Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter Meetings- That's a Wrap

The winter meetings finished up in Las Vegas yesterday with the locals coming out the big winners. We give the Mets the top nod for addressing their bullpen needs by acquiring not one, but two closers. The signing of Francisco Rodriguez is, for now at least, the signing of the off-season. Why you ask?

K-Rod is coming off a record breaking season, where he smashed the single season saves mark. The perfect time to become a free agent. Well that is unless the economy is in the tank. Bingo. K-Rod was hoping for a 5 year deal, worth more per season than Mariano Rivera currently receives ($15 million) from the Yankees.

With offers not reaching the level he was looking for, K-Rod "settled" for a 3 year, $37 million contract. A bargain by today's standards. A win-win for the Mets who needed a big time closer after Billy Wagner went down with an elbow injury during the '08 season. The Mets have their closer for the next 3 years, and, keep this in mind, he's just 26 years old.

The Mets set up situation was in shambles last year. In acquiring J.J. Putz, they not only got a reliever who can close if needed, but they dumped ineffective, whiney, Aaron Heilman in the process. They gave up a lot of players, but not all that much quality, at least none that how will have a big impact any time soon.

The Yankees are the number two winners because they nabbed the biggest prize. It took money and a loophole (an escape clause), but the Yankees got the pitcher they wanted in CC Sabathia. Sabathia is not Johan Santana, but my waiting a year the Yankees didn't have to give up any of their chips to get a top notch left-hander. A big plus is that Sabathia is just 28 years old and has shown tremendous durability.

The Yankees didn't get a deal done with free agent A.J. Burnett, but may be very close according to Joel Sherman and George King of the NY Post. An unidentified Yankee player told the pair that Burnett told him they would soon be teammates and that he (Burnett) really wanted to come to New York.

A 5 year contract worth over $80-$90 million can generate a lot of excitement.

During a Hot Stove addition of Baseball Tonight last evening, Karl Ravech remarked that were no losers, per se, at the meetings, since the off-season still has a long way to go and lot of moves can still be made. He was wrong in one respect- there was one loser and his name is Manny.

Manny being Manny again? Perhaps. Ramirez is "threatening" retirement because he's not finding any offers to his liking. So go ahead and retire. Are owners suddenly supposed to feel bad for you? "NO, we can't let this happen, give him all our millions!!!" Be very wary of signing Manny. Big bat, peanut brain.f

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