What We Learned: The Winter Meetings

The Winter Meetings have been four days of non-stop rumors, trades and mega-deals. Now that everyone has packed their bags and headed for the Orlando airport, what do we know that we didn't know a week ago? Here are a few developments:

  • The Nationals have lots of money to spend – Not only did Washington sign Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126MM deal, they are in on Cliff Lee and Carl Pavano, the best remaining starting pitchers. Plus, they're interested in a potential deal with Adam LaRoche. You can debate the way they spend their money, but you can't deny that the Nats have cash.
  • It really will be a quiet offseason for the Mets – We're used to seeing the Mets spend. They've committed hundreds of millions to players like Jason Bay, Francisco Rodriguez, Johan Santana and Carlos Beltran in recent years, but their recent pickups, Ronny Paulino and D.J. Carrasco, cost them a total of $3.8MM.
  • It's not a bad time to be a utility player – Just ask Miguel Cairo, Melvin Mora and Ty Wigginton, who all signed multiyear deals.
  • The Pirates are being aggressive – Is this the year Pittsburgh's streak of losing seasons comes to an end? I don't think so and the Pirates probably don't either, but they willing to spend to improve upon the MLB-worst 57-105 record they had in 2010. Matt Diaz, Kevin Correia and Scott Olsen are all set to join the Pirates.
  • Scott Boras can still negotiate a mega-deal – In case any doubt remained about Scott Boras' ability to get massive deals for his clients, the agent got $126MM for a player who has qualified for all of two batting titles and $10MM for a player who batted .196 last year.
  • The Red Sox should have an elite lineup next year – Let's not assume anything, since the Red Sox experienced tons of injuries in 2010, but on paper Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez make Boston's lineup scary.

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