As the Winter Meetings near their conclusion, a host of talent still remains unsigned or untraded. We’ve reached the point where players and teams start changing their tune more quickly. Typically more surprises, if small ones, are in store. Things started a little quieter on Wednesday compared to Monday and Tuesday, but as the day progressed, several big trades and signings erupted. If you didn’t catch all of the action, let’s bring you up to speed.
Detroit Tigers moves and rumors
I’ll just leave this here:
One rival executive says about the Tigers: "All over the place. Waiting for the dam to break."— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) December 7, 2016
Al Avila continued to hold firm, cutting a wide swathe in talks with many teams, while refusing to compromise for less than a desired return. While there appear to be nibbles and discussions on Tigers from Jose Iglesias to Justin Wilson, no substantive progress is apparent at this point. Perhaps the rapid weakening of another AL Central foe has only stiffened the Tigers resolve to contend in 2017 unless thoroughly wowed with a return.
The Tigers also reportedly asked the Miami Marlins if they would be interested in trading for left-handed relief pitcher Justin Wilson. This is interesting, considering the other moves that the Marlins made today, and unusual as a team doesn’t typically ask specific teams for deals without an exact deal in mind. Again we see Avila identifying other team’s general interests and attempting to stoke offers for his own players.
Wednesday’s signings and trades
News broke late Wednesday that closer Aroldis Chapman was signed by the New York Yankees for five years, $86 million, pending a physical.
The Chicago White Sox traded outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals for right-handed pitching prospects Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning, and Raynaldo Lopez. This continues the trend of teams paying a heavy price in prospects to fill the holes in their lineup or rotation.
The Texas Rangers re-signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year, $11.5 million deal. That’s a pretty good deal considering Gomez was released by the Houston Astros in August of 2016. Rangers’ manager, Jeff Bannister, is a Gomez fan and feels his skill set may be a better fit with the Rangers’ veteran talent than in Houston.
"I saw a guy who looked out of his game," Banister said "Trying to carry too much. Trying to hit balls as far as he can hit them."
The Chicago Cubs traded outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for closer Wade Davis. The Cubs were in need of relief help with their presumed loss of closer Aroldis Chapman, and the deal allows to Royals to shop their other outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, with $12.5 million in guaranteed money and worth up to $18.25 million including incentives. DRays Bay flipped out, understandably, as not many expected the Rays to make a splash in free agency this offseason.
The Marlins signed starting pitcher Jeff Locke to a one-year, $3 million deal. They also signed catcher A.J. Eliis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal. Lastly, they added right-handed reliever Dustin McGowan on a one-year contract.
One of bigger free agent deals of the offseason came from a somewhat unlikely source. The Colorado Rockies signed first baseman/outfielder Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70 million deal with an option for a sixth year worth $13 million.
The Arizona Diamondbacks signed former Tigers closer Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million (incentive-laden) deal.
The San Francisco Giants traded pitcher Chris Heston to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later.
The St. Louis Cardinals are still looking for another outfielder.
Several teams are interested in Chicago White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana, including the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals. Having already traded Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, the White Sox have added a boatload of talent to their farm system, and still have an ace in Quintana, first baseman Jose Abreu, and closer David Robertson available. That is how a full teardown is done folks. Of course, they could still resist any further offers and see if a contending team will pay even more at the trade deadline.
The Baltimore Orioles have shown interest in free agent first baseman Chris Carter.
The Toronto Blue Jays have resumed contract talks with free agent outfielder Jose Bautista. Neither side has really found what they were looking for elsewhere. Perhaps a reunion is still in the cards.