The most interesting days of the year are at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings. That’s where the best moves are made. Let’s look into it.
First, I’ll lead off with those not made in Nashville. David Price and Zack Greinke find new homes in Boston and Arizona, respectively. A Shark infestation comes to McCovey Cove, as Jeff Samardzija agrees to a deal with the Giants. Hisashi Iwakuma goes to the Dodgers on a multi year deal.
The first major domino on the position player FA market has fell, as Ben Zobrist agrees to a 4 year, $56 million deal. That also comes with a complementary trade, as Starlin Castro goes to the Yankees for Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan. The Diamondbacks strengthen their rotation by trading the #1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte to the Braves for Shelby Miller. It looks possible that the Diamondbacks can win their division in 2016.
The Mariners strengthen the offense by trading for Brewers first baseman Adam Lind. Nice job, Jerry DiPoto. The Mets also acquire Neil Waker from the Pirates for Jon Niese. Great move, especially for the Mets. They needed a good stop-gap second baseman for Dilson Herrera, and Niese doesn’t have a future in the Mets rotation anyway. They already have Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Zack Wheeler. Their next signing was a dang joke, Asdrubal Cabrera to two years. They already have Wilmer Flores at shortstop, and now he will have to be moved to a backup role. That really dissapoints me.
The Astros acquired Ken Giles from the Phillies for 2013 #1 pick Mark Appel, Brett Olberholtzer, and two minor leaguers. Works out for both sides, as the Phils are rebuilding and the ‘Stros are getting better. Houston also signed Tony Sipp to a three year deal to further improve the bullpen.
The White Sox continued rebuilding by trading for A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie. Oakland sent two minor leaguers to Chicago. The Angels continue to revamp the infield by trading for Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar. Let’s look at this revamped infield now:
1B- Albert Pujols (C.J. Cron could see some time there in 2016 and beyond)
2B- Johnny Giavotella (could still sign Daniel Murphy to start at this position)
3B- Yunel Escobar
SS- Andrelton Simmons (the Rey Ordonez of today)
Looking good out there. The Cubs pulled another Cardinal away from St. Louis, signing Jason Heyward to an eight year deal. I guess the Cubs want him THAT BAD. He doesn’t deserve eight years and $184 million. He didn’t knock in 100 RBI’s in a season in his career yet.
Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer shockingly announces his retirement in the middle of a two year deal. Now the question is “Are the Mets going to pay him 12.5 million right now or will they use a Bobby Bonilla type-of paying system. He is one of the candidates to become the Mets new bench coach. Reminds me of veteran catcher Jake Taylor in Major League II. He was forced to retire after losing out on a roster spot to Jack Parkman and Rube Baker, and became the Indians’ bench coach. He would eventually become manager of the Tribe.
The Winter Meetings may be over, but the offseason is still not over. Cespedes, Cueto, and others are still out on the market. The offseason buzz is just heating up, and more moves are to come later.