While the MLB Winter Meetings are already fading in the rearview mirror, it seemed that we ought to do at least one poll on the results. With so much money already committed through free agency, I wondered at the outset of the meetings whether the stage was set for interesting trade scenarios. So, we'll ask MLBTR readers: which teams best utilized their time in Orlando to swing a trade?
Though nothing qualifying as a blockbuster went down, there were some interesting swaps. And each appeared to feature different strategic motivations and philosophies on player value. Such differences, of course, are fuel for the hot stove (and are what make trades so interesting). So, here are the four major deals in a nutshell:
- Diamondbacks acquire OF Mark Trumbo, RHP A.J. Schugel, and OF Brandon Jacobs in exchange for OF Adam Eaton and LHP Tyler Skaggs
- Angels acquire Skaggs and LHP Hector Santiago in exchange for Trumbo and Schugel
- White Sox acquire Eaton in exchange for Santiago and Jacobs
It was easy to see the respective clubs' motivations in making this deal, but check out their GMs' comments for a refresher. Power went to Arizona, young arms to Los Angeles (including one with upside in Skaggs), and a nice, affordable outfield piece to Chicago. The Diamondbacks got the biggest name and, perhaps, most immediate impact, but the other clubs filled holes in a cost-efficient manner. Which end do you like?
- Rockies acquire LHP Brett Anderson and $2MM in exchange for LHP Drew Pomeranz and RHP Chris Jensen
- Athletics acquire Pomeranz and Jensen in exchange for Anderson and $2MM
If you're interested in tracking buy-low opportunities on talented left-handed pitching, this deal is one to keep an eye on. Both pitchers were born in 1988, interestingly enough. Anderson brings a tantalizing MLB track record, but comes with serious injury concerns, a substantial price tag, and only two years of control. Pomeranz has yet to realize his ability at the game's highest level — he has a 5.20 ERA in 136 2/3 MLB innings split over three seasons — but still comes with five years of team control and his top-25 prospect pedigree. So, which southpaw was the better one to take a chance on?
- Nationals acquire LHP Jerry Blevins in exchange for OF Billy Burns
- Athletics acquire Burns in exchange for Blevins
Everyone knew the Nationals were going to add a southpaw reliever; it was just a question of who and how. With the price on the open market not to the club's liking, it decided to barter. Blevins is arguably a more attractive piece than Boone Logan, but his final two arb years should cost the Nats less than a quarter of Logan's $16.5MM guarantee from Colorado. Meanwhile, Burns was blocked in the D.C. system, but could provide cheap, solid production in Oakland before long. His top-level defense and baserunning give him the kind of floor that could be money in the bank in a year or two. This looks like a nice way for both teams to preserve future resources, but did either team achieve enough value to make their end of the deal the best at the Winter Meetings?
- Mariners acquire 1B/DH Logan Morrison in exchange for RHP Carter Capps
- Marlins acquire Capps in exchange for Morrison
A deal involving Morrison became a fait accompli when Miami inked Garrett Jones, but his market value remained difficult to assess. Once a top prospect, Morrison had hit at a well-above-average clip for his first 800+ plate appearances before injury and inconsistency derailed him in 2012-13. When Wednesday became moving day for corner outfield/first base/DH types with question marks, we got our answer on LoMo's return: Capps, a big-armed, cost-controlled 23-year-old who has a good bit of upside (within the bounds of possibility for a right-handed reliever). Do you see Morrison as an undervalued asset, view Capps as the kind of young power arm that the Cardinals just rode to a World Series appearance, or both?
To get at the true sentiments of MLBTR readers, I'll ask you to order the trades — from most beneficial to least — that were consummated at the 2013 Winter Meetings. (Note: response order is randomized.)
Click here to see the results as they roll in.
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