What is going on, Ball Boys and Girls? I hope all is well and you guys are having a safe and happy holiday season thus far. Today, I will recap and grade all the virtual Winter Meeting Trades/Signings that happened. I hope you enjoy it. The Winter meetings took place from Dec. 7th-10th.
Free Agent Signings:
-White Sox and OF Adam Eaton on a 1yr- $7mil deal. The deal also contains an $8.5mil club option for 2022. Eaton was traded precisely four years to do the day to the Nationals that brought the White Sox Lucas Giolitto, Dane Dunning, and Reynaldo Lopez.
Grade- B(Fill the RF void with a reliable vet)
-SF Giants have signed RHP Matt Wisler to a 1yr-$1.15mil contract. The Giants will be able to contract Wisler through 2022 via arbitration. In 2020 with the Twins, the 28yo posted a 1.07ERA/3.35FIP with 35K and a 13.9% swinging-strike rate over 25.1IP. Wisler likes to get into trouble with his 5.0BB/9 and the fact he stranded 99% of runners be allowed.
Grade- A-(Keep adding to the pen to compete with the powers of the NL West)
-The KC Royals and 1B/DH Carlos Santana agreed to a 2yr $17mil deal. It is worth noting for the 35yo the success he has had against the Royals with 31HR and 93RBI. In 2020 the slugger had one of his worst career years with a .199/.349/.350 of 255PA with the Indians. In 2019 Santana earned his first All-Star appearance with a .281/.397/.515 and 34HR for the Indians.
Grade- D- (Too much money committed to an aging slugger who isn't Nelson Cruz and coming off career lows in every offense metric)
-The Padres have signed OF Brian O'Grady. From 2018-19 at the AAA level, he slashed .286/.360/.553 with 36HR over 649PA. The 28yo only owns 53PA at the MLB level, slashing .213/.302/.447 with 2HR. O'Grady will factor into a loaded OF in SD with Trent Grisham, Tommy Pham, Wil Myers, Greg Allen, Jorge Mateo, and Jorge Ona.
My grade for the signing- C-(depth is never a bad thing, especially with the OF.)
-C Chadwick Tromp, after being non-tendered by the Giants. He was resigned on a minors deal, or so we thought on the 8th. The deal was then officially announced on the 9th and an MLB deal. The 25yo played in 19 games for the team in 2020 and slashed .213/.219/.426 in 64PA. Defensively for Tromp, he threw out 2/6 runners stealing and finished in 67th percentile as a pitch framer. Tromp will look to provide quality depth behind Buster Posey and Joey Bart.
My grade of the move is a D- I am confused about why they would sign Tromp to an MLB deal and not a MiLB with an invite to Spring training.
-The Seattle Mariners have signed RHP Chris Flexen to a 2yr $4.75mil contract with a 3rd-year option if he hits performance goals. The 26yo played with the Mets from 2017-2019, pitching to an 8.07ERA/6.92FIP over 68IP. He then spent 2020 in the KBO pitching to a 3.01ERA/2.74FIP with a 10.2K/9, 2.3BB/9 over 116.2IP. Flexen will factor into the competition for the 4th/5th spot in the rotation with Justin Dunn, Nick Margevicius, Ljay Newsome, and Robert Dugger. If not, he should easily factor into the bullpen mix.
My grade for the M's B- - The move could pan out to be great for 2-3 years and stabilize the back end of the rotation as needed to let the prospects develop at AAA. The move could also blow up quickly, and they can cut their losses and move on relatively promptly without looming financial burdens.
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-The LA Angels have acquired Raisel Iglesias from the Reds in exchange for RHP Noe Ramirez and a PTBNL. The move not only points to the Red's cutting costs where they can, but the Angels are building a better team. Iglesias turns 31 this season, and in 2020, he posted a 2.74ERA with a 31-5 K/BB ratio and a 41.5% ground ball rate over 23IP. GREAT trade for the Halo's. It is clear that when Perry Minasian said the payroll wouldn't be cut at all in 2021, he meant it, and he and owner Arte Moreno are using every available resource to win-now with how wide open the AL West is.
The grade for the Angels- A (Filled a crucial need in pen and got one of the best available arms)
The grade for the Reds- A (Cut payroll down a total of $21mil after the trade)
-The Chicago White Sox are trade RHP Dane Dunning and LHP Avery Weems to the Texas Rangers in exchange for RHP Lance Lynn. Lynn has been terrific in his two seasons in Texas, posted a 3.57ERA/3.43FIP, 10.31K/9 over 292.2IP. The 33yo SP will slot in as the club's number 3 man behind Giolitto and Dallas Keuchel. The value the Rangers got is incredible. Dunning is only 26yo and just made his MLB debut in 2020, posting a 3.97ERA/3.99FIP, 9.28K/9 over 34IP. Weems is 23yo; in his 60.1IP of rookie ball in 2019, he had a 2.09ERA, 11.0K/9, 1.5BB/9. The future just got a little brighter in Texas.
The grade for the White Sox- B+ (The team solidified the rotation with Lynn and builds off their 2020 playoff appearance.)
The grade for the Rangers- B (The team got one budding MLB arm and one high upside prospect while shedding payroll like they wanted to do.)
-The Rangers have acquired 1B Nate Lowe, 1B Jake Guenther, and a PTBNL from the Tamps Bay Rays in exchange for C Heriberto Hernandez, INF Osleivis Basabe, OF Alexander Ovalles. The 25yo Lowe is the only player in the deal with MLB experience. Carrying a .251/.322/.447 line over 245PA in 71 games. Guenther also goes back home to Texas, where he played at TCU before being drafted by the Rays in 2019. In his one professional season, he slashed .320/.431/.423 and could factor into the Ranger's INF plans in 2021.
The Rangers B- grade- - I give this grade because Chris Young made his first move, upgraded 1st base, and got a couple of decent prospects.
The Rays C+ grade- I give this grade because it was smart of the team to move Lowe because the team has plenty of options at 1B/DH. The catching prospect is vital to the club, and the other two provide depth.
-The Pittsburg Pirates have acquired Luis Oviedo from the NY Mets. The Mets selected Oviedo in the Rule 5 draft, then traded shortly after.
I give both teams a D- I give this grade because it was a rule 5 pick, and we have yet to see what the player will do at the MLB level.
-The Miami Marlins have acquired RHP Zack Pop from the AZ D-Backs for a PTBNL. Pop was selected with the 6th pick in the Rule 5 Draft.
I give both teams a D- I give this grade because it was a rule 5 pick, and we have yet to see what the player will do at the MLB level. Yes, same as above.
Left on the Hot Stove:
-According to Scott Boras, no MLB Team lost money in 2020.
-The inevitable trade of SS Fransisco Lindor is looming
-The developing "hesitation" that Rockies GM Dick Monfort is warming of the idea of trading 3B Nolan Arenado and SS Trevor Story.
-The Cubs have yet to trade Kris Bryant or any other piece from the core. The club did non-tender OF Kyle Schwarber
-Trevor Bauer, DJ LaMahieu, Marcell Ozuna, George Springer, JT Realmuto, and many other notable free-agents have yet to sign a deal.
-KBO/NPB players are available. INF Ha-Seong Kim, SP Tomoyuki Sugano, INF Sung-Bum Na, and others have been posted.
-The Reds cleared a lot of payrolls but haven't filled their SS void.
-The Trade Block remains overloaded- SP Sony Gray, SP Jameson Taillon, SP Joe Musgrove, SS Carlos Correa, SS Javier Baez, and many more names are widely available if teams want to take on a contract.
There is much much more that I will cover as we continue through the winter. Make sure to check out all of the Around The Horn, where I cover all the news and rumors around the MLB.
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