Some Quick Notes and Rumors: MLB Winter Meetings Day 3

Finally out of the snow of Des Moines, which was a nightmare for travel. Everything else seems to be going better for some teams in Indy…

Wolf, Pettitte Sign New Contracts
Randy Wolf finally agreed to terms with the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s getting 3 years, $29.75MM. It’s not a bad deal for the pitcher, who instantly makes Milwaukees rotation better. If this is the sign of things to come, then it appears that pitcher contracts are back to where they were before last off-season.

Andy Pettitte also re-signed with the Yankees, receiving $11.75MM next season. Pettitte, while declining, is still an effective pitcher and should help with the continued improvement of Phil Hughes. I don’t think he was going to leave the team, even after declining their first offer.

Soriano on the Move…

The other Soriano, Rafael, has been traded by the Braves to the Rays for recently acquired Jesse Chavez.

Soriano was offered arbitration and was one of 3 players to accepted. I don’t think the Braves were expecting it, based on the contracts they gave to Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito. Soriano, knowing that his market was going to be limited with the arbitration offer, accepted and consented to the trade. He’ll work with the Rays on his 1 year contract.

Chavez was acquired earlier in the off-season from the Pirates for Akinori Iwamura. He’s a low cost middle reliever, which is what the Braves needed to off-set the contracts they’ve given out so far.

Astros Re-Working Depleted Bullpen

The Astros have replaced free agents LaTroy Hawkins (signed by the Brewers) and Jose Valverde (who will cost too much for the team); they acquired Matt Lindstrom in a trade and signed Brandon Lyon.

Lindstrom was traded by the Marlins for 2 minor leaguers and the Astros Rule V pick. He was the opening day closer, but lost the job due to injuries and inconsistancy. He’ll be in the mix for the closer job. He was one of many Marlins rumored to be on the move due to arbitration raises.

Lyon, another possible closer, signed a 3 year, $15MM contract. It seems high for a marginal closer, let alone a set up man. I like him, but this isn’t a good fit in my opinion, especially for a team with limited available funds.

The Dominoes Fall for the Rangers

The Rangers have started a domino effect with moves.

First, they’ve sent starter Kevin Millwood, along with cash ($3MM), to the Orioles for reliever Chris Ray. Ray is a good bullpen piece to add, since he has some closer experience. The deal will save them money so they can add…

Rich Harden, who signed a 1 year deal. He’s making a base of $6.5MM and incentives up to $3.5MM based of innings. He’ll also receive an $11MM mutual option for 2011. The deal isn’t official yet, but should be announced today. He’s an upgrade on Millwood, when healthy. We’ll see how the ballpark transition goes.

Finally, they are close to adding third baseman Mike Lowell from the Red Sox, along with cash ($9MM or so). They’ll send catching prospect Max Ramirez to Boston, IF Lowell passes his physical; their is concerns on Lowell’s hip and thumb.

Everything Else…
The Royals are releasing Mike Jacobs…Yorvit Torrealba and Bengie Molina are believed to be getting 2 year deals; Torrealba from the Rockies and Molina from the Mets…Josh Willingham is staying in Washington for the time being…Barry Bonds is not retired, but won’t be playing again according to his agent…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,