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D-backs to decide on 15 arb-eligible players

Group is largest in MLB as deadline to tender contracts approaches
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- The D-backs' large group of players eligible for salary arbitration got bigger Thursday, when the club acquired right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger from the Rays.

Arizona now has 15 players eligible for arbitration and has until 6 p.m. MST on Friday to tender them contracts. If not, the players become free agents.

PHOENIX -- The D-backs' large group of players eligible for salary arbitration got bigger Thursday, when the club acquired right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger from the Rays.

Arizona now has 15 players eligible for arbitration and has until 6 p.m. MST on Friday to tender them contracts. If not, the players become free agents.

The D-backs' arbitration-eligible players are left-hander Patrick Corbin, right-hander Randall Delgado, right-hander Shelby Miller, catcher Chris Herrmann, right-hander J.J. Hoover, left-hander T.J. McFarland, shortstop Chris Owings, outfielder A.J. Pollock, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Nick Ahmed, left-hander Andrew Chafin, third baseman Jake Lamb, outfielder David Peralta, left-hander Robbie Ray and Boxberger.

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The D-backs' group is the largest of arbitration-eligible players in the Majors, with the Red Sox second at 13.

"This is one of the largest classes we've ever had," Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said. "I think it's a reflection of the good, young talent that's on the roster, and we'll handle the workload as we need to."

With that big of a class, the organization is expected to face a large price tag. According to projections by MLBTradeRumors.com, the players could get a combined $54 million via arbitration.

Three players figure to be non-tender candidates: Herrmann, Hoover and McFarland, though the team could have interest in bringing all three back at the right price.

Herrmann hit just .181 this year, but his ability to play at catcher as well as the infield corners and all three outfield positions adds to his value on a National League roster.

Hoover, who was signed to a Minor League deal last offseason, spent some time in the Minors during the regular season but also had periods in which he was really effective, compiling a 3.92 ERA with the D-backs.

McFarland, who also came to camp last year as a non-roster invitee, had a 2.29 ERA through 26 appearances before struggling with a 13.50 ERA in August.

Pollock (projected at $8.5 million) and Corbin ($8.3 million) figure to be the most expensive in the group. Both will be free agents at the end of the 2018 season.

Delgado could have been considered a non-tender candidate if his strained flexor tendon hadn't shown improvement. But a recent MRI has the club optimistic about his chances of returning strong in 2018.

Miller, who could make close to $5 million next year, is expected to miss at least the first half of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Nick Ahmed, Brad Boxberger, Andrew Chafin, Patrick Corbin, Randall Delgado, Chris Herrmann, J.J. Hoover, Jake Lamb, T.J. McFarland, Shelby Miller, Chris Owings, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Robbie Ray, Taijuan Walker