More trades and a few signings over the past week, let's dive right in:
- The Royals continued their busy offseason when they acquired Coco Crisp from the Red Sox in exchange for Ramon Ramirez. Crisp gives the Royals some much-needed OBP and speed, but I don't understand why the Royals are breaking up one of their strengths from 2008 by trading away their bullpen. If Moore can find a way to trade for some more established bullpen help, I'll like this trade a lot more. I give the edge to the Royals in this deal, but you have to like the flexibility this gives Boston with their pitchers. Here's some additional reactions.
- The Cubs opened up the checkbook and re-signed Ryan Dempster to four-year, $52MM contract this week. I honestly thought Dempster would sign for much more than this wherever he wound up, as it's only $4MM more than Carlos Silva received in 2007. Dempster put up a great 2008, but it's hard to imagine him repeating those numbers for 2009. I wasn't a Dempster believer, so it'll take a strong repeat in 2009 to convince me that this is a good signing. Additional reactions on this one here.
- The Giants signed Jeremy Affeldt to a two-year, $8MM deal. I'm not as much of a fan of Affeldt as Tim is, but this is still a nice, surprisingly affordable signing. If Affeldt gets a shot at starting, as suggested in these additional reactions, I like the move even more, though I understand the importance of San Francisco improving their 'pen.
- Mike Mussina officially retired this past week. Moose went out on top after finally getting a 20-win season. Congratulations to Mussina on an great career.
- One guy who's not retiring is Pedro Martinez. He told the media he'll pitch in 2009 this week. Does he have anything left though?
- Philles fans got some disastrous news this week, when it was reported that Chase Utley will be on the shelf for 4-6 months following hip surgery. How will this affect their moves in the offseason?
- The White Sox signed Cuban third baseman Dayan Viciedo to a four-year, $11MM contract. I absolutely love this signing for the Sox. The potential for a bat of his quality and that price are outstanding.
- It's five years or nothing for A.J. Burnett. So far, no one's stepped up with that kind of offer. Who's going to make the offer?
- The Cubs are looking at Mark Teahen to fill their right field vacancy. Will they part with Sean Marshall in order to get him?
- The Astros need to trim payroll, and are looking at moving both Ty Wigginton and Jose Valverde.
- The Twins are still talking with Casey Blake, and making progress, though no formal offer has been issued yet. Minnesota is one of eight clubs with interest.
- Orioles Notes: While they're not major names, the Orioles signed Brad Hennessey and Donnie Murphy to minor league deals this week, and are looking at Cesar Izturis to play shortstop for 2009.
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