When needed, D-backs flexible with payroll

When needed, D-backs flexible with payroll

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs stretched their budget this offseason when they elected to sign left-hander Joe Saunders to a one-year, $6 million deal in January.

The signing increased the payroll to nearly $80 million. Team president/CEO Derrick Hall praised the club's ownership group, led by managing general partner Ken Kendrick, for giving the go-ahead.

"Especially in a year that's going to be a bridge year before we get to a lot of the young talent that's knocking on the door, this was an important year to hopefully sustain that level of performance that we had," Hall said. "In order to do so, we felt that we had to increase payroll a little bit and to have ownership willing to do so, we're very lucky."

The D-backs may not be done spending, either. Kendrick seemed to indicate that there would be more money made available if the team is in contention and there is a player or players on the market that could help prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I hope we have that problem," Kendrick said about finding room in the budget. "You like to think you have a plan, and we do. And we'll let the season play out, and if we have needs, then we'll deal with them later in the year."