by Aaron Rife,
Hot Stove Update
One month into the “Hot Stove” MLB offseason and there’s been a lot to talk about. With Winter Meetings just around the corner, let’s catch everyone up on what has happened so far each day with a different division.
Atlanta Braves: Basically gave Derek Lowe away just to get him off the team. They’re paying $10M of the $15M owed to Lowe in 2012. It’s worth it to the Braves to clear a rotation spot for one of their possible future aces. Their only real hole right now is at shortstop; well, other than finding someone to play 3rd when Chipper Jones goes on the DL again.
- Traded Derek Lowe (SP) to Indians for minor leaguer Chris Jones (LHP), picking up majority of Lowe’s contract.
- Declined option on Nate McClouth (OF)
- Exercised option on Eric Hinske (1B/OF)
- Key FA losses: Alex Gonzalez (SS), George Sherrill (RP)
Miami Marlins: The Marlins have been linked to literally every big name free agent that’s available; reportedly offering 9 years to Albert Pujols who easily could be 45 at the end of that contract, but there’s no chance he’d sign there for a similar contract he’ll get elsewhere. So far their biggest upgrade is to the ballpark which should help bring in some fans. No doubt they will look to make a big splash with a Latin player to help pull the community in; probably Jose Reyes They also could use some pitching; Javier Vazquez seems to be on the verge of retiring but he would be nice to bring back.
- Traded John Baker (C) to the Padres for Wade LeBlank (LHP)
- Traded Sun Life Stadium for Marlins Ballpark
- Key FA Losses: Javier Vazquez (SP), Greg Dobbs (1B/3B/OF)
New York Mets: Obviously they need to sign Reyes back but it seems like he’s very interested in not returning. They get Johan Santana back but the rest of the roster (minus David Wright) is a bunch of mediocre players that could easily be replaced, maybe Ike Davis could be considered average. They have a lot of work to do and without any sure-fire prospects ready to come up, they need a good free agency period or to work out a nice deal during winter meetings.
- Key FA Losses: Jose Reyes (SS), Jason Isringhausen (RP), Chris Capuano (SP), Nick Evans (1B/3B/OF), Taylor Buchholz (OF), Jason Pridie (OF)
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies seem to always make significant roster changes each offseason. So far this year they snatched up Jonathan Papelbon for their closer after the Madson contract fell through. I can’t imagine Jimmy Rollins playing somewhere else but if he did, they’d have a huge hole to fill at SS. They seem to come out of nowhere on a huge signing so don’t be surprised if Jose Reyes ends up here or Miami.
- Declined options on Roy Oswalt (SP) and Brad Lidge (RP)
- Signed Jonathan Papelbon (RP) and Jim Thome (1B/Old bench bat)
- Traded for Ty Wigginton (1B/3B/OF) for PTBNL
- Key FA Losses: Ryan Madson (RP), Jimmy Rollins (SS), Raul Ibanez (OF)
Washington Nationals: The Nationals have slowly put together a pretty decent team and this year they’ll look to compete for a Wild Card berth (thanks to the new CBA). They’ve been dying to make a big splash with a free agent (see the Jayson Werth contract) and this could be the year. They could also make a trade or two since they have a solid minor league system.
- Resigned Chien-Ming Wang (SP)
- Key FA Losses: Jonny Gomes (OF), Rick Ankiel (OF), Livan Hernandez (SP), Ivan Rodriguez (C)