Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/11/11
The Diamondbacks have a multi-year contract offer on the table to second baseman Aaron Hill, and they would like to have an answer before the general managers meetings begin in Milwaukee on Tuesday. D-backs general manager Kevin Towers stopped short of calling it a deadline, but he made it clear that the D-backs are prepared to move on if they are unable to reach an agreement with Hill shortly. The D-backs offer, believed to be in the 4 million-5 million per year range, has been out there since shortly after the conclusion of the World Series. Hopefully well know something on Aaron by Monday, Towers said. I said we dont want to play work-up, were going to give you our best and kind of last (offer). Were going to give you a week to 10 days to kind of find out where you think the market is for him. We didnt want to sit around and wait deep into the offseason." This is the same approach the D-backs took with returning free agents Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald, recent signees. If Aaron wants to go somewhere else, we may focus on a third baseman rather than a second baseman. I just dont want to be waiting until the middle of December to know if it is second base and third base. If we get Aaron back, our focus will change, Towers said. With Aaron in the fold, I think our infield is in pretty good shape. Outfield is in good shape. Catching is in good shape. Bullpen, for the most part, is in good shape. If Hill returns, the D-backs will turn their attention to starting pitching, Towers said. If Hill leaves, the D-backs are likely to give Roberts the first chance at second base and shop for a third baseman. The D-backs have been linked to veteran Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who chose to stay with the Dodgers at the trading deadline last season. The D-backs were among the original suitors for Kuroda when he came from Japan in 2008. This is the time when there are tons of rumors going around with free agents," Towers said. "Without being specific on who weve been talking to, its an area weve looked at. If we could add some more veteran pitching to our club, we would. Weve reached out to a couple of pitchers who are free agents, but our primary focus has been our infield. Well have a better idea on what the possible trade market is when we go to the general managers' meetings in Milwaukee. The D-backs have until Dec. 12 to decide what to do with left-hander Joe Saunders, who won 12 games last season and can be expected to earn in the 6 million-7 million range in his final year of arbitration this year. The D-backs have until Dec. 12 to tender Saunders a contract, weighing the likely price against their other free-agent or in-house options. If we find the price of free-agent pitching is above and beyond what we think, we have a great internal candidate in Joe, Towers said. We control him, and we have a lot of young pitching depth, too. Were just going to see how the free-agent market shakes out. Roberts is expected to get a big raise this season after qualifying for arbitration as a super two, a group that comprises the top 17 percent of players who have three years or fewer of service time. Micah Owings also is eligible for arbitration.
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