Happy offseason, and happy trade season. Let me recap some retirements, trades, and more from the past month.
After 15 seasons in the Bay Area (8 in Oakland and 7 in San Francisco), Barry Zito retires with two World Series rings, and a Cy Young Award. Twins right fielder Torii Hunter also retires after 19 seasons with the Twins, Angels, and Tigers. Longtime Red Sox DH David Ortiz is set to retire after the 2016 season. Hope he gets a 4th World Series ring next year. Cubs catcher David Ross will do the same.
Don Mattingly switches from the west coast to the east coast as manager. He became the newest manager of the Miami Marlins, replacing interim manager/GM Dan Jennings. Speaking of new managers, former Astros, Cubs, Giants, and Rockies catcher Scott Servais was hired as Seattle Mariners manager, replacing Lloyd McClendon after two short years as manager in Seattle. Former Diamondbacks and Mets infielder Andy Green also got a job as San Diego Padres manager, replacing interim manager Pat Murphy. After days of rumors regarding Bud Black as the new Nationals’ manager, they are false. Dusty Baker will manage Bryce Harper and Co.
The Rays acquired Logan Morrison, Brad Miller, and Danny Farquhar from the Mariners in exchange for Nathan Karns, and two minor leaguers. Morrison will platoon with James Loney at first, but will usually come off the bench. Miller will probably be Tampa Bay’s starting shortstop, while the latter will be in the bullpen. Karns will start in the rotation for Seattle, and he is a good, young replacement for veteran starter Hisashi Iwakuma if the latter doesn’t return.
The Twins won the bidding rights for first baseman Byung-Ho Park. They have 30 days (15 at the moment) to work out a deal. What if he were to come to the Twin Cities? Here is the proposed lineup:
1) Danny Santana- SS
2) Eddie Rosario- LF
3) Joe Mauer- DH
4) Miguel Sano- 3B
5) Brian Dozier- 2B
6) Oswaldo Arcia- RF
7) Byung-Ho Park- 1B
8) Kurt Suzuki- C
9) Byron Buxton- CF
You’ll notice something here. Trevor Plouffe isn’t on the list. That’s because I couldn’t find space for him. Same with Kennys Vargas, who needs more seasoning in the bigs.
Lance Lynn underwent TJS, and he will miss all of 2016. As long as St. Louis signs a Jordan Zimmerman type of pitcher, they will easily be able to compete in the NL Central.
The Yankees acquired Aaron Hicks from the Twins for John Ryan Murphy. That will fill the hole left by now-free agent Chris Young.
The Mariners acquired Joaquin Benoit from the Padres in exchange for two minor leaguers.
The Angels acquired defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons from the Braves in exchange for Eric Aybar and Sean Newcomb. Nice deal if you got the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. That’s you Anaheim.
The Red Sox are now halfway to a championship, as they have acquired Craig Kimbrel from the Padres. Red Sox-Giants World Series in 2016 perhaps?
The runner up to the worst team in Philly right now (76ers are the winners), the Phillies acquired veteran starter and 2011 AL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson from the Dbacks.
Seattle also traded Tom Wilhelmsen and James Jones to the Rangers for Leonys Martin and Anthony Bass. Decent move here, but not blockbuster like Kimbrel.
The A’s signed Rich Hill to a contract. He was the Aaron Small of baseball last season, going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA late in the season with the Red Sox. Small did something similar to that in 2005 with the Yankees, going 10-0 with a 3.20 ERA. Jesse Chavez was also traded to Toronto for Liam Hendriks. The rotation in Oakland should now look like this:
1) Sonny Gray
2) Rich Hill
3) Liam Hendriks
4) Sean Henn
5) Kendall Graveman
The Tigers acquire all-star closer Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers, and center fielder Cameron Maybin from the Braves. As long as guys like Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and Justin Verlander are healthy, they could be back in the running for the AL Central.
The Brewers acquired Jonathan Villar from the Astros. Decent move for Milwaukee, as he has no future with Houston with the infield all set for 2016.
The man who saved the 2004 Red Sox with “The Steal”, Dave Roberts was hired to become the new manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played for the Dodgers from 1999-2004.
The Mariners and Angels each added a veteran catcher to their roster. The former signed Chris Iannetta to complement Mike Zunino, while the latter signed 2008 NL Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto to complement Carlos Perez. Both are signed to one year deals.
Jed Lowrie is back in the green and yellow, as he was traded from Houston to Oakland. This should set up the opportunity to trade Brett Lawrie or Danny Valencia to free up a spot for Lowrie.
That’s all. If you need some advice on last minute Thanksgiving Day cooking, read this article on cooking a baseball themed thanksgiving dinner. You can thank me later. In the meantime, happy thanksgiving!