Nick Piecoro of AZ Central is reporting that Diamondbacks officials are willing to fly to Japan to court Masahiro Tanaka. Nothing has been scheduled yet but the interest is there.
The Diamondbacks have had an active off-season, getting involved in two separate three-team trades. In the more recent of the two, they picked up Mark Trumbo from the Angels. They also picked up closer Addison Reed from the White Sox in a separate deal.
Aside from the Dodgers, the NL West is relatively weak, so the Diamondbacks are picking up a lot of ground in a winnable division. Adding Tanaka would be a huge boon to their playoff hopes.
Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.
Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.
Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.