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Snake Bytes, 3/1: Kelly’s Zeroes, Bryce’s Billions

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Not QUITE the debut Merrill Kelly wanted as a Diamondback

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Team news

[dbacks.com] Kelly returns to mound in brief D-backs debut - It was not the best debut for Kelly, who retired only one batter while allowing three runs on three hits and one walk. But results are not all that matters when it comes to Spring Training, and Kelly has been around long enough to understand that. “I think the biggest positive for today, honestly, is just getting back out there,” Kelly said. “Just playing with, hopefully, the guys that I’ll be playing with this year and getting used to the crowd again, the different noises, the different ball, so I think really all of it was positive today.”

[The Athletic] The Diamondbacks like their new ‘high-energy’ new hitting coach, Darnell Coles - "A lot of people say, ‘Hey, this is what you do with two strikes. You don’t hit the slider very well.’ Well, that’s great information, but how do I turn that into executing that in the box and making the adjustment? Just because you know the information doesn’t mean it’s going to help me,” Souza said. “He takes it to, ‘OK, this is what you struggle with. This is what I think you can do to combat that.’ That’s a coach right there.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks hoping Nick Green can snap their Rule 5 drought - “He’s got natural cut on his four-seam fastball, a really high spin rate curveball,” Diamondbacks Assistant GM Jared Porter said, “and I think both of those pitches induce swings and misses and a lot of weak contact. We do have some (bullpen) spots that are up for competition and he’s definitely part of that. All of those pitchers that are in competition for those spots are in tough positions to battle and try to win only a few spots. We have more good players than spots.”

[MLB Trade Rumors] Blue Jays Sign Clay Buchholz - - The Blue Jays are set to sign right-hander Clay Buchholz, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (via Twitter). The ISE Baseball client will be the second pickup of the past couple hours for Toronto, as the Jays quite recently agreed to terms with righty Bud Norris on a minor league pact as well.. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Buchholz deal, if finalized, would pay him “about” $3MM and contain another $3MM worth of incentives. Notably, the agreement is still pending a physical.

And, elsewhere...

Nope, can’t think of anything of much note that happened yesterday around the baseball world... I guess there was this. If you care.

[USA Today] Bryce Harper to Phillies: Biggest contracts in MLB history, ranked - Move over Giancarlo Stanton, there is a new bankroller in town. Bryce Harper agreed to a 13-year, $330 million deal — the biggest contract in North American sports history — with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. His deal surpassed Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million extension he signed before the 2015 season with the Miami Marlins and comes on the heels of Nolan Arenado’s eight-year, $260 million extension with the Colorado Rockies and Manny Machado’s 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres.

[Washington Post] Even over 13 years, Bryce Harper isn’t worth $330 million in this market - A four-win season is certainly worthy of praise, but to earn the richest contract in MLB history there simply should be a greater certainty of production, and that’s something Harper has yet to show at an elite level. There very well could be some great seasons posted along the way, but the Padres and Rockies should feel much better about the contracts handed to Machado and Arenado than the Phillies should feel about their new pact with Harper.

[CBSSports] Pittsburgh's increasingly cold relationship with the Pirates is an example of modern baseball gone awry - [If you think AZ is bad...] The Pirates are projected to finish five or six games out of a playoff spot, per the projections offered at Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs. The Pirates, almost by definition, are in the exact spot where teams historically are most willing to spend more money in order to lock in those extra wins. The Pirates just don't seem motivated to make the most of the situation. Instead, they're likely to repeat the same cycle of developing an inexpensive core then trading players away once they earn more money without ever taking advantage of the cheap years.

[ESPN] Lies, damn lies, and projections - It is natural to critique or question projection systems, especially in a sport as unpredictable as baseball. It has always seemed a little silly, though, when a team would actually take them personally, considering the things are literally nonpersons. They seem closer to the 8 Ball side of the spectrum. But should it be silly? To answer that, let’s review two things: The History of Teams Actually Responding to Bad PECOTA Projections, and The Types of Conflict Typically Found in a Narrative. [One of the examples given is the 2016 D-backs]

Poll

How long will it take the Phillies to regret their deal with Bryce Harper?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    0-2 years
    (31 votes)
  • 39%
    3-5 years
    (51 votes)
  • 23%
    6-8 years
    (31 votes)
  • 2%
    9-11 years
    (3 votes)
  • 10%
    12+ or never
    (14 votes)
130 votes total Vote Now