Diamondbacks G.M. Josh Byrnes has received an eight year contract extension, keeping him with the team until 2015. In his two years on the job, it's hard to find fault with anything he's done, except for leaving Dan Uggla off the 40 man roster, letting him get taken by the Marlins for nothing. Even his much maligned Eric Byrnes contract extension is justifiable since it gave them the flexibility to trade Carlos Gonzalez to get Dan Haren. With Rockies G.M. Dan O'Dowd suddenly appearing to be competent, the Dodgers are stuck in a division with three competent management groups, plus Brian Sabean for the foreseeable future.
In other bad news, Ryan Howard won his arbitration case and will make 10 million this year, shattering Miguel Cabrera's previous record of 7.4 million for a first year arbitration case. Since we haven't shown any initiative in getting our core players signed to long term contracts, this could be trouble. Now that the bar is set this high, if Russell Martin repeats his 2007 performance this year, he could easily ask for six or seven million in his first year of arbitration with his salary scaling up in the later years. Ned needs to take the initiative and wrap up Martin, Billingsley, Broxton and anyone else that looks like they'll be part of this team for a while before they get into the quickly escalating world of arbitration.