Published on 03 December 2012
72 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report
118 – Number of days until Opening Day
44 – Number of days until Opening Day of the California Winter League
The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings are underway in Nashville, TN and teams wasted no time spending the money. The big fish on the market - Zack Greinke - remains a free agent while others have decided to stay with the same team while others are packing their bags. There is no doubt in my mind that we are going to see a blockbuster trade come out of nowhere that will shock us all. This is one of the best weeks of the year and it is just starting. Here is what has happened so far.
- The Boston Red Sox and Mike Napoli agreed on a 3-year $39 million deal. Napoli was the player the Red Sox identified as their top free agent target this offseason so job well done. Napoli figures to take over as Boston's starting first baseman.
Angel Pagan and the San Francisco Giants agreed on a 4-year $40 million deal. This is a great deal for both sides and I commend the Giants for wasting no time to resign him. Pagan's game fits perfectly AT&T Park. He wears out the triples alley and he plays a very good centerfield.
Zack Greinke remains in contract talks with multiple teams. The Dodgers and Angels still are the front runners, but the Nationals are in the mix. Greinke would prefer to play in the National League. Don’t be surprised to see Greinke receive the biggest deal for a pitcher in the history of the game.
James Loney and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed on a 1-year $2 million deal. Tampa has officially become the destination players go to revive their career. If Fernando Rodney can do it, maybe James Loney can too. He's considered an excellent defender at first base, and will be a nice fit for the cost conscious Rays.
- The New York Mets and R.A. Dickey are not close on an agreement and now reports are saying that there are 7 or 8 teams interested in the knuckleballer
Alex Rodriguez will undergo hip surgery in January that will keep him out 3-to-6 months, the New York Post reports. ARod, who previously tore the labrum in his right hip in 2009, will need the procedure after suffering a similar injury in his left hip late last season. The Yankees are hoping he can return to sometime in June. The Yankees don't have an obvious replacement for Rodriguez on the roster, so it remains to be seen who will start at third base in his absence.
- The San Diego Padres and Jason Marquis agreed on a 1-year contract. Marquis, 34, went 6-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 15 starts after he was added to the Padres' roster on June 7. Marquis had eight quality starts for the Padres.
Geovany Soto and the Texas Rangers agreed on a 1-year deal. He does not provide much in the way of offense, but the Rangers like how Soto handles the pitching staff.
- The Chicago Cubs and Kyuji Fujikawa agreed on a 2-year $9.5 million deal. Fujikawa was a necessary signing for the Cubs as the bullpen was a major weakness in 2012. Its unclear if Fujikawa will be the closer or if Carlos Marmol will continue to make Cubs fans nervous with his lack of any consistency throwing strikes.
- The Chicago Cubs announced that they have agreed on a 4-year deal with Jim Deshaies as their new color analysts. I like Deshaies and glad to have him on Cubs broadcasts.