Friday, December 09, 2005

Winter Meetings

It's not even Christmas yet, and this has already been one of the more active and interesting off-seasons ever. The Winter Meetings have come and gone, a lot of hot air got blown around on the internet and in print, and some players actually changed teams.

So far, the big splash in the AL West has been the M's signing of NPB star catcher Kenji Johjima. It has NOT been the M's signing, say, A.J. Burnett (who goes to Toronto), nor has it been any AL West teams getting in on the Florida Marlins' twice-per-decade Fire Sale. Let's review the state of Hot Stove signings and veteran arbitration offers (non-tendering deadline for pre-free agent arb cases comes later this month):

Seattle
-Signed C Kenji Johjima
-Acquired RHP Marcos Carvajal from Colorado for C Yorvit Torrealba
-Resigned LHP Jamie Moyer
-Drafted 2b Jason Bourgeois from Atlanta in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 Draft
-DFA'd RHP Jeff Harris
-Declined arbitration to: PH Dave Hansen, RHP Shigetoshi Hasegawa, RHP Jeff Nelson, SS Pokey Reese, C Dan Wilson

Texas
-Acquired RHP Jon Leicester from the Cubs for a Player To Be Named Later (how so many guys were not named at birth is one of the great mysteries of baseball)
-Resigned RHP John Wasdin
-Traded "2b" Alfonso Soriano to Washington for OF Brad Wilkerson, OF Terrmel Sledge, and a PTBNL rumored to actually have the name "Armando Galarraga."
-Acquired Rule 5 Draftee LHP Fabio Castro (originally with the White Sox) from Royals for IF Esteban German
-Drafted OF Alexi Ogando from Oakland in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 Draft
-Signed C Jamie Burke, "OF" Adam Hyzdu, and RHP Rick Bauer to minor league contracts
-Declined arbitration to: C Sandy Alomar Jr., RHP Doug Brocail, 1b Greg Colbrunn, OF Richard Hidalgo, RHP Steve Karsay, LHP Kenny Rogers

Oakland
-Signed RHP Matt Roney
-Signed RHP Esteban Loaiza (look out...Mr. "Pounder Domination" is back in the pool)
-Acquired Chad Gaudin from Toronto for a PTNBL
-Offered arbitration to: LHP Ricardo Rincon
-Declined arbitration to: C Alberto Castillo, RHP Octavio Dotel, DH Erubiel Durazo, DH Scott Hatteberg

Anaheim
-Signed RHP Hector Carrasco, believing him to be a starting pitcher
-Signed OF Tim Salmon to a minor league contract
-Offered arbitration to: Paul Byrd (signed with Cleveland, type B Free Agent, netting a draft pick)
-Declined arbitration to: LHP Jason Christiansen, IF Lou Merloni, C Bengie Molina, LHP Jarrod Washburn

In all, not a lot of movement yet in the West; Johjima, Loaiza, and the Soriano-Wilkerson trade are the only really noteworthy moves. This in an offseason that has seen blockbuster trades weekly. Still out there are Kevin Millwood, Jarrod Washburn, Matt Morris (yeesh), Jason Johnson (double yeesh), Jeff Weaver, Jacque Jones...meh. We've all heard the ugly rumors about Carl Everett...pass.

Given all of the movement that has taken place, it seems almost imperative that the M's ink a Millwood or Washburn, but the price of FA starting pitchers may just be too steep. The Rangers are rumored to be pursuing a trade for Padres' starter Adam Eaton, which would certainly bolster their rotation (by giving it a single legitimate major league starter), and therefore threaten our aspirations for third place in '06. To be sure, a rental of Barry Zito is always a possibility, but that requires trading within the division...hmmm. I guess I'm against it...(Zito in Safeco...hmmm).

In any case, look for more movement between now and pitchers and catchers reporting.

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