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Snake Bytes, 12/20: 'Tis the season...

...for not very much, it would appear.

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Team news

[Arizona Sports] D-backs 2023 ZiPS projections takeaways: model bullish on Corbin Carroll - The projections have Gallen’s strikeouts rate and walk rate similar to last season, but a change in opposing babip (batting average on balls in play) could make a difference. An average babip is .300, but opponents against Gallen had a .237 average last year. ZiPS sees that going up to .276 and his ERA rising from 2.54 to 3.42. That said, Lovullo has praised Gallen’s preparation and detail over and over. At 27, is there another level the starter who was unhittable in stretches last season can reach?

[SI] D-backs 2023 Starting Rotation May Heavily Depend on Rookies - Should the D-backs decide that the free agent and trade market is too cost prohibitive to add a starting pitcher, they will likely rely on at least two pitchers from their farm system to eat up a significant number of innings. In his playing time projections, Sommers has Jameson, Pfaadt, and Nelson combining for 320 innings out of the rotation in 62 starts. Add in four starts from Blake Walston and five from Slade Cecconi, the team is looking at over 40% of their starts coming from rookies.

[Pinstripe Alley] Yankees Potential Trade Target: Daulton Varsho - all of this combines to make Varsho one of the more expensive trade candidates on the market, as do his four years of team control. While certainly not a perfect resource, Baseball Trade Values has Varsho among the top-25 players in baseball in trade value, higher even that the other blockbuster outfield trade candidate frequently linked to the Yankees, Bryan Reynolds. A trade for Varsho would almost certainly have to include Anthony Volpe if not another of the Yankees’ top-three prospects.

[Purple Row] Comparing the Rest of the West - Both [the Rockiesand Diamondbacks]have similarly impressive talent rising from the lower levels of the minor leagues, but Arizona has an advantage of expected ceilings and volume reaching the major league level sooner, along with fewer future financial constraints. Which farmhands become stars and which pitching staff produces better on the hill remains to be seen, and will largely tell the tale of each rebuild.

[Call to the Pen] Arizona Diamondbacks sign Czech prospect Boris Večerka - He had posted a 6.10 ERA and a 2.161 WHiP in his 23.2 innings, striking out 32 batters with 31 walks. But Večerka is a matter of projection. He has a three pitch mix with a fastball that sits in the lower 90s, as well as a changeup and slider that sit in the upper 70s. Večerka said that teams he spoke with felt that he could eventually reach triple digits with his fastball, especially as he continues to grow and develop. Večerka is just 19 and is going to need work to harness his arsenal.

[SI] Diamondbacks Updated WAR and Payroll Projections - The team is far from finished making moves this off season. While Hazen said no trades were close as of this past Thursday, I still expect at least two or three impact deals to happen before spring training. The team is still in search of at least one more reliever, another right handed bat, as well as starting pitching and catching depth.

And, elsewhere...

[USA Today] Free agent SS Dansby Swanson agrees to 7-year, $177 million deal with Chicago Cubs - Swanson, 28, hit .277 with 25 home runs last season for Atlanta, and set career highs with 99 runs scored, 96 RBI and 18 stolen bases as the Braves won their fifth consecutive NL East division title.Swanson’s deal caps a lucrative offseason for elite shortstops — with fellow free agents Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner all signing contracts for at least 11 years and $280 million.

[NY Post] MLB, NBA and NHL unlikely to save struggling TV regional sports networks: sources - Diamond Sports Group, which operates 21 Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks, has been in talks this fall to sell itself to the sports leagues for as much as $3 billion including debt. But Diamond — a unit of Sinclair Broadcast Group — surprised investors on Nov. 28 by slashing its outlook for this year’s profitability in half as cord-cutting continues to dog the industry.

Accordingly, the leagues no longer are willing to pay a premium in a buyout — and creditors are instead bracing to take their chances in bankruptcy court in the first half of next year, according to sources close to the talks. That means Diamond’s slew of unprofitable broadcasting contracts will likely be rejected — and its decades-old, cable-TV-based business model will go out the window as deals are cut to stream lives games online