Tracy a free agent after Arizona picks $1 million buyout over $7 million option

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When the Diamondbacks signed Chad Tracy to a long-term contract in May of 2006 he was a 26-year-old lifetime .296/.354/.484 hitter who had emerged as the team’s starting third baseman following a hugely productive minor-league career.
Buying out his three seasons of arbitration eligibility for $13.25 million and getting a $7 million team option for his first season of free agency seemed like a shrewd investment, but since signing the deal Tracy has hit just .265/.327/.424 while playing fewer than 100 games in each of the past three seasons because of injuries.
This afternoon the Diamondbacks declined their $7 million option on Tracy for 2010, choosing to make him a free agent with a $1 million buyout. When healthy Tracy was a high-average hitter with 20-homer power who could play passable defense at third base, but he’s batted just .256 with a total of 23 homers in 262 games over the past three seasons and is no longer a realistic option defensively at the hot corner.
At this point in his career Tracy will likely be competing with guys like Eric Hinske for jobs as a left-handed bench bat. Tracy should have no trouble finding work despite his bad knees leaving him with even less defensive versatility than Hinske, but may have to put together a healthy, productive season as a part-time player before anyone views him as an everyday option again.

Diamondbacks place Shelby Miller on the 10-day disabled list

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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.

Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.

Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.

Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.

Eric Thames hit two more homers

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And John Lackey is livid.

The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.

According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.

Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.

Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.