The Diamondbacks have made an offer to Joe Saunders

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Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he has made a contract offer to the arbitration-eligible Joe Saunders. Piecoro hears that it’s likely a two-year deal, which jibes with what Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported last week.

Saunders, who was acquired from the Angels as part of the Dan Haren deal in 2010, earned $5.5 million this season while posting a 3.69 ERA and 108/67 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. The 30-year-old southpaw stands to make over $8 million in arbitration this winter, which makes him a candidate to be non-tendered or traded.

If the two sides agree on a two-year deal, it would cover his final year of arbitration and his first year of free agency. While Saunders is unlikely to duplicate the success he had in 2011, he remains a pretty useful middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.