Team news [interesting Tweets department]
We’ll start with this news, which broke late last night.
Dbacks are in agreement with Japanese reliever Yoshihisa Hirano on a two-year deal, pending a physical, source says. @JballAllen, @Ken_Rosenthal were first on the scene.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) December 22, 2017
Hirano will get $6 million over two seasons. We’ll have more on the new arrival later in the day, I’m sure (if not already - this is a pre-scheduled post, since I’m off to bed by 10pm due to the last of those highly unfortunate early starts, hooray!). But over the past five years he has saved 143 games for the Orix Buffaloes, with a 2.62 ERA. He’ll doubtlessly go into the mix for the closer’s role here, along with quite a number of other candidates. There was also this:
The Yankees have been digging into background/scouting on Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin, one of the starting pitching options they've considered. He had a strong second half in 2017; eligible for FA after 2018.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 18, 2017
Though lately, it appears the Yankees may be heading towards Gerrit Cole as an alternative to strengthen their rotation instead. And, finally, in the “Oh, well - it was a nice idea while it lasted” department:
Several teams who were in negotiations with the #Orioles now also believe that Manny Machado is staying put for now, perhaps all of the way to trade deadline— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 21, 2017
Team news (more than 140 characters)
[MLB] Brito injures finger in Winter League play - D-backs outfielder Socrates Brito sustained a possible fracture of his right pinkie finger while playing for Estrellas in the Dominican Republic. D-backs GM Mike Hazen said Brito will be examined by the team's doctors before a diagnosis can be confirmed. Heading into the offseason, Brito was a candidate for a backup outfield spot on the D-backs' 2018 big league roster. It's not known whether this injury will impact that.
[Sporting News] Will Marlins trade J.T. Realmuto, baseball's most underrated catcher? - Don’t blame Arizona fans for salivating about the idea of Realmuto wearing a D-backs uniform for the next couple of seasons. At the moment, next season’s catching tandem is Jeff Mathis — who turns 35 this spring and hit .215 in 2017 — and Chad Hermann — who hit .181 in 106 games last season. Realmuto would be a massive upgrade for a team that will definitely be a playoff contender in 2018. The Diamondbacks need to do everything possible to make this happen.
[FanSided] Milwaukee Brewers: Finding the perfect trade with the D-Backs - In the past, these two teams have linked up for trades. Most recently, the Brewers sent Jean Segura to Arizona for Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill, and Isan Diaz. That trade worked out well for both sides. Could another mutually beneficial trade be worked out? There are a couple options if the Diamondbacks wish to acquire Santana if they don’t re-sign J.D. Martinez. [Jim: I'm really not sure either of these suggested deals are at all reasonable. But, hey, it's a slow week...]
[NY Post] Dominican cops assaulted, robbed me: MLB star - Mariners shortstop Jean Segura said he was beaten and robbed by police in his native Dominican Republic in an Instagram post Thursday. “The [police] stopped me with rifles, hit me, threw me to the ground and take away my belongings, smash my car like we’re delinquents,” Segura said, as translated from Spanish into English. “Today it’s me, tomorrow may be another player more. I’m a father with two kids and a wife and if those officials shot at me again then they wonder why we leave our country — They entered my SUV and left it a mess.”
[Miami Herald] MLB commissioner disputes account of Jeter's Marlins strategy - Two people directly involved in the sales process said that Jeter and Sherman were required to tell other owners their intentions with payroll during the approval process, and that they informed the other owners that payroll would be cut from $115 million to the $85 million to $90 million range, with $85 million used at times and $90 million other times in those discussions. Last year’s team would have cost about $140 million if it were kept together. The Marlins’ current projected payroll for 2018 stands at about $94 million after the team traded Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna.
[AP] Last of 3 Women to Play Baseball in Negro Leagues Dies at 82 - Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, one of three women to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, has died at 82. The State of Columbia reports the Ridgeway, South Carolina, native was rejected at age 17 from trying out for the all-white All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She was recruited in 1953 by the Indianapolis Clowns, the team which featured Hank Aaron before he went on to Major League Baseball. In three seasons as a pitcher with the Clowns, Johnson posted a 33-8 record as well as a .270 batting average.