D-backs Trim 40-Man Roster

As expected, the Arizona Diamondbacks have declined to exercise their 2010 club option on infielder Chad Tracy. Additionally, pitchers Yusmeiro Petit and Doug Slaten have been claimed off waivers while the D-backs outrighted outfielders Trent Oeltjen and Alex Romero to Triple-A Reno. Pitcher Daniel Cabrera elected to become a free agent rather than accept his assignment to Reno.

Chad Tracy hit .237 (61-for-257) with 15 doubles, eight home runs and 39 RBI in 98 games last season. He saw action in a combined 71 games (61 starts) in the field at first base (66 games, 56 starts) and third base (8 games, 5 starts).  The 29-year old Tracy, who was the D-backs' seventh-round selection in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, hit .280 (654-for-2338) with 153 doubles, nine triples, 78 home runs, and 318 RBI in 704 games over parts of six seasons with the D-backs.

Tracy always excelled as a pinch hitter.  In 33 pinch-hit appearances this year, he hit .276 (8-for-29) with three home runs, nine RBI, a .363 on-base percentage, and a .621 slugging.  He spent a month on the disabled list with a right oblique strain from May 30-June 30. For his career pinch-hitting, he has batted .302 (26-for-86) with nine doubles, five home runs, 24 RBI, and 11 walks.

Obviously, Tracy's $7 million club option for 2010 was too much to pay a pinch-hitter, albeit an excellent one.  Therefore, the club exercised their $1 million buyout instead.


In other unsurprising news, Doug Slaten was claimed of waivers by the Washington Nationals.  Slaten has been undervalued by both fans and Diamondbacks executives alike since his terrific 2007 campaign in which he sported a 2.72 ERA over 61 games.  The southpaw had been juggled on and off the 40-man roster based on very small sample sizes.  Mike Rizzo, the Nats' general manager, was the Arizona Diamondbacks scouting director from 2000-2006 and selected Slaten in the 17th round of the 2000 draft.  It's no surprise that Rizzo would accept Slaten back into his fold, given their history and the Nationals' desperate need for pitching.


What did come as a shock was Yusmeiro Petit's departure from the organization.  Petit was claimed by the Seattle Mariners when the Diamondbacks took him off their 40-man roster.  Petit was disappointing last year, having gone 3-10 with a 5.82 ERA, but does not turn 25 until later this month and has shown flashes of brilliance.  He flirted with a no-hitter against Pittsburgh on August 4th before Ronny Cedeno broke up his bid in the eighth inning.  Petit also did a solid job as a swingman for the Diamondbacks in 2007 and 2008, and figured to have that role at least in 2010 with only Dan Haren and Max Scherzer assured spots in the starting rotation come April, but apparently the Diamondbacks have other thoughts on how to fill the back of their rotation. 


Daniel Cabrera will not be a candidate to fill one of those spots, as he elected for free agency rather than accept assignment to Reno off the 40-man roster.  Cabrera is a good-stuff, no-command pitcher who would have been a longshot for the rotation anyway.  Alexander Romero held the same right of refusal as Cabrera, but appears likely to accept his assignment to Reno.  Trent Oeltjen has very little major league service time and could not refuse assignment to Reno after the other 29 teams failed to claim him off waivers.  Both outfielders would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft next month, though if other teams were really interested in them they would not have cleared waivers.

The series of moves bring the club's 40-man roster to 35 players, with pitchers Doug Davis and Scott Schoenewies also becoming free agents.

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