The talk of the annual Winter Meetings in baseball usually is dominated by one team. Like in the case of last years meetings, the San Diego Padres made many trades that were supposed to help them get back into contention. Those moves didn’t quite pan out and this year they’ve remained quiet. Lots of rumors get floated around and it gets hard to really figure out what is and isn’t true. There were some moves that were made before the meeting took place in Nashville, Tennessee, but we’ll take a quick look at what was accomplished during the four day event.
Big Names Find Homes
The biggest one was former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke. He left for the Arizona Diamondbacks on a 6-year $206.5 million dollar deal. Then Arizona followed that move by acquiring Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves. All of a sudden the Diamondbacks have two All-Star pitchers to shore up their rotation. You put that with their top tier offense and superb defense and they look like a solid pick to win a Wild-Card spot or possibly the division title. Ben Zobrist found a new home going to Chicago to play for his former manager in Tampa Bay in Joe Maddon. Zobrist’s contract is a 4-year $56 million dollar bargain for the Cubs who in turn traded Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees for pitcher Adam Warren. John Lackey signing a 2-year deal with the Cubs is going to be an overlooked move going forward. Whether Jason Heyward does decide just after the meetings are over where he wants to play, his name has constantly been talked about all week. When he decides a lot more dominoes will begin to fall.
What Did Or Didn’t Happen
Did the Baltimore Orioles offer 1B Chris Davis a 7-year contract worth $150 million dollars and if so did they then pull the offer back? Whether if either of those questions are true what is known is that the Orioles would suffer if they let Davis go. Where will they get a 40-homer, 100-RBI hitter if he doesn’t come back? The Cincinnati Reds had a trade in place to send Aroldis Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but that trade was nixed due to a MLB investigation into a domestic violence incident involving Chapman back in October. Lots of speculation is now happening on Chapman’s service time being affected from the results of the investigation by the commissioner’s office. Theses are just two examples of the rumors floating around.
Two Teams That Did More With Less
With the Boston Red Sox having already acquired Craig Kimbrel to be their closer and signing David Price before the meetings, they didn’t have to be present for much of the event in Nashville. New president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is doing a great job in just two months on the job, but there is still more work to be done. Will he be able to dump Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval this offseason? Highly unlikely with the amount owed to both of them. However, with the Kimbrel and Price moves that will bring some life back into Boston. The New York Mets didn’t get Ben Zobrist and they appear to be moving away from their postseason hero Daniel Murphy when they traded for Pirates 2B Neil Walker and signed SS Asdrubal Cabrera. Their defense improves immensely up the middle with those two moves and their pitching staff is quietly thanking the front office for that.
What We Learned
Don’t believe the hype. Greinke was supposed to go back to the Dodgers, what with all the money at their disposal. The Braves weren’t going to trade their only All-Star after having him for only one season. Jason Heyward would sign his $200 million dollar contract. The Reds would have rid themselves of one of the best closers in baseball. Oh and the Miami Marlins were looking to trade Jose Fernandez straight up for a 4-5 player swap for him. That last one was hard to believe myself, but with the history of the Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, it was certainly possible.