On the day that Eric Bruntlett turned the 15th unassisted triple play in MLB history (second to end a game), here's your look back at the past week here on MLBTR:
- The deadline to sign draft picks was this past Monday, and as expected, several negotiations went down to the wire. Stephen Strasburg signed a record-setting deal just seconds before the deadline; he'll receive up to $15.67MM, with $15.1MM guaranteed. Here's the list of the rest of the first-round picks and their dollar amounts.
- It may be getting into late August, but we've still got trades going through; the Rangers acquired Ivan Rodriguez from Houston for prospects Jose Vallejo, Matt Nevarez, and possibly a third player, depending on whether or not the Rangers make the playoffs. It seems a steep price for Pudge and his .662 OPS, but Pudge will benefit the Rangers' young catchers, boost attendance, and hey – he went 3-4 in his first game back in Arlington. Pudge will serve as the backup to Taylor Teagarden.
- After being released by the Red Sox, John Smoltz cleared waivers and agreed to a deal with the Cardinals. Smoltz will serve as the fifth starter for now for the Cards, and it's hard to argue with the early results: Smoltz threw five scoreless, three-hit innings today and notched nine strikeouts, including seven in a row at one point.
- A few more veteran faces changed teams this week, as the Mariners acquired Bill Hall from the Brewers for minor leaguer Ruben Flores, and the Dodgers signed Vicente Padilla to fill out the back end of their rotation, following his release from the Rangers. Expensive subtractions for both Milwaukee and Texas; Hall is owed $8.4MM next year, while the Rangers are still on the hook for Padilla's $12MM salary this season.
- Just days after hearing that the Nationals were set to fire Mike Rizzo and name Jerry DiPoto their new general manager, we learned that the opposite was true. The Nats named Rizzo their new general manager, much to the delight of many Washington fans. Rizzo's done a nice job changing the culture in Washington, and the club has showed improvement since he took over. Does Rizzo have what it takes to save this team?
- The Red Sox made a gamble, placing a waiver claim on recently-returned Billy Wagner. It's been said that the Sox would like to trade for Wagner, who is still owed $3.5MM this year and holds an $8MM option for 2010. Not everyone in the Boston bullpen is happy about the situation, as Jonathan Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen have likened the potential deal to the Eric Gagne acquisition of 2007. Is this a good move by Boston, or an unnecessary risk?
- A few weeks ago, we heard that David Eckstein turned down a chance to play for the Twins in order to remain with the Padres. It was reported that Eckstein liked serving the mentor role, and that general manager Kevin Towers was hopeful Eckstein would remain in San Diego beyond 2009. Towers and Eckstein got their wish; the two sides agreed on a one-year, $1MM extension for 2010.