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Diamondbacks will use baseball humidor in 2018

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks will use a humidor to store baseballs in 2018. The idea, as in Coors Field, is to keep balls from drying out in the arid western air, presumably cutting down on their flight and thus suppressing offense.

The Diamondbacks first considered using a humidor years ago, when Jerry Dipoto was the general manager. When Kevin Towers took over as GM the idea was shelved, as he was cool to the idea. Current GM Mike Hazen, however, confirmed that the team will use one for the upcoming season.

The Rockies began using their humidor in 2002, after stadium engineer Tony Cowell came up with the idea (neat story by the way!). Because of the elevation and how large the outfield is at Coors Field, offense remains high there, but following the installation of the humidor, home runs were reduced significantly. Back when a humidor was being considered for the Diamondbacks, a couple of studies came out suggesting that the offensive-suppressing effects of a humidor would be much greater in Phoenix than in Colorado, and could reduce home runs by as much as 38%. I suppose we’ll see.

In other news, J.D. Martinez hit a ton of homers in Arizona last year and most of them had a lot of room to spare. If the Dbacks are gonna make hitting home runs even harder next year, maybe they should look into a reunion.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.