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Snake Bytes 12/8: Stove Top Signings

Diamondbacks News:

[MLBTR] Diamondbacks sign Austin Brice to minor league deal

All told, Brice owns a 5.12 ERA across 168 2/3 major league innings. His career strikeout rate of 21.8% is a fraction under the major league average, while his career walk rate of 9% is slightly over it. Brice has a two-pitch mix, combining a low-90s fastball with a low-80s slider. The 30-year-old will provide some valuable minor league pitching depth for Arizona, though given the volume of relief pitching teams often require over the course of a season, there’s every chance he’s back in the big leagues again at some point in 2023.

[SI] Diamondbacks have moved trade talks “past the 50 yard line.”

Hazen emphasized that he doesn’t have to necessarily move players out. They are choosing to explore how to fortify the team via trade, but they don’t NEED to do anything. There are other avenues to make the team better, i.e. via free agency.

This seemed like somewhat of a pivot perhaps. Coming into the meetings the consensus seemed to be that the team is almost certainly going to make an outfielder trade. But it’s possible that they are not liking the potential trades they’ve been offered all that much.

[SI] Top prospects remain in Arizona after rule 5 draft

The Diamondbacks top prospects will remain in the system, as outfielder Dominic Canzone, Wilderd Patino, and Conor Grammes were not selected in the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. All three players will remain in the D-backs system for the 2023 season.

[TTFB] Don’t expect much from Arizona Diamondback’s GM Mike Hazen

A significant factor in prohibiting Hazen from reaching out to potential free agents is the economic realities. With offers for Aaron Judge, for example, swirling around the $300 million mark or more, the economic capacity of the Diamondbacks simply cannot compete with suitors for Judge or any other high-prize talent.

Consider the resources of Ken Kendrick, the Diamondbacks’ managing partner. His personal wealth is placed at $600 million, according to Audacy, an on-demand site for music, news, and sports. If the Diamondbacks sign Judge, for example, that is half of Kendrick’s personal wealth. In the pursuit of free agents commanding a large amount, such as Judge or Xander Bogaerts, that prospect remains clearly unrealistic.

[FG] Miguel Castro is a great fit for Arizona’s league-worst bullpen

The Castro signing gives manager Torey Lovullo another arm he can call on when he needs a strikeout or if Arizona is facing a strikeout-prone lineup. Alternatively, in a situation where a walk would be extra detrimental, Lovullo already has several better options to choose from. To that point, Castro brings additional skills to the table to help his manager play better matchups with his bullpen: high velocity and a high groundball rate. The D-backs had one of the slowest-throwing bullpens in the majors last year. Their relievers averaged just 92.6 mph on four-seam fastballs — and that was their fastest collective pitch. Castro, meanwhile, averaged just under 98 mph with his sinker, topping out at 100 mph. He instantly becomes the hardest thrower in his new bullpen:

Baseball News:

[MLBTR]Padres, Xander Bogaerts agree to 11 year deal

The Padres closed out the Winter Meetings with a stunner, reportedly agreeing to an 11-year, $280MM contract with Xander Bogaerts. The deal does not contain any options or opt-out provisions, although it does include a full no-trade clause. Bogaerts is represented by the Boras Corporation.

[MLBTR] Red Sox to sign Masataka Yoshida to 5 year deal

The Red Sox have made a big addition to their lineup, agreeing to terms with outfielder Masataka Yoshida. It’s reportedly a five-year, $90MM guarantee, and the deal does not contain any option provisions or opt-out clauses. The Japanese star had just been made available via the posting system this week, but the Sox struck quickly with a record-setting contract offer.