To say that this years Winter Meetings was a frenzy kind of puts it lightly. I haven’t seen so much activity happen in such a short period of time. The annual July 31 trade deadline wishes it saw this much action.
Almost 80 players were involved in either a trade or a free agent signing in San Diego. The two Chicago teams started right out of the gate swinging and the Los Angeles Dodgers finished with a walk-off.
What more could you ask for when you have all 30 teams general managers together for an annual offseason event?
Boston Red Sox
Acquired – P Wade Miley, P Rick Porcello
They were in desperate need of starting pitching and they had assets to part with to get it. Porcello is an intriguing option for them, but he isn’t considered an ace. With Boston missing out on bringing back Jon Lester they went after some quick fixes in Miley and Porcello. Both are great options for a team looking to bounce back now two years removed from winning the World Series.
Acquired – P Jon Lester, P Jason Hammel, C Miguel Montero
The time is now for the Cubs and they struck quickly with the signing of Lester. They have a few more holes to fill, but getting him to solidify their rotation is a great start. Bringing back Hammel was a good move as well. Trading for Montero is an after thought, but it works for the Cubs who were in need of another left-handed hitter that happens to be a solid catcher.
Chicago White Sox
Acquired – P Jeff Samardzija, P David Robertson
Not that the White Sox are expected to be title contenders, but they sure are making it seem like they want to be. Signing Robertson to be their closer was a steal when no one expected him to leave the Yankees. Then trading for Smardzija who will surely test free agency next year was a bit of a risk, but Chicago could just turn around and trade him if they’re out of contention before the trade deadline.
Acquired – OF Yoenis Cespedes, P Alfredo Simon
They probably won’t bring back Max Scherzer, but I wouldn’t put it past them just yet. Getting Cespedes now was a great move and keeps their lineup among the best in baseball with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Adding Simon was the topping on the cake after his All-Star season with Cincinnati last year.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Acquired – C Yasmani Grandal, 2B Howie Kendrick, P Brandon McCarthy, SS Jimmy Rollins
The Dodgers strategy is a little complicated, but it makes sense for their new director of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. He knew how to put a contender together with very little payroll flexibility. Now with the Dodgers payroll it’s almost not fair. Now trading away Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon would be considered a step back for other teams, Friedman sees the benefit in what lies ahead for the future.
Acquired – 2B Dee Gordon, P Dan Haren, P Mat Latos
If the Dodgers and Cubs didn’t grab the headlines the Marlins would be all over the place with their moves. Getting Gordon now was a great move for them. Adding Haren (if he doesn’t retire) and Latos puts the Marlins in a good position to compete in a vulnerable division next season. They’ll most likely let Latos go after his one year, but he will certainly fill a void with Jose Fernandez recovering from Tommy John surgery.
San Diego Padres
Acquired – OF Matt Kemp
It makes sense that the city’s team that hosted the Winter Meetings would make a big splash at the end. And they did so with a division rival no less. Getting Matt Kemp even with all of the injury history that comes with him was the right deal to make for the Padres. They haven’t had a name sake in their batting order since Adrian Gonzalez. If they can get the MVP candidate in Kemp that the Dodgers had then the Padres will become instant Wild Card contenders. They might even be able to compete with the Dodgers and Giants for the division with the pitching staff they already have in place.