Joe Saunders stays with D-backs for $6 million

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Cut loose by Arizona last month, former All-Star pitcher Joe Saunders agreed to a $6 million, one-year contract with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

Saunders made $5.5 million last season, when he went 12-13 with a 3.69 ERA in a career-high 33 starts. Arizona didn't want him to become eligible for arbitration, so the Diamondbacks declined to offer a contract by the Dec. 12 deadline.

Saunders teamed with Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Josh Collmenter in a rotation that helped the Diamondbacks go from last place to first in the NL West and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

An All-Star for the Angels in 2008, Saunders was acquired on July 25, 2010, as part of the trade that sent Dan Haren to Los Angeles. Saunders has a 69-52 career record with a 4.16 ERA.

The 30-year-old Saunders will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

"Joe was an integral part of our success last season and will help stabilize the rotation next season," general manager Kevin Towers said in a statement. "We're confident his veteran leadership, familiarity in the clubhouse and understanding of the culture we've built will help us continue working towards a championship."