The MLB Winter Meetings have come and gone this year leaving some teams excited for the future and others, not so much. Here is a list of the top 10 transactions from the Winter Meetings.
10. Miguel Olivo:
The Seattle Mariners picked up this offensive minded catcher for 2 years $7 million. Olivo will step in and be the starting catcher that could provide the pop the Mariners have been looking for. He’s not a world beater, but repeating 14 homers or more next season is definitely not out of the realm of possibility. Olivo also threw out a whopping 42% of attempted base stealers in 935 innings behind the plate.
9. George Sherrill:
The Atlanta Braves signed LHP George Sherrill to a one year deal worth 1.4 million dollars. He was non-tendered by the Dodgers for good reason after the 2010 season (6.69 ERA, 1:1 K/BB). I think the Braves are banking on Sherrill to have a bounce back year after saving 52 games over the past 2 seasons for the Orioles and Dodgers. This move was greatly needed after lefty power arm/closer Billy Wagner retired after the Braves were knocked out of the playoffs by the world champion Giants. I personally like this move seeing it to be a low risk/high reward kind of contract.
8. J.J. Putz:
Mr. Putz agreed to a contract with the Diamondbacks worth $10 million over 2 years. After an injury plagued season with the Mets, Putz put together a stellar season for the White Sox (2.83 ERA, 54 IP) in 2010. J.J. will most likely be the D-Backs closer out of spring training barring injury. I look for him to have an all-star type year considering Arizona has a week offense and will have to win many tight low scoring games.
7. Mark Reynolds:
The 27 year-old third baseman was traded to the Baltimore Orioles from the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio. I love this deal for both teams. The Orioles get a big power bat who does strike out a ton (211 in 2010), but can drive the ball out of the yard. Reynolds has 104 HR’s spanning over the past 3 seasons. He plays above average third base and will fit in nicely in the heart of the Orioles order. The Diamondbacks get 2 young relievers who could contribute greatly for them next season.
6. Carlos Pena:
The Cubs and Carlos Pena agreed to a 1 yr 10 million dollar deal. Pena will instantly fill the hole left by Derek Lee who was shipped to the Braves before the trade deadline in 2010. Pena was a late bloomer (drafted in 98’, 1st rd Texas Rangers) who didn’t really put things together until 2007 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He plays gold glove defense at first and can hit the ball a mile. The only problem with Pena is his anemic batting average. In 2010 Pena’s batting average topped out at .196. Had his average not dropped so low last season, Pena would have been looking at Crawford/Werth kind of money. Great move for the Cubs.
5. Shawn Marcum:
Marcum was traded over from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infield prospect Bret Lawrie. This was a head scratcher for the Blue Jays as Marcum was the team’s most consistent starter last season. He was 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA. Cant say I like this deal for Jays, but good for the Brew Crew I guess…
4. Paul Konerko:
The White Sox and Paul Konerko looked like for awhile that a deal wasn’t going to get done, but in the end Konerko agreed to a deal with Chicago for 3 years for $37.5 million. Konerko had been the heart and soul of this team for the last decade and I couldn’t see him playing anywhere else. Konerko ranked in the top 5 of the AL MVP race this past season finishing with 39 HR’s and 111 RBI. It will be fun to watch Dunn and Konerko mash together next summer in downtown Chicago. Great offseason so far for the White Sox. Don’t expect them to be done with Kenny Williams at the helm.
3. Jayson Werth:
What a silly deal the Nationals gave this cat. 7 years $126 million, are you kidding me? I really would like to see the Nats compete, but trying to prove to your fan base that you want to win now by giving out terrible contracts is not the way to do it. The Phillies offered Werth 3 years 43 million and thought that was a competitive offer. GM’s around the league laughed at this one. I might understand this deal if the Nationals were a player away from greatness, but they aren’t even close. Good luck Washington…
2. Carl Crawford:
Crawford and the Red Sox agreed to a 7 year 142 million dollar contract. He can thank Werth for that one. While Crawford is a sold player, I don’t think he is worth the money either. Although he adds another dynamic to this already strong Sox lineup with his lightning speed, I don’t know that he’ll be worth it in the long run. I also think his athletic ability is being wasted in left field at Fenway. Boston does have the money to blow, so in today’s free agent market sometimes you have to overspend a little. However, I think Crawford is one of the better left fielders in the game and I like this deal a lot more than the one Washington gave to Werth.
1. Adrian Gonzalez:
The San Diego Padres agreed to trade Adrian Gonzalez to theBoston Red Sox in exchange for minor league prospects Casey Kelley, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes. Adrian Gonzalez enters his final season before he is able to test the open market. After the 2011 season Gonzalez is expected to command Ryan Howard type money (5 years, $125 million). The Padres knew they couldn’t afford him after this season and shipped him off for a quality group of prospects. With this acquisition along with the signing of Carl Crawford, I think Boston has to be the favorites to win the AL going into the season; even if the Yankees get Cliff Lee. The heart of the Sox lineup received a much needed revamping after a dismal 2010 campaign.
It will still be interesting to see where guys like Cliff Lee and Adrian Beltre go, but for now I can definitely say I wasn’t disappointed with this years Winter Meetings.