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Snake Bytes, 1/5: New Year, New D-backs!

A slew of signings, albeit minor ones as we enter 2024

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Team news

[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks Sign Logan Allen To Minor League Contract - Allen, 26, is the older of the two Logan Allens with MLB experience. As with the current Guardians starter of the same name, he was once a fairly well-regarded prospect in the Cleveland farm system. The 26-year-old Allen has yet to find much MLB success, however. Over three seasons in Cleveland, he pitched to a 5.45 ERA in 69 1/3 innings. The Guardians waived him in May 2022, where he was nabbed by the Orioles. He made three relief appearances before Baltimore outrighted him from the 40-man roster. Those are Allen’s most recent MLB outings. He has spent the past year and a half in Triple-A.

[SI] Diamondbacks Reported to Have Signed SS Kevin Newman - The D-backs will hope the veteran infielder can provide some depth and options, backing up Geraldo Perdomo, the presumptive starter at short. The switch-hitting Perdomo has been far less effective against left-hand pitching and the team may be hesitant to start Jordan Lawlar as a platoon bench player, preferring him to develop further in Triple-A Reno and get everyday at-bats. Thus the Newman signing gives them an option should they decide Lawlar needs more time to develop.

[The Comeback] D-backs sign former Gold Glove winner Tucker Barnhart - Barnhart’s defensive skills are his calling card. He’s a two-time Gold Glove Award winner for his exceptional framing and ability to handle pitchers. His throwing arm is also above average, contributing to his high caught-stealing rate. Barnhart has a .245 career batting average with 53 home runs, 286 RBIs, and a .674 OPS.. While not known for his hitting prowess, Barnhart has respectable on-base (.319) and slugging percentages (.356) for his career, indicating his ability to get on base and hit some extra bases.

[Venom Strikes] Designated hitter options still on the free agent market for the Arizona Diamondbacks - The Arizona Diamondbacks need a designated hitter. The National League West has become a serious uphill battle for the Snakes. The Dodgers are giving out blank checks to whoever they feel like, and while the D-Backs sure do have a strong rotation, they have a wide hole open in their line-up. But if the Diamondbacks properly fill this hole in the line-up, they could significantly boost their starting nine. There are enough full-timers and semi-regulars still on the free agent market they could pursue to massively improve their line-up. So, who are the best still out there?

[SI] What's Next for the Diamondbacks Offseason? - Unless the team is prepared to go well beyond the $150 million threshold mentioned above, the perceived higher-end options such as J.D. Martinez, Jorge Soler, & Teoscar Hernandez are likely out of reach. Each of them is projected to receive a deal with an average annual salary of $14-16 million (according to Roster Resource crowd sourcing). Slightly less expensive options may include Rhys Hoskins, Justin Turner, or Joc Pederson, each projected to earn $12 million in 2024. Each of them would push the team up to or slightly over the $150 million threshold.

And, elsewhere...

[CBSSports.com] MLB offseason grades - We're already nearing the midway point between the final out of last fall's World Series and the first pitch of Opening Day 2024. If that feels off, it's probably because this offseason has been unevenly paced. The prolonged, sequenced free agencies of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto put the rest of the market on ice. As a result, 15 of CBS Sports' top 25 free agents remain available. The trade market has also moved at a glacial pace, with several big names still expected to change hands before springtime. With so much offseason left to go, in terms of movement if not time, we feel obligated to compare these marks to progress reports rather than report cards. A lot can change, in other words.

[MLB] MLB announces teams participating in 2024 Desert Invitational - Major League Baseball today announced the eight Division-I teams who will compete in the 2024 MLB Desert Invitational, MLB’s annual Arizona-based tournament designed to celebrate the traditional start to the college baseball season. The tournament will be held the weekend of February 16th-19th in a round-robin format across three locations throughout the Greater Phoenix area – (1) Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, (2) Sloan Park, and (3) Grand Canyon University. MLB Network will exclusively air three LIVE games with Gregg Caserta, Dan Plesac and Jim Callis on the call, while eight of the twelve contests will stream on MLB.com.

[FOX Sports] Who hit the most irrelevant home run of the 2023 MLB season? - The premise is simple: All home runs are influential, but if you ranked all 5,868 home runs from the 2023 season, one of them would have to be the least important. That’s just math. Out there, in the baseball world of 2023, was a most forgettable long ball, a round-tripper that warranted almost zero conversation or brain space, and we are here to find it. Any number of factors can make a homer meaningful — the batter who hit it, the pitcher who allowed it, the size of the crowd that witnessed it, the context of the game within the larger season — and we are here to shred away all the significance.

Silent Night (2023)

Rating: B+

Dir: John Woo
Star: Joel Kinnaman, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Kid Cudi, Harold Torres

Know what the saddest thing is? That the poster touts this as being “From the producer of John Wick.” Really? Rather than advertising that it’s “By the director of Face-Off, Mission: Impossible II and Hard Boiled, mofos!” With all due respect to Basil Iwanyk, I don’t think his name exactly gets people running to the cinema. I guess it indicates how far Woo’s stock has fallen. It has been twenty years since his last film in Hollywood, the underwhelming Paycheck. But he’s back, with an audacious and thoroughly divisive entry, which feels like it was made as the result of a drunken wager. “Betcha can’t make a whole movie without dialogue, Johnny.” Challenge accepted.

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