Just hours away from one of the most exciting hot stove times of the year! Remember, MLBTR is offering 24/7 coverage of the Winter Meetings this year. Let's take a look back at the week leading up to the meetings, as there was plenty of action to go around already:
- The Mariners reached a preliminary agreement with Chone Figgins on a four-year, $36MM deal, with a $9MM option for a fifth year. Jack Zduriencik has put together a fantastic defensive team, and adding Figgins to the top of the lineup alongside Ichiro will certainly set the stage for their offense. Figgins signed for less than what I thought he'd get; got to like it for the Mariners.
- The next biggest signing of the week went to Placido Polanco, who received three years and $18MM plus an option from the Phillies. I'd expected the Phils to pursue Adrian Beltre, so this one confused me. Polanco's a nice player, but three years seems too long, and why sign a Gold Glove second baseman only to put him at third? They must not have liked Beltre's $10MM per season asking price.
- Not much of a surprise to see the Red Sox sign Marco Scutaro this week; it'd been rumored for quite some time. Scutaro got two years and $12.5MM guaranteed. Interestingly, he was also offered a two-year deal by the Jays and a three-year deal by the A's. Looks like he wanted the more clear shot at the postseason. Reactions to the signing can be seen here.
- The Braves bolstered their bullpen, adding Billy Wagner for $7MM with a $6.5MM option for 2010, and inking Takashi Saito to a one-year, $3.2MM deal. With the Braves in need of some offense, I was surprised to see them throw $10MM at their bullpen. I love the value for Saito, though I was surprised to see Wagner get $7MM. Still, if they stay healthy, that should be a solid combo to shut down games.
- On the trade front this week, the Rays acquired Kelly Shoppach from Cleveland for a player to be named later. Potentially a steal for the Rays, if Shoppach can find a way to return to his 2008 form. Unfortunate for the Indians that his value fell so far in 2009; he could've fetched some value a year earlier.
- The A's acquired Jake Fox and Aaron Miles in exchange for minor leaguers Jeff Gray, Ronny Morla, Matt Spencer, and $1MM cash from the Cubs. I'm sure the Cubs are thrilled to be rid of Miles and his .466 OPS, and the A's get a decent bat to go along with it, but I don't see the appeal in this one for Oakland as much.
- Roy Halladay placed a Spring Training deadline on any trades, putting some pressure on the Blue Jays and new GM Alex Anthopolous. Here's a look at some of the latest on Doc's situation.
- In total, 23 players were offered arbitration this week.
- Offseason Outlook updates this week featured the Red Sox and Phillies.