Today the winter meetings commenced in Indianapolis, Indiana. As usual, the first day was a bit of a slow one, but that doesn't mean this offseason won't have numerous moves that as usual will determine many teams seasons.
No team is a better example of this than the New York Yankees last season. With huge signings of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixera and AJ Burnett, the Yankees yet again spent more than anyone to revamp their roster. The only difference was, this time it payed off.
Hopefully, for those of you who actually read my blogs, your catching on to a trend in my writing, I hate the Yankees. But more importantly, I think baseball needs a salary cap, but that's a whole different issue than the one I want to talk about today.
Anyways, here is what happened today at the winter meetings:
Rafael Soriano, relief pitcher from the Atlanta Braves surprisingly accepted arbitration, 1 year between 6.5-8 million. With the signings of Takashi Saito and Billy Wagner, many expected Soriano to walk, given that he is too talented of a pitcher to be a middle reliever or setup man. Also for the fact that nobody expected the Braves to want to have so many high priced relievers.
Speaking of arbitration, Houston Astros closing pitcher Jose Valverde declined to this option. Valverde is now a free agent and he is coming off a very solid season as a closer. He had 25 saves in 29 oppurtunities and posted a 2.33 ERA.
The Cubs continued to try and trade Milton Bradley, the disgruntled outfielder who appears to want out of the National League. Bradley is a headcase as most people know, and it will be difficult for the Cubs to get much, if anything in return for Bradley.
Word is, that the New York Yankees and Mets are the most likely destinations for former Angels pitcher, Kelvim Escobar. Escobar missed last season, and in order to prove himself was forced to play winter ball in the Venezuelan league.
Former Detroit Tigers relief pitcher, Brandon Lyons is in talks with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies had their hearts broken last season by Brad Lidge, who came off one of the best seasons in baseball history for a closer. Lidge just never looked comfortable on the mound last year posting an ERA above 7. Lyons may not be the closing pitcher if he signs with this club, but he would be a nice option if Lidge implodes again.
Randy Wolf, one of the better pitchers in an extremely weak year for pitchers, is reportedly in talks with the Brewers. The Brewers lost CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets last year in the offseason, and relied heavily on Yovani Gallardo as their ace. Wolf would be a nice 2nd or 3rd starter in this rotation.
Brad Penny, who finished last season with the San Francisco Giants in the National league has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in a one year deal. With this, John Smoltz likely will not return to the team next season.
Felix Hernandez, the Seattle Mariners ace, has reportedly asked for around 100 million dollars over 6 years in a contract extension. The Mariners original offer was 4 years at 45 million. Something tells me, these two sides won't be getting a deal done anytime soon.
The Los Angeles Angels are the newest team to jump in on the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. The team is showing less and less interest for John Lackey as the days go by, and as a result, this team needs to find some pitching, and fast. Roy Halladay would certainly fit the bill.
The Phillies are reportedly shopping Joe Blanton at the winter meetings. With Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Pedro Martinez, the team has a pretty solid 1-2-3 punch. The Phillies are trying to free up money to bulk up their bullpen. The most likely players to be signed by the Phillies this offseason include Mike Gonzalez, JJ Putz, or Brandon Lyon.
In the economic crisis, the Tigers are desperate for money. As a result, the team is looking to trade away star centerfielder, Curtis Granderson. The teams showing the most interest at the moment are the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. Also, the Tigers in another desperate move for cash are very close to a deal that would send off Edwin Jackson. The team receiving Jackson has yet to be disclosed.
Well, that's all I got for now guys. I hope you enjoyed this blog, and please comment with any and all feedback.