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Snake Bytes, 12/1: December will be magic again

Santa Claus brought us a bullpen arm as an early Christmas present.

Holiday Market In Chicago Offers Shoppers Seasonal Goods Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Team news

[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks Acquire Brad Boxberger - Boxberger hasn’t been closing in Tampa Bay in recent seasons anyhow, as he’s been plagued by groin and oblique injuries as well as a flexor strain in 2017. When healthy, however, he was quite effective this past season, as evidenced by a 3.38 ERA, 12.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 29 1/3 frames. Boxberger has totaled just 53 1/3 innings over his past two injury-plagued seasons, though he’ll be a nice addition that the team can control through the 2019 season, via arbitration, if he can remain healthy next year.

[FanGraphs] Why the Diamondbacks Might Have Their Answer - The hope is that Boxberger builds on how he finished. If he keeps himself healthy, he could pair with Bradley to make for a strong late-inning tandem. Boxberger has never reached even 65 innings in a major-league season, so it’s fair to question his durability, but, if he’s used carefully enough, he should plug a worrisome hole... The Diamondbacks are in a position where they want to find premium pitching without being able to afford known premium pitching. They need, you could say, the next Tommy Kahnle. It’s not an easy hunt. Boxberger’s indicators, I guess, are encouraging enough.

[] D-backs to decide on 15 arb-eligible players - The D-backs' large group of players eligible for salary arbitration got bigger Thursday, when the club acquired right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger from the Rays. Arizona now has 15 players eligible for arbitration and has until 6 p.m. MST on Friday to tender them contracts. If not, the players become free agents. The D-backs' group is the largest of arbitration-eligible players in the Majors, with the Red Sox second at 13. "This is one of the largest classes we've ever had," Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said. "I think it's a reflection of the good, young talent that's on the roster, and we'll handle the workload as we need to."

[] 2018 Arizona Diamondbacks Top 10 Prospects - The D-backs have a group of advanced arms ready to contribute in the near future, led by Jon Duplantier, Anthony Banda and Taylor Clarke as starters and Jimmie Sherfy, Jared Miller and Yoan Lopez in the bullpen. They have a mix of righties and lefties, and there is solid pitching depth that extends into the lower levels as well with Matt Tabor, Sam McWilliams, Jhoan Duran and others. The D-backs position group is extremely green. Only one of their top nine position player prospects has played a day above low Class A, and beyond them almost all of their high-upside, potential everyday guys are in Rookie-ball.

[] MRI shows Delgado's right elbow improving - The D-backs got some good news recently when a follow-up MRI of Randall Delgado's right elbow showed improvement. Delgado's season came to an end on July 16 when he was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Delgado was later diagnosed with a strained flexor strain in his elbow and underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection in September to help aid in the healing process. "We had a follow-up MRI and that's looking good," D-backs GM Mike Hazen said. "We feel good about where he's at right now."

[Baseball Essential] Arizona Diamondbacks Wishlist for 2018 - As a team, the Diamondbacks have a bright future ahead. They need to keep their key players with them and might have to give out more money than they usually would. Maybe 2018 is not the time for a deep postseason run, but they are the right track. With Goldschmidt, a strong bullpen and solid pieces all around the diamond, expect Arizona to keep themselves in the hunt for the next couple of years and sooner rather than later make a leap.

And, elsewhere...

[ESPN] To fist-bump or not to fist-bump -- Do players deserve a reward for an intentional walk? - In 2017, Major League Baseball replaced the old intentional walk with the new one: The base is awarded automatically by the defensive team's command, with no pitches being thrown. Previously the batter had to, at the very least, not swing at four pitches. He had to accept the walk. Now he has no agency whatsoever. There is, as far as I can tell, nothing in baseball that takes less athleticism or intent than receiving an intentional walk. Which raises the big question: If you find yourself being intentionally walked in a major league game, and you jog down to first, can you expect your first-base coach to reward you with a fist bump? Have you earned something?

[MLB] Starters who got hitters to chase most in 2017 - A chased pitch is a pitcher's best friend, particularly while balls are flying off the bat like we've never seen before. Major League pitchers try to get hitters to expand the strike zone whenever possible, and the best hurlers are often the ones who make hitters swing outside their comfort areas the most. With that in mind, who were the best MLB starters when it came to making hitters chase in 2017? [There's a Diamondback at #5. Perhaps not the first one to come to mind]

[uDiscoverMusic] Pearl Jam invite fans to play new online baseball game - Pearl Jam have launched an online baseball game to celebrate the release of their new concert movie Let’s Play Two. Let’s Play Two is out on CD, DVD and Blu-ray – and fans now have the chance to win an autographed baseball and custom Pearl Jam baseball bat by playing the retro-themed baseball game. Fans can play as Jeff Ament, Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard and touring member Boom Gaspar – with each member having their own strengths and weaknesses. Players have just 60 seconds to try and hit as many home runs as they can. [So, what was your best score?]