MLB Free Agency/Trade Tracker: Grading Winter Meetings' Signings, Trades

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIDecember 7, 2012

MLB Free Agency/Trade Tracker: Grading Winter Meetings' Signings, Trades

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    The MLB winter meetings have concluded with some of the biggest free agents still on the market.

    However, there were some signings and trades that did occur.

    While there wasn't as much action as there had been in years past, the 2012 version of the winter meetings still had some surprises.

    Here are grades for some of the transactions from the winter meetings.

Braves Re-Sign Reed Johnson

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    Reed Johnson re-signed with the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, giving the team their No. 1 option off the bench. The deal is reportedly for one year, with a club option for 2014.

    Johnson will serve as the Braves' fourth outfielder. He could also serve in a platoon, depending on who the Braves bring in to be their left fielder.

    With Eric Hinske and David Ross having departed via free agency, Johnson was a key signing for the Braves and their bench.

    Grade: A

Phillies Acquire Ben Revere

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    The trade between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Minnesota Twins was one of the more surprising moves of the winter meetings.

    The Twins sent center fielder Ben Revere to the Phillies for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May.

    Revere batted .278 with 40 stolen bases in 2012 for the Twins and will likely be Philadelphia's leadoff hitter in 2013.

    Worley was a major surprise in 2011, going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA and 119 strikeouts. However, 2012 saw him regress, going 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA.

    May comes to town now as the No. 5-ranked prospect in the Twins' system, according to the top prospects list on

    The Twins hit a home run with this deal, especially considering their need for starting pitching. Worley will come in and be the No. 1 or No. 2 starter, while May will likely make his MLB debut in 2014.

    The Phillies get their center fielder, but it's not Michael Bourn, like most thought it would be.

    The best guess is that Bourn priced himself out of the Phillies' range, and they moved on to fill a need they had.

    Twins' Grade: A-

    Phillies' Grade: C+

Rays Sign James Loney

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    James Loney is staying in the American League East after signing a one-year, $2 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    The Rays are hoping Loney provides a better average than Carlos Pena did (.192) last year, although the Rays would welcome the 19 home runs Pena hit last year.

    While it's not a top-of-the-line free agent, the Rays still filled a position of need. And, if they can get 80-plus RBI out of Loney like he produced between 2008-10, then this will be a good signing for the Rays.

    Grade: C

Diamondbacks Sign Eric Hinske

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    The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Eric Hinske to a one-year deal.

    Hinske, who is coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro (.197 average), will fill a bench role with the Diamondbacks.

    While Hinske did struggle last year with the Braves, there's no denying he's a good bat to have on the bench.

    Grade: C+

Giants Re-Sign Marco Scutaro

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    Marco Scutaro will be returning to the San Francisco Giants after signing a three-year, $20 million deal to stay with the team.

    Scutaro is most known for his performance in the playoffs last year, as he helped propel the Giants to a World Series win.

    Last year, Scutaro batted .306 with seven home runs and 74 RBI between Colorado and San Francisco.

    This signing keeps the veteran in San Francisco as the Giants try to win their third World Series in four years.

    Grade: A+

Astros Acquire Alex White

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    The Houston Astros traded right-handed reliever Wilton Lopez to the Colorado Rockies for RHP Alex White and RHP Alex Gillingham.

    With the move to the American League, the Astros had to build up their pitching, and that's what White does for them. With struggles in Colorado, White will get a chance to pitch away from Coors Field.

    Lopez provides the Rockies a proven setup man, as he has pitched in at least 66 innings in each of the last three seasons.

    Both teams addressed weaknesses with this trade, and both came out as they could have hoped.

    Astros' Grade: B

    Rockies' Grade: B

David Wright Re-Signs with Mets

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    The New York Mets had to do it.

    If they didn't re-sign third baseman David Wright, the whole fan base would be up in arms.

    Thankfully, both sides got a deal done, as Wright signed an eight-year, $138 million contract.

    Wright has been the face of the Mets ever since he came into the league and will likely finish his career with the Mets.

    This signing is great for both sides, because Wright has long-term security, and the Mets didn't have to overpay him just so he wouldn't hit the free-agent market next year.

    Grade: A

Tampa Bay Acquires Yunel Escobar

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    For the second time this offseason, Yunel Escobar found himself traded.

    Originally traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Miami Marlins, Escobar found himself again traded when the Rays acquired the shortstop for infielder Derek Dietrich.

    Escobar was once the most talked about shortstop when he was with the Braves. However, times changed when he was traded to the Blue Jays and things have never been the same.

    Reports are that Escobar had a change of heart about moving to third base with the Marlins, so the team traded him. This marks the second year in a row that the Marlins have faced this problem.

    Last year, it was Hanley Ramirez hesitant after the team signed Jose Reyes.

    Now, all three are nowhere near Miami.

    Rays' Grade: C+

    Marlins' Grade: F

Rangers Sign Joakim Soria

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    The Texas Rangers continued to add to the depth of their team with the signing of Joakim Soria to a two-year deal.

    Soria didn't play in 2012, but he racked up 160 saves between 2007-11.

    He adds to the depth of the Rangers' bullpen and will make it tougher for opposing teams to come back late in games.

    Grade: A-

Padres Re-Sign Jason Marquis

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    The San Diego Padres re-signed Jason Marquis to a one-year, $3 million deal.

    The deal keeps Marquis in San Diego where he will help mentor a young core of starters.

    Marquis is not a top-of-the-rotation guy, but he will provide serviceable innings for the Padres.

    Overall, this is not a bad deal for the Padres.

    Grade: C

Rangers Re-Sign Geovany Soto

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    The Rangers agreed to a one-year, $2.75-million deal with Geovany Soto, whom they acquired from the Chicago Cubs last year.

    Soto struggled last year, batting .198 between Chicago and Texas.

    Honestly, I don't see why the Rangers re-signed Soto. He had a good 2008 season and hasn't been up to par ever since.

    With the Rangers looking to spend this offseason, there were better options than Soto.

    Grade: F