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Diamondbacks at the Winter Meetings: Wednesday Roundup

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Kevin Towers was not happy with the attitude in the clubhouse last year, and he's made moves to improve it.
Kevin Towers was not happy with the attitude in the clubhouse last year, and he's made moves to improve it.

Almost done with winter meetings in Florida, but still moves to be made on the Diamondbacks' end. There are two medium-sized nuggets from today's dealings. Mike Hampton has signed a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. He will compete for a spot out of the bullpen, where he pitched at the end of last season for the Dbacks. He pitched in 10 games, rarely facing more than on batter per game, allowing 0 earned runs and 3 inherited runners to score. Having let DJ Carrasco go, I'm happy to see Mike Hampton get a chance to have a role as a veteran lefty in the 'pen. Heck, if he could prove he could pitch for a full inning, that'd be great...

The Diamondbacks are still working on a one-year deal with former Cubs and Padres catcher Henry Blanco to back up Miguel Montero. (Every time you hear "former Padre" this winter, take a shot. Or, maybe, don't....) Blanco has not caught full time since 2004 with the Cubs, and only played in 50 games last year as a Met. I thought John Hester did pretty well as Montero's backup last year, so would Blanco be the backup for Montero or for Hester? Hopefully, Towers will sign him at a lower cost than the $750k he made last year.

Our bench may soon be one man lighter, with a deal to send IF/OF Rusty Ryal to Japan being called a "good possibility." Someone smarter than me can clarify this - the prank pulled on a rookie last year where a kid was told he was traded to Japan was supposedly a pretty good prank because you can't actually trade players to Japan. But apparently you can just give away the contracted salary to Japan for cost? I have put out a Tweet to Nick Piecoro asking for his input in this matter, because frankly, it's both a little strange and interesting.

Paul Konerko stayed with the Chicago White Sox today, signing for $37.5mil over 3 years, slightly more than the $10mil/year Arizona was rumored to have offered. This money will NOT be used in one chunk for another big name player, but hopefully some will be used to fill up the holes we still have in the roster - bullpen and left field. Gerardo Parra and Brandon Allen are still on the trade market, but with Allen able to platoon at first base with Juan Miranda, I would prefer Parra be traded before Allen (or else get another pseudo-1Bman in return). But that's nothing more than "on the market" news so far, no word on possible suitors.

The big talking point today has been the discussions Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson had with the media, promising a change in attitude in the clubhouse. No more toy guns, no more remote controlled airplanes; the clubhouse will be for baseball players, not kids. After so many losing seasons, a lax attitude tends to permeate, and I can imagine that doesn't always go away even after a spring cleaning. It may take Gibson and Towers being bad-asses about it and trading away anybody who won't comply, but it will happen. As Jack Magruder says in his article: "It may be only coincidence, but the players who most engaged in gun fights were moved last year or during this offseason." Anybody who really thinks it's a coincidence, raise your hand. Gibson also suggested in his comments that the role models these young guys have had in recent years may not have helped. Towers and Gibson are both dedicated to making this team a winning team, and that starts with a winning attitude.

In other news, Baxter attacked Barry Enright's driver's side window and rear-view mirror this morning. Because that's definitely what we need our mascot doing this winter. If Barry gets so much as a papercut while taking those off......