Winter Meetings – The Rich Get Richer

Curtis Granderson

Baseball held their annual Winter Meetings in Indianapolis over the past three days which are always interesting to the Hot Stove crowd.  This year’s edition featured a blockbuster trade and a few free agent signings, plus just enough rumors to make us all want baseball to come back.

Let’s review.

The Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson, the D’Backs acquired Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy , and the Tigers acquired Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson in a three team trade.

The World Series Champs made their team even stronger by acquiring the speedy lefty Granderson to man center field for the next few years.  Granderson mashed 30 homers last year in Detroit, so there’s no telling what number he’ll reach at the new Yankee Stadium.  Than lineup is actually scarier now than it was last year.

The Tigers received a bevy of prospects in return for Granderson and starter Edwin Jackson.  Pitchers Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, and Phil Coke have all made their major league debuts, while the outfielder Austin Jackson is still waiting for his call.  Scherzer and Schlereth were both first round picks for the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Coke and Jackson have impressed throughout the minor leagues.  I think Jackson projects to be just like Curtis Granderson in a few years, so we’ll check back with the Tigers in 2012 and see if this was a good trade for them.

The Diamondbacks picked up starter Edwin Jackson who had a breakout campaign for the Tigers last year.  Jackson, who will be 26 next year, has been kind of underwhelming in his first 7 seasons with the exception of the last two.  I mean, he’s been traded twice for Danys Baez and Matt Joyce, respectively.  I have a feeling Arizona will be wishing they had Scherzer back in a few years.

The Atlanta Braves were also active during the meetings.  After Rafael Soriano surprised them by accepting their arbitration offer, they traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays for reliever Jesse Chavez.  Soriano was one of the best closers in the game last year for Atlanta so I was hoping for a little bit more than Jesse Chavez.  I understand that their leverage was small, but after reading rumors that tossed around the names Luke Scott and Juan Rivera, I got my hopes up.  If I was a Braves fan, I just wouldn’t be very happy.  Oh wait.  I am.

The Texas Rangers sent overpriced starter Kevin Millwood to the Baltimore Orioles for reliever Chris Ray.  The Orioles pick up a much needed veteran presence for their young starting rotation and the Rangers get another quality reliever.  Makes sense for both teams, I guess.

The St. Louis Cardinals signed Brad Penny for 7.5 million dollars and the Rangers signed Rich Harden for 6.5 million.  It’s kind of crazy that Harden would get less money than Penny on the open market.  Penny went 11-9 for Boston and San Francisco last year with a 4.88 ERA.  Harden, when healthy, can be absolutely dominant.  The problem is that he’s never healthy.  Harden has missed at least 7 starts every year since 2004, including two years where he didn’t even make 10 starts.  If Harden can stay healthy, the Rangers have just stolen a great pitcher.  Cards fans just have to hope that Dave Duncan will make Penny good again.  I’m not going to put it past him.

The Yankees re-signed Andy Pettitte for one year.  I’m not surprised.  It was either that or retire.

Those are the big deals that went down over the past few days.  There will be more in the near future.  The Mariners are rumored to be after Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres and Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, and John Lackey have to sign sometime.

2 Responses

  1. Haha! Does this mean Brett Gardner is getting benched? If so then this post just made my day.

  2. […] of that was true except the first -and maybe part of the second- paragraph. The truth is that I saw this post by Bryan and immediately ran off to ESPN.com to see if it meant that Gardner was getting benched. […]

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