The last day of the winter meetings is highlighted by the Rule 5 draft, in which teams can pick unprotected players from other franchises. The catch is, in order to keep them, they have to stay on the selecting club’s 25-man roster the whole year. This is how the D-backs got catcher Oscar Hernandez, though he spent a lot of his selection season on the DL. That starts at 7am Arizona, so will be getting under way shortly. We’ll have a recap on any gains and losses for the Diamondbacks at lunchtime.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks remain stagnant at winter meetings - The Diamondbacks passed another day at the winter meetings with more talk and still no action. They do not seem to mind playing the waiting game, even as they appear to be discussing a variety of scenarios. Hazen acknowledged the possibility the Diamondbacks might depart the meetings after Thursday morning’s Rule 5 draft without any tangible results after several days filled with discussions. “Something could happen – quickly – if it came together,” he said. “But we’re not anticipating that right now.”
[KGUN9] Diamondbacks president downplays mounting Zack Greinke trade rumors - "It's a lot of rumors," Hall told ABC15's Jason Snavely at the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open Tee-Off Luncheon in Scottsdale on Wednesday. "I think any time you have Zack Greinke on your roster, teams are going to ask about him and if he's available, and I think that's more of what has happened, so word gets out. We'll meet with the other 29 teams as we have and go over every player on every roster. So, I think it slips out that you're asked about a player or you talk about a player, so they assume a deal is going to get done, and that's not the case here."
[Arizona Sports] D-backs' Zack Greinke, Brandon Drury come up in Winter Meetings rumors - “The Rangers inquired about everybody, including Greinke,” [Bob] Nightengale said Wednesday while visiting Doug & Wolf. “They wanted the Diamondbacks to eat some of that salary and also they wouldn’t get any prospects back in return. That’s not happening. I think (the Rangers) probably pivot or try to get another Diamondback starter, whether it’s Patrick Corbin or someone else. They’re trying to get Greinke as a freebie. (The D-backs) at least confirmed it, but they weren’t the team spreading that rumor. That came out of Texas.”
[MLB] D-backs hear from Yanks on Drury, Corbin - A free-agent signing seems more likely than a trade before Thursday given that the D-backs currently have offers out to relief pitchers. The D-backs are still in the mix for trades, with rumors involving them picking up Wednesday. In addition to talking to the Yankees about lefty Patrick Corbin, the two teams have also discussed infielder Brandon Drury, according to a New York Post report confirmed by MLB.com. According to a source, the D-backs have also been engaged by more than just the Rangers about ace pitcher Zack Greinke, though it doesn't seem like those discussions have had a lot of traction.
[Fanrag] Yankees and Phillies inquired about Zack Greinke - Given that they have little-to-no money on the books in future seasons, [Philadelphia] make sense as a possible Greinke suitor, but a match is highly unlikely. Talks were “over quickly,” the source said. In discussions with New York, the Yankees also asked about infielder Brandon Drury, league sources say. The likelihood of a Drury-to-Yankees deal is unknown, but Greinke is unlikely to end up in the Bronx. Barring a late change, “he won’t go there.” Teams asked about Greinke hoping that with his large contract, the Diamondbacks would give him up for cheap. However, that hasn’t been the case. Arizona is looking for value in return for the veteran and appears unlikely to deal him at all.
[Fangraphs] This Zack Greinke Rumor is Weird - Getting Greinke for Choo would move the needle a lot, of course, but Arizona would have to be insane to do that deal unless Texas kept most of Choo’s contract too. And even then, Texas would still be pretty clearly behind the Angels and whatever team doesn’t win the AL East for the Wild Card spots... Taking on an expensive 34-year-old pitcher is maybe not the best idea for a team that might be pivoting to a rebuild in six months. So, yeah, I’d call this one a weird rumor. Maybe there’s a deal here that works for both sides, but Greinke for Choo doesn’t look like a fit to me.
[SI] Darvish Tipping Pitches in World Series Starts - The Astros often knew what Darvish was about to throw by the way he brought the ball into his glove in the set position. [A] player said it worked like this: Darvish holds the ball at his side when he gets the sign from the catcher. Whether he re-grips or not as he brings the ball into his glove was the tip-off whether he was going to throw a slider/cutter or a fastball. “We knew the first time we faced him [in Game 3],” the player said. “The next time [in Game 7] it was mostly the same, but then it was more about just having a great game plan going in. We knew he was going to try to go back to his slider to find it. We had a great approach.”
[Japan Times] Marines add Mike Bolsinger, Edgar Olmos to pitching staff - The Chiba Lotte Marines on Wednesday announced the acquisitions of former Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Mike Bolsinger. Bolsinger went 0-3 with a 6.31 ERA in 11 games this past season with Toronto. The 29-year-old has also had stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers and has a career record of 8-19 with a 4.92 ERA in 48 games in the big leagues.
[SI] Free Agency Reveals Unprecedented Market Value of Relief Pitchers - There are 11 free agents on the market who hit at least 25 home runs this year. None have signed. Meanwhile, teams have treated 30-something setup relievers like bread just before a blizzard: snapping them up at seemingly any cost. Before a single home run hitter has signed, clubs have rushed to hand out $133 million to seven veteran relievers who are not closers, covering 16 years of commitment. (An eighth, Juan Nicasio, will be next, to Seattle.) That’s an average price of $8.31 million for older guys to pitch about 60 innings a year—if these blue collar workers even manage to hold up under strenuous work, which they tend not to do.
This tweet about the Marlins has not aged well [H/T /r/baseball]