RST's 2009 Winter Meetings Review

RealSportsTalk Contributor IDecember 11, 2009

Last year J.J. Putz was traded, and Francisco Rodriguez was signed immediately. So because of last year's big moves during the winter meetings, expectations coming heading into Monday were high, and luckily the GMs delivered some early Christmas gifts.

Some players were given more than we anticipated, while the big names remained on the board as expected. There were a few dozen signings, but mostly minor names who will be seen in the minor leagues this year.

Some players that signed for longer contracts than we predicted were Ivan Rodriguez and Randy Wolf. Pudge signed with the Nationals on a contract worth $6 million over two years, and Wolf signed a three-year contract worth $29.75 million, the first time in many years he has had any long-term security.

Other free agent signings include:

  • SP Andy Pettitte resigns with the New York Yankees for 1 year at $11.75M.
  • SP Brad Penny signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals that is worth $7.5M.
  • The Astros signed 3B Pedro Feliz to a one-year, $4.5M contract.
  • The Rangers made a big splash and took a big risk by signing SP Rich Harden to a one-year deal worth $6.5M contract which also includes an $11M club option in 2011.
  • SS Adam Everett resigned with the Detroit Tigers on a one-year contract worth $1.55M.

Andy Pettitte was a bit of a shock. Everyone was aware that Andy wished to return to the mound this year, but a salary close to 12 million dollars seemed a bit too much. The Yankees seem to be going steady but strong in the offseason. They resigned Pettitte, traded prospects for OF Curtis Granderson (which I'll discuss just below), and are negotiating with OF Johnny Damon to return, most likely in a DH role.

The more interesting aspect of the Winter Meetings was the amount of trading that occurred. As you know, the Winter Meetings are a great way for all of the GMs to meet in person while also opening up to the media. Because of this, negotiations are much easier and trades are more likely to occur. There were a number of trades that occurred, and it has left a burn mark, leaving dozens of rumors of possible trades and signings.

The biggest trade was a three-way deal which included the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Yankees acquired some terrific talent in outfielder Curtis Granderson, while only having to give up prospects Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke. The Diamondbacks gave up 2008 first-round pick Daniel Schlereth and pitcher Max Scherzer.

Here is who received whom:

  • Yankees receive: CF Curtis Granderson (DET)
  • Diamondbacks Receive: P Edwin Jackson (DET) and SP Ian Kennedy (NYY)
  • Tigers Receive: P Max Scherzer (ARI), P Daniel Schlereth (ARI), OF Austin Jackson (NYY), and RP Phil Coke (NYY)

There were also a few other trades that occurred this week:

  • Although the minor parts of the deal are still being worked out, the Boston Red Sox agreed to send 3B Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers for catching prospect Max Ramirez. The Sox will also be covering $9M of Lowell's contract as part of the deal.
  • The Atlanta Braves traded reliever Rafael Soriano to the Tampa Bay Rays for reliever Jesse Chavez.
  • The Houston Astros acquired Matt Lindstrom from the Florida Marlins for P Robert Bono, SS Luis Bryan, and their Rule 5 draft pick, 3rd baseman Jorge Jimenez.
  • Lastly for big trades, the Texas Rangers acquired reliever Chris Ray and Rule 5 pick Benjamin Snyder from the Baltimore Orioles, and in return the Orioles received SP Kevin Millwood and $3M of his contract.

Since the winter meetings ended, there have been a few new additions to the rumor mill. The New York Mets have apparently lost some interest in LF Matt Holliday, and offered a four-year, $65M contract to LF Jason Bay. There are mixed opinions regarding the projected outcome. ESPN's Peter Gammons believes the Red Sox will up their originally rejected four-year, $60M offer, while's Jon Heyman, who broke the report yesterday, believes the Mets will have to offer a fifth year to acquire Bay, and he doesn't believe the Red Sox can top the offer.

Along with that, the rumors regarding Milton Bradley continue to linger, as that the Cubs are still putting most of their offseason efforts into moving Bradley. It is also known that the NY Mets offered C Bengie Molina a contract which was probably along the lines of two years and $12M.

New rumors are swirling that the Phillies remain the front-runners for a Roy Halladay trade, and that they are aggressively trying to get the deal done, even if it means the addition of a third team. Despite this, many analysts still believe the Angels have the better package to put together and that they have a better chance of signing Halladay long-term.

It was a busy week, packed with rumors galore. We had some interesting trades and some insight as to who liked whom, and who wanted to go where. With the Winter Meetings adjourned, the clock begins to count down as the big names on the market begin to pool offers and negotiate contracts.

Where will the big three end up, and will there be any major trades?

This article was written by RST's own Giantmetfan07, and the original copy can be seen here: