Here we are on the final day of the winter meetings. In just a few short hours, the Rule V draft will occur and people will lose their minds for approximately two hours before forgetting about the players “ripped” from their favourite team’s roster who once appeared in a Baseball Prospectus report three years ago.
Considering the amount of attention put on an event of such little importance, it’s somewhat appropriate that it closes out the Winter Meetings each year. After all, the deals that actually get done over the three and a half day event are typically only a fraction of the hoopla and rumour mongering that occurs.
Not that I’m complaining. It’s pretty humourous to go from a deal will get done to we’ll have to wait and see to there’s a mystery team involved to there’s another mystery team involved to the Miami Marlins are involved to there are no mystery teams involved to a decision is forthcoming to there won’t be a decision until after the meetings.
Which brings us to our first topic for today:
With the Miami Marlins dropping out of the Albert Pujols race, it’s now seemingly down to three teams: the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and a mystery team that already has an established first baseman. And if we’re realistic about things, there’s really no way that Pujols is going to sign a contract before the meetings end today.
Former Texas Rangers left hander C.J. Wilson, is expected to announce at some point this morning that he’ll be signing either a five year contract with the Los Angeles Angels or a six year deal with the Miami Marlins. I’ve said all along that Wilson will take a deal with his hometown Angels for five years and around $80 million, and I’m sticking with that prediction.
It’s happened. It’s really happened. The young Japanese right hander announced last night that he will be posted today by the Nippon-Ham Fighters. MLB Trade Rumors suggests that the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays will be the favourites to win the silent auction. I’ve written about Darvish at length, here.
Just a reminder: The posting period will last four days, and the winning team will have a 30 day exclusive negotation window.
Gio Gonzalez and Jonathan Niese
Two young left handed starters were heavily rumoured to be available yesterday. Gio Gonzalez of the Oakland Athletics and Jonathan Niese of the New York Mets were the object of a bunch of teams’ affections, but at the end of the day, and the end of the meetings today, it’s unlikely that either would be moved. As our very own Drew Fairservice mentioned on yesterday’s podcast, Niese would be a very good fit for the Blue Jays.
A report came out yesterday suggesting that Hanley Ramirez requested his contract be restructured to account for his being asked to switch positions. An outraged Marlins front office supposedly placed him on the trading block in response. It appears now that while Ramirez is less than thrilled at the prospect of moving to third base to make room for new signing Jose Reyes, he has made no such demands.
Wheelings And Dealings
Kelly Johnson of the Toronto Blue Jays, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox and Francisco Rodriguez of the Milwaukee Brewers all accepted arbitration. I’ll have more on Johnson’s decision later, but Ortiz and Rodriguez definitely made the right decisions, given the high salaries that both players made last year. While both teams knew the risk of making the arbitration offer, I wonder if there are any regrets this morning.
The San Diego Padres may have made the steal of the winter meetings in acquiring Huston Street from the Colorado Rockies for such a low cost. It’s unfortunate that he’s going to the San Diego Padres though, this seems to me to be the perfect move for a contending team to make, not a likely basement dweller in the NL West.
Tim McCarver won the Ford C. Frick Award yesterday. I’m sorry Tom Cheek fans. Maybe some day.
The New York Yankees won the posting on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima for the low price of $2 million. Now, they must see if there’s an actual spot for him on the team. #RichTeamProblems
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been very active over the winter meetings making a ton of smaller moves, the biggest of which to this point has been signing a high upside pitcher in Erik Bedard to a reasonable contract that will pay the Canadian left hander $4.5 million in 2012.
The Miami Marlins’ press conference announcing the signing of Jose Reyes brought out the absolute worst in people.
Finally, the biggest deal of the day was former Chicago White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle signing a four year deal with those same Marlins that will pay him a total of $58 million.