And the Winner Is …
The Detroit Tigers!
The Tigers won the grand prize for best work at the winter meetings, for obtaining one of the best three hitters in all of MLB, as well as one of the only lefthanded pitchers in baseball who is both age 25 or under and has thrown three seasons of 200 IPs, in return for chop liver.
Meantime, a door prize has also been awarded to the Dodgers for quietly signing Andruw Jones to a two-year, $36M contract.
In addition, it was announced that there is no winner in the Johan Santana Sweepstakes, so the lottery will go another week with the cost going higher.
Finally, I believe it is safe for we fans to exhale, and rest soundly this evening knowing that Aaron Heilman, Carlos Gomez, and Jose Reyes are all still property of the NY Mets, despite some insanely outlandish, hourly rumors that had them packing to various spots of the map.
A few transactions that may or may not have been noticed:
– The Orioles chose 4 players in the Rule 5 draft. Either they don’t know the rule about having to keep them on the 25-man roster all year, or they’re serious about rebuilding.
– Jose Guillen found a sucker: the Royals signed him to a 3-year deal. What’s that song from the 50s? Dum, dum dum dum, dum duh doo dee dum dum dum dum …
– How dumb are the Royals, really? They also drafted Ray Liotta from the White Sox, perhaps thinking he is actually Shoeless Joe Jackson reincarnated.
– The Mets drafted an unknown righthanded reliever named Steven Register from the Rockies organization. More paint for the wall.
– The Pirates have released Jose Castillo. This might have been interesting to the Mets if they had not signed Luis Castillo (no relation). The Bucs also dropped Brad Eldred, who was once supposed to become another Justin Morneau but never even approached a Russell Branyan.
– The Giants drafted RHP Jose Capellan. Since they already have plenty of pitching depth, could this be a precursor to a deal involving young lefty Jonathan Sanchez? Too bad we already traded Lastings Milledge, who would have been ideal bait.
– The Mariners drafted R.A. Dickey, so little chance of the Mets getting a knuckleball specialist into spring training.
– The Rangers traded for Chris Shelton, who was DFA’s by the Tigers a few days ago. So nix that idea as well.
–Aaron Boone signed a one-year deal with the Nationals. Very cute. Now where is he going to play?
– Jorge Cantu was released by the Reds. Another guy the Mets might have kicked the tires on, had they not signed Luis Castillo. However, he might still be worth inviting to spring training.
– The Brewers officially signed David Riske, and released Lance Nyx. I kind of like the poetic rhythm of that sentence.
– The Yankees traded Tyler Clippard to the Nats for RHP Jonathan Albaladejo (talk about rhythm). I’m looking forward to the Mets wiping that stupid grin off Clippard’s face at least four or five times in ’08. Oh, the Nats also released former Met phenom Billy Traber. Ho hum.
– The Cardinals released So Taguchi. So? Yeah, So.
– The Braves picked up LHP Will Ohman and INF Omar Infante from the Cubs in exchange for AA RHP Jose Ascanio, and DFA’d Willie Harris. Ohman is a nice pickup for the Braves, who are very quietly and very gradually assembling a fairly decent bullpen. I’m not understanding the Willie Harris move — did they sign Mike Cameron while I wasn’t looking?
– The Diamondbacks finally traded hot-shot, big-hitting OF prospect Carlos Quentin — to the White Sox for infielder Chris Carter. Carter, who turns 21 in two weeks, is a 6’4″ first baseman who hit 25 HRs in 467 ABs in A ball last year. Does that mean Conor Jackson is on the move next?
– The pesky Nationals were pretty damn busy. They also picked up the often-troubled, immensely talented Elijah Dukes from the Rays in return for LHP Glenn Gibson. Gibson is a 19-year-old, former fourth-round draft pick who relies on a curveball and excellent control — a young. lefthanded version of Bobby Jones. Geez, Louise, Omar, where were you on this one? Oh that’s right, we’re getting rid of young thugs this winter, not picking them up.
– Kaz Matsui signed a 3-year contract with the Astros. Good luck, Kaz.
Other stuff happened, but not as interesting. If I missed something of note, please comment below.