-backs also still have uncertainty at second base after declining Aaron Hills 8 million option Monday, a position Bloomquist has played. Ryan Roberts also could move to second base, general manager Kevin Towers suggested, if Hill does not return, a move that would open third base. Internet speculation has identified David Wright as a possible candidate, although he would appear to be out of the D-backs price range. Wright is owed 15 million next year and has a 16 million option in 2013 that he can void if traded. The D-backs hoped to strike a deal with Hill during their window of exclusivity, but it was uncertain if progress was made. One report earlier this week speculated that Hills value may be in the 4 million-a-year range. It remains to be seen if Hill will test his value on the open market. Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kings engaging in trade talks for Cousins

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker