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Snake Bytes, 1/6: The first of 2018

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2018 is here. And things still remain very quiet...

Amid Freezing Temperatures,Crowds Celebrate New Year's Eve In Times Square Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Team news

[MLB] D-backs GM Mike Hazen waiting out market - There's still more that the team would like to do, but the slow-moving free-agent and trade markets this winter have made that a challenge. "Not a ton," D-backs GM Mike Hazen said when asked if there's been much happening since last month's Winter Meetings. "Still exploring the market and talking trades and things like that. Nothing imminent." That doesn't mean that the D-backs will report to Spring Training next month with the same roster they have now. "I think there will probably be some more things happening before Spring Training," Hazen said. "I'm pretty confident that will happen. We still have some areas to improve."

[Inside the 'Zona] Re-Signing Paul Goldschmidt Won’t Be Easy - The simple question is this: if Eric Hosmer is soliciting offers of 7/147 right now, what will Paul Goldschmidt be offered two years from now when salaries are even higher? As noted above, he’ll be entering his age-32 season when he becomes a free agent, not his age-28 season as is the case for Hosmer. Those four years are a big deal. One could expect Hosmer to hold steady for the next five years or so, but will teams expect Goldschmidt to hold steady from the ages of 32-36?

[FanRag] Where Top 10 MLB Free Agents Stand In Slow Market - The Red Sox did indeed offer a five-year deal [to J.D. Martinez], as Nightengale reported. But word is there are other five-year offers. So while they seem like the logical landing spot, as the richest team in the mix (the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays and perhaps the Giants are the others known to be at least dabbling in the derby), they probably can’t be called the bona-fide favorite unless they go to six years, which might have the potential to carry the day. The D-Backs are known to be willing to go to nine figures, too, but they may be constricted by their inability to deal Zack Greinke,

[Arizona Sports] A scenario in which the D-backs bring back J.D. Martinez - With the market not being what Martinez’s camp had hoped, could he come back to the D-backs for one season and become a free agent again next offseason? The arrangement is similar to one between the Toronto Blue Jays and slugger Jose Bautista that the two sides agreed on last winter, when Bautista was still a free agent after the new year. He and his club signed a one-year deal worth $18 million with options for the next two seasons. There is believed to be mutual interest between Martinez and the D-backs, and perhaps it would benefit both sides to go the short-term-deal route.

[AZ Central] Trading Zack Greinke is a tricky proposition - If the opportunity to move the contract without severely crippling their odds in 2018 presents itself, the Diamondbacks would have to consider it. Having so many of their eggs in one pitcher’s basket is a tenuous way to operate. But so is passing on a chance to contend now for a theoretical chance to contend later. The Diamondbacks were a good team this past year. They should have every chance to be one again next year. And, more than anything, they know that could change soon, with their Paul Goldschmidt window down to just two more years.

[MLB] Bradley making most of life as a big leaguer - In the span of a week in December, D-backs reliever Archie Bradley slid across the ice at an Arizona Coyotes NHL game and dressed up as Santa Claus for a skit with Arizona State University students as part of their famed "Curtain of Distraction" at an NCAA men's basketball game. The appearances showed the fun-loving side of Bradley, who had a breakout season for the D-backs in 2017, compiling a 1.73 ERA in 63 games as the team's top setup man. "Being involved and being a part of a community," Bradley said of his exploits. "I love Arizona, and I love doing stuff like that."

And, elsewhere...

Something for the winter. The oldest (virtually) complete radio broadcast of a regular season baseball game known to exist. Thursday, September 20, 1934, Yankees vs Tigers at Navin Field (Briggs/Tiger Stadium) in Detroit, Ty Tyson the announcer. Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Frank Crosetti in the lineup for the Bombers, and Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Mickey Cochrane for the Bengals. Babe Ruth was in the ballpark, but unfortunately did not play due to injury. This was during the Tigers’ ‘30’s heyday, on their way to the AL pennant.

[ESPN] MLB and the Players Association will meet next week to discuss pace-of-play initiatives for 2018 - Officials from Major League Baseball and the Players Association expect to meet next week in New York to discuss new pace-of-play initiatives that would go into effect during the 2018 season, a source said Thursday. Commissioner Rob Manfred made improved pace of play a priority even before the average game time increased to an average of 3 hours, 5 minutes in 2017. The major changes under consideration are a pitch clock and a limitation on catcher mound visits.

[Yahoo] The luxury tax is bad for MLB, and is already destroying the game - The big market teams will now simply wait out elite free agents, forcing them to lower their asking price. The rich will still get richer, it just won’t cost them as much. Small market teams aren’t magically able to offer $120 million contracts for top flight players with the luxury tax in place. Large market teams can still hand out multiple $80 million deals like nothing. It’s not as if the luxury tax has suddenly made the Tampa Bay Rays a serious candidate for J.D. Martinez.