Roberts, Thornton, Benoit, Balfour, Veras, Others, Off the Table
With the flurry of moves over the past week, it seems as though the week of the winter meetings was a slow-down of the hot stove season. At the same time, it could be argued that the meetings led to many of the recent deals.
The Yankees inked second baseman Brian Roberts to a one-year, $2M contract, plus incentives. Great deal for the Yankees, who now have added Roberts and Kelly Johnson to holdover Eduardo Nunez to help defray the exit of Robinson Cano. Throw enough cans of paint on the wall, and something is bound to stick. A low-risk, high-reward deal for the Bronx Bombers.
Additionally, the Yanks signed lefty reliever Matt Thornton to a two-year, $7M contract. Thornton replaces Boone Logan, who found a more lucrative deal with the Rockies. Again, nice work by the Yankees, who will be paying Thornton less than half of what the Rox promised to Logan, and will likely get similar performance.
Several other relievers agreed to contracts as well. Grant Balfour looks to be the next Orioles closer after agreeing to a two-year, $14M deal. Like the Yankees, Baltimore seems to have found a less-expensive option for a bullpen piece who will likely provide similar performance to his predecessor — the O’s dealt away Jim Johnson, who was likely due to earn $10M+ via arbitration. Ironically, the O’s sent Johnson to Oakland, which is where Balfour previously served as closer.
Former Tigers setup man / sometime closer Joaquin Benoit landed a two-year, $15.5M deal with the San Diego Padres. Benoit is expected to fill the void of setup man left behind by Luke Gregerson, who also is now with the Athletics.
Another former member of the Detroit bullpen, Jose Veras worked out a one-year, $4 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. The contract includes a $5.5 million option for 2015, along with incentives.
In other news, former Brewer infielder Casey McGehee returned from Japan to join the Miami Marlins on a one-year, $1.1M deal. If nothing else, the Fish have been busy this winter, acquiring three pieces for their starting infield (Garret Jones and Rafael Furcal are the others), as well as catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. McGehee is seen as a placeholder for first-round (sixth overall) draft pick Colin Moran of UNC.
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed LHP Daniel Schlereth, RHP Kyle McPherson, and first baseman Travis Ishikawa to minor league deals. Schlereth and Ishikawa might’ve been interesting options for the Mets, but, I have no idea if the people in Flushing agreed.
Raul Ibanez agrees to sign with the Angels for one year, $2.75M.
Another former Yankee, Eric Chavez, agrees to return with the Diamondbacks on a one-year deal.
Finally (for now), the Mariners re-signed the oft-injured, one-time Gold Glove winner Franklin Gutierrez. If you remember, Gutierrez was part of that debacle of a three-team trade among the Mets, Indians, and Mariners whereby the Mets acquired Jeremy Reed, Sean Green, and some other guy. I don’t believe the Mets were ever interested in Gutierrez’s services.
Do you think the Mets should have considered any of these players? Why or why not?