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.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude December 7, 2007 at 8:36 am
    Joe:

    A bit off topic. I was wondering if you might be able to put together a post or a series of posts that run down the 10 best Mets moments of 2007, what with the end of the year approaching and all. I know it would entail a lot of work so I completely understand if you choose to pass. I just thought we could all use the chance to reminisce and actually feel good about our team for a change. You up for the challenge?

  2. joe December 7, 2007 at 10:37 am
    Thanks for the idea! I’ll get working on it now and hopefully have something worthwhile before the end of the year.

    BTW, I’ve also been toying with the idea of putting together a downloadable book (PDF format) comprised of all the posts on MetsToday from the magical 2006 season. Of course it will be free to download. Would anyone be interested in such a book? I can do it for either 2006 or 2007, but I figured 2006 would be happier reading. Something to get us through to spring training.

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

  3. Micalpalyn December 7, 2007 at 11:50 am
    I think both years have their own magic.

    2006 Lives long because of the long wait for the post season.
    2007 was ONLY disappointing because of poor play down the stretch. Plus my first poist on this site was on ‘planet randolph’.

    As I am verbalising my thoughts, i think the value added is if you added an ‘editorial’ or summary to each story. Possibly even seperated the game blogs from the trades, miscellaneous blog stories (such as planet randolph) and response to newspaper fodder.

    Remember 1998? The Mets collapsed then too losing their last 5, 3 against a resting braves team. The next two yrs (almost 3) were glory.

    I think 2007 will (eventually) be seen as a brief set back in a dynasty. Of all the Mets that needed this lesson I think RANDOLPH needed it the most.