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Snake Bytes, 12/8: Winter is coming

Or, at least, the winter meetings...

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Walt Disney World Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks negotiations over Chase Field happening in secret - The Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County are negotiating in secret over the team's request to move out of Chase Field, leaving taxpayers without an immediate window into talks that could affect as much as $187 million in stadium repairs. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ordered the parties last month to take their bitter fight out of the public eye and into private mediation. The first public glimpse of their progress will be a status report to the court Jan. 15.

[] Inbox: Who will be D-backs' closer in 2018? - If the D-backs are able to find an affordable closer via trade, or if one falls to them in the free-agent market like Fernando Rodney did last year, then they still have the flexibility to use Boxberger and Bradley in different roles. Keep in mind one of the reasons Rodney signed with the D-backs last year is because they were able to tell him that he was going to be their closer. They could do that again this year, which is why GM Mike Hazen talks about wanting to have "flexibility" in building the bullpen.

[AZ Central] Boxberger joins Bradley, others, as late-inning option - Boxberger didn’t pitch until June 30 but was healthy over the season’s final three months, logging a 3.38 ERA in 29 1/3 innings. He averaged 92.7 mph with his fastball this season, about a mile and a half down from where he was in 2014 and 2015, the latter being the year in which he led the American league with 41 saves. “I think the fact that he finished up healthy with good velocity is a good sign for us,” Hazen said. “And then I think you can look at it in one of two ways. He didn’t have quite the workload last year that he might have had otherwise and I think in some regard that can, from a bullpen standpoint, year over year over year, there can be a benefit in that.”

[Bizjournals] Jackson Generals Baseball Club issue RFP for stadium naming rights - Calling all corporations — the Ballpark at Jackson needs a new name. The staff for the Jackson Generals, the double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, released a request for proposal (RFP) Dec. 6 for the stadium naming rights in the hope of attracting a corporate partner. “This past off-season, we have had some changes in upper management here at the stadium, and one of the main focuses we have is creating those new partnerships in the community, both locally and statewide,” said Nick Hall, general manager. “We thought issuing an RFP and letting people know the availability of the naming rights was a first step into really doing that.”

[AZ Family] Third Annual Great Diamondbacks Shave-Off - After not shaving for the No-Shave November campaign, officials with the Arizona Diamondbacks finally sheared their faces in their Third Annual Great Shave-Off on Dec. 1. Diamondbacks president and CEO, Derrick Hall, who is a prostate cancer survivor, reminded all men to get screened for the disease, because it's most easily treated in its early stages. Hall's wife is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and he lost his father to pancreatic cancer the same year his own cancer was diagnosed, in 2011. "Cancer has really impacted my family to an extreme degree," Hall said. "So this month really allows me to get out in front of other men to encourage them to get detected."

And, elsewhere

[FanGraphs] Here Are the Complete Front-Office Ratings - Earlier this very week, I ran a polling project. The question being asked was simple: What do you think of your favorite team’s front office? That is, the front office, independent of ownership. I promised to analyze the results. That’s what we have here — sort of a crowdsourced FanGraphs community front-office power ranking. [Take a wild stab in the dark as to which team ended up with the biggest improvement since the last poll in July 2015?]

[Joe Posnanski] Hall of Fame Pet Project II - “Hey, you know what? Maybe Curt Schilling is a jerk. Maybe he’s a loudmouth.* Maybe he says hateful things. Maybe his political views are grotesque to you. I tend to believe all of the above. But none of those things should have anything to do with the fact that he was absolutely, 100 percent, without question one of the greatest pitchers of all time and belongs in the Hall of Fame.”

[AP] Proposed site for Oakland Athletics ballpark falls through - The Athletics' proposed site for a new ballpark near an Oakland community college has fallen through. A statement from the board of the Peralta Community College District said the board had directed the chancellor to discontinue talks about a possible stadium near Laney College. "We are shocked by Peralta's decision to not move forward," the A's said in a statement Wednesday. "All we wanted to do was enter into a conversation about how to make this work for all of Oakland, Laney, and the Peralta Community College District. We are disappointed that we will not have that opportunity."

[FiveThirtyEight] Shohei Ohtani’s Value Has No Precedent - MLB hasn’t seen a two-way player like this since the days of Wes Ferrell and Red Ruffing, each of whom played most of their careers before World War II. Baseball has gotten so specialized that it’s been assumed that no pitcher — not even the Carlos Zambranos, Mike Hamptons or Madison Bumgarners of the world — would ever be a viable regular hitter again. But Ohtani could prove all that wrong if his translated numbers, well, translate. No matter where he ends up signing, it’s going to be ridiculously entertaining to watch it all play out.