Winter Meetings: Day Three Recap

It takes a lot to laugh; it takes Carl Crawford signing with the Boston Red Sox to cry.

As a Toronto Blue Jays fan, disheartening doesn’t quite adequately describe the feeling that comes over you watching the Red Sox shore up their easily hobbled lineup so easily this offseason.  It does however quickly dismiss any delusions of grandeur that the team may have had, and hopefully ends any pursuit of players that may have contributed more in terms of the now at the cost of later production.

For a team like the Yankees, the impact of this trade is even more immediate.  With Brett Gardner in left field, it was unlikely that Crawford was ever going to come to New York, but he would’ve made for an adequate plan B if the Cliff Lee negotiations ever broke down.  Now, the Yankees lose any ground they may have had in negotiations as their need for Lee becomes even more obvious than before.

Of course, there is another side to the signing, and although it’s thin, it bears mentioning:

Left field in Boston is perhaps the worst place in baseball for a guy with great range to make an impact defensively. The Green Monster turns a lot of potential outs in other parks into base hits in Fenway, which may diminish Crawford’s ability to perform at the same level as he did in Tampa Bay. The Red Sox might have to consider shifting Crawford to right field, where his speed could be better utilized to maximize his value.

Crawford  wasn’t the only player signed yesterday, just the only one with more than a passing bit of relevance.  Thanks a lot, Red Sox, for waiting until most people were asleep to make it official.  Great job.

Other Signings:

The Chicago White Sox made certain that Paul Konerko would be back to the South Side next season, and the season after, and the season after that by handing the first baseman a contract worth $37.5 million.

The Kansas City Royals added to their comedy troupe by signing Jeff Francoeur for $2.5 million and Melky Cabrera for $1.25 million. Despite how hilarious the show is guaranteed to be, there should be plenty of tickets available for its long engagement in Kansas City.

Jack Cust will make around $2.5 million in Seattle next year.

George Sherill further strengthens the lefty relief corps for the Braves.

Dennys Reyes ends up in Philadelphia and the Mets counter by signing Boof Bonser.  Electric stuff, people.

Miguel Cairo stays in Cincinnati, Wil Nieves will catch Shaun Marcum in Milwaukee and the Dodgers get Dioner Navarro.  Lucky teams.

Soul-Sucking Swaps:

The San Diego Padres acquired Jason Bartlett from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for relievers Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos.  The Padres actually drafted Bartlett originally in 2001.

Bartlett was originally rumoured to be on his way to Baltimore, who instead acquired J.J. Hardy from the Minnesota Twins for pitchers Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey.

The Rumour Mill:

The Blue Jays would be more interested in picking up a DH type of player that could also spell Adam Lind at first base as he makes a mockery of defence for the season.  That doesn’t bode well for a potential Manny Ramirez contract, but neither does the fact that Scott Boras recently raised the bar for what type of contract might land his client.

The Jays are also in the mix of teams interested in Jussell Martin.  The Yankees are believed to have offered Cliff Lee a 6 year contract worth somewhere near $140 million.  The Florida Marlins have shown interest in Zack Greinke.  And the Twins and Brewers could be competing against each other to sign Carl Pavano.

The Winter Meetings close today with the Rule Five draft this morning.