The Diamondbacks are willing to give free agent Tony Clark a two-year contract to return, industry sources indicated Tuesday, but the sides remain divided on salary figures.
Clark, whose leadership was cited as a reason the young D-Backs won the NL West Division in 2007, filed for free agency Tuesday.
The D-Backs still have sole negotiating rights with Clark through Nov. 12.
“I did file. It’s more of a technicality. The door (to the D-Backs) will not close,” Clark said, even if it gets to the point where he is on the open market. “I’d be naive not to consider what other teams have to offer if it comes to that. It is a whole lot simpler when the phone is not ringing” with other offers.
The sides have had a “fair amount of discussion,” general manager Josh Byrnes said, “but not to the point to agreeing to the right numbers.
“We’re working on it. I don’t want to handicap our chances. It probably could go either way.”
No substantive discussions have been held recently, according to Clark’s camp.
Clark, 35, hit .249 with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs last season, the final year of a two-year, $2.068 million extension he agreed to late in the 2005 season.
“What he does off the field is significant,” Byrnes said. “It’s a hard thing to quantify.”
The D-Backs’ three other potential free agents — Jeff Cirillo, Livan Hernandez and Bob Wickman — also filed for free agency.
None are expected to return to the D-Backs, and Wickman has told several people in the D-Backs organization he plans to retire. Hernandez is expected to seek a multi-year contract.