The 2015 Winter Meetings are over. They weren’t quite as crazy as some Winter Meetings of the past few years. Indeed, there are a ton of players left on the market. More so than we tend to see by the time we wrap the Meetings up. But there was still no shortage of excitement this year, so let’s look back at what went down and see what it means for what might happen next.
First, some features we wrote this week which, if you missed them and have a bit of time on your hands, are well worth your time if we do say so ourselves:
- Ned Yost is smug and dang well deserves to be because (a) he told you he was going to win a World Series in Kansas City and; (b) he just did;
- Also, Yost happens to be the third most handsome manager in baseball. I know a lot of people don’t believe it, but if you can find a published list ranking Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers which says differently, I’ll eat my hat.
- Rays owner Stuart Sternberg rode his three-speed bike onto a battlefield, it seems; and
- We explored what it means when someone is called “a Baseball Man.”
Then there was some breaking news. Breaking news this time of year that isn’t specifically about trades and signings is usually bad news. There was no exception this year:
- Aroldis Chapman was almost traded to the Dodgers, but then that got sidetracked because Chapman allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and then fired eight shots into the wall of his house. Hopefully for Chapman Dusty Baker is on the committee looking into his discipline for this from Major League Baseball, because Dusty “doesn’t believe reports.”
- Jonathan Papelbon filed a grievance against the Washington Nationals, then explained that he was wrong. Not for choking Bryce Harper, mind you, but for doing it in front of TV cameras. The choking, in his mind, was totally cool.
- Kris Bryant and Maikel Franco field grievances against the Cubs and Phillies, respectively, because those clubs allegedly manipulated their service time in bad faith. Which they totally did, by the way, but I still think Bryant and Franco are going to lose their grievances.
- The Veterans Committee once again failed to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame, making one wonder why in the hell they even bother anymore.
- Dan Shaugnessy won the Spink Award and will be honored at the Hall of Fame for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Where is your god now?
- Major League Baseball announced some recommendations about safety netting at ballparks. Not rules, mind you. Just recommendations. And they’re not all that much more extensive than that which already stood in place at most ballparks. This is a victory for the lawyers fighting liability, it seems, not the enhanced safety of many more fans than before; and
- Scott Boras threw shade on the Nationals regarding their intentions toward Bryce Harper.
Finally, of course, the transactions. Which are really the point of the Winter Meetings, at least for the folks in the major league offices. There were a lot of them this week, but only a handful that were truly, truly major. If you’re a free agent position player you’re likely still out there looking for a job. If you’re a relief pitcher, however, you probably got a multi-year deal some time since Monday. Heck, even if you used to be a relief pitcher you probably got one.
- The Zack Greinke deal was made official. That is a big, big signing by the Diamondbacks.
- But that wasn’t all: they also traded for Shelby Miller. He’ll help them out a good bit, but the Dbacks mortgaged their future for him, not unlike the Minnesota Vikings mortgaging their future for Herschel Walker back in the day.
- Ben Zobrist, one of the most highly sought-after position players on the market, signed with the Cubs. I’m not guessing a ton of people would’ve guessed a few years back that Zobrist would be one of the most highly sought-after position players on the market in 2015.
- The Reds went on record saying that they’ll trade ANYONE. As of this writing they have yet to trade anyone. Way to stay on task, you guys.
- The Royals brought Joakim Soria back to Kansas City on a three-year deal. Chris Young signed a two-year deal with Kansas City as well. Nice to see that they’re keeping the band together.
- Trevor Cahill signed with the Cubs.
- The Red Sox traded Wade Miley to the Mariners.
- The Marlins said that Jose Fernandez was not on the market. Not that that stopped the rumor mill from buzzing about Fernandez being on the market, including the appearance of . . . The Mystery Team!
- Darren O’Day went back to his old team in Baltimore. We in the business call that “pulling a Soria.”
- The Rockies signed Jason Motte and Chad Qualls for some reason.
- The Cardinals traded Jon Jay to San Diego for Jed Gyorko.
- The Braves signed Tyler Flowers. He’s a former White Sox guy and he’s from Georgia, so both of the Braves requirements for signing a guy were met.
- The Mariners continued to be as busy as all get-out and completed yet another trade, this one for Adam Lind.
- The A’s signed John Axford.
- The Phillies signed David Hernandez.
- The Yankees acquired Starlin Castro from the Cubs for Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan.
- The Pirates traded Neil Walker for Jon Niese. Remember: “i” before “e,” except after “c,” and if it comes after “n” just do whatever the heck you want. There are no rules.
- More grammatical chaos: the Nationals signing Yusmeiro Petit.
- The Angels signed Craig Gentry.
- The Braves signed Emilio Bonafacio.
- The Tigers got reliever Justin Wilson.
- The Astros traded for Phillies closer Ken Giles.
- The White Sox traded for Brett Lawrie.
- The Mets signed Asdrubal Cabrera.
- The Nationals signed Shawn Kelley.
- The Astros re-signed Tony Sipp.
- The Rangers signed Tony Barnette, who last pitched in Japan.
- The Rockies signed Mark Reynolds.
- The Angels traded for Yunel Escobar; and
- The Cardinals re-signed Jonathan Broxton.
There are still a lot of good players out there. Justin Upton. Yoenis Cespedes. Jason Heyward. Alex Gordon. Chris Davis. Johnny Cueto. Ian Desmond. Mike Leake. Just a ton of them, really.
Which is fine with us. There are over two months until pitchers and catchers report and nary a baseball game to hold our interest until then. If MLB wants to spread this out evenly, we’re just fine with it, frankly.
For now, though, another Winter Meetings is in the bag. And it’s time for a long Winter’s Nap. Well, at least until tomorrow morning when I’ll be up at the crack of dawn as usual, slingin’ rumors and stuff.