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Diamondbacks sign reliever Adam Russell

Thanksgiving was quiet as expected, in terms of D-backs news, but not entirely devoid, as we acquire a bit more bullpen depth.

Diamondbacks sign reliever Adam Russell
Diamondbacks sign reliever Adam Russell

It's kinda nice that, for once, a player gets to break news concerning him through Twitter, rather than reading about it there [not that Brad Ziegler appears to mind finding out about his trade on Twitter!] Russell was a 6th-round pick by the White Sox in 2004, and made his debut with them in 2008, before being traded to the Padres as a part of the deal for Jake Peavy. After two seasons with San Diego, they then traded him to Tampa in the Jason Bartlett swap, but despite a decent 3.58 ERA in 36 appearances for the Rays in 2011, Russell was released at the end of the year - likely due largely to his K:BB ratio was a concerning 13:20.

All told, from 2008-11, RHP Russell had a 3.95 ERA in 85 relief appearances for the White Sox, Padres and Rays, and has bounced around the minors for the past couple of years, with the Braves, Angels and most recently, the Orioles. In 2013, posted a decent 2.37 ERA in 60.2 IP with Baltimore's Triple-A team in Norfolk, striking out almost a batter per, but the control was still rather wobbly, with 33 walks over that time. He'll turn 31 next April; seems not a bad depth acquisition, and he's certainly a guy Mark Grace would have loved. Russell is listed at 6'8" and 255 lbs - and may be more, being described in 2012 as "at least 270 lbs." Maybe explains this Tweet!

He can apparently throw both sidearm and over the top: teams have tended to encourage a more conventional style, because that makes best use of a power fastball averaging 94.3 mph when clocked in 2011. Whether the D-backs will look to go the same route with Russell, or let him go sidearm again, remains to be seen.