Winter Meetings Links
As noted in the links above, I broke down the two big deals of Tuesday in they own articles. The short version is I liked the Trumbo deal for the White Sox and to a lesser degree the Angels and didn't like it for the D'Backs while the Brett Anderson deal seemed be even value and play into what each team was trying to accomplish in Orlando.
There wasn't much else going on Tuesday beyond those two deals, but there were a handful of notes and a couple minor free agent signings to mention. Rajai Davis signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Tigers and right now he fits as a platoon partner for Andy Dirks in left field and as the fourth outfielder that could start in any of the three outfield spots for long stretches if needed. Davis is arguably the top baserunner in the game statistically (+41.6 runs over 2640 career MLB PA for +8.7, or nearly a win, per 550 PA according to FanGraphs) and has plus-plus raw speed to pass the eye test as well.
It was rumored a good bit last week, but it was announced officially this week that Garrett Jones signed a two-year, $7.75 million deal with the Marlins. Jones turns 33 in 2014 and is below average at both 1B and LF/RF coming off a below replacement level season in 2013, so there isn't a ton of upside here. Jones is basically a fringe-average bat with above average power that works out to be a league average bat, though his game home run hitting ability come in bunches and can skew is season-long stats depending on when the season ends, with 27 bombs in 515 pA and a 123 wRC+ in 2012 representing the good version. There have been some rumors that this signing puts Logan Morrison on the trade block, but that doesn't have to be true as he's still cost-controlled with some potential and isn't blocking anyone for a team that will be in last place. That said, he's worn some people the wrong way in Miami and has been inconsistent/injury-prone, so he may be a good buy-low opportunity for the right club.
As I suggested in yesterday's wrap-up, you're going to hear that many of these "x young hitter is available" reports will come out as just feelers to gauge market value and nothing for fans to get excited about. Phillies RF Domonic Brown was one example of that today, but the rumors about Mariners C Mike Zunino aren't in the same category. The reason these bats are "available" is clubs are price-shopping for arms and for this reason, it seems like any current or potential mid-rotation starter is getting a value bump. For this reason, Mariners GM jack Zduriencik appears to have noticed this market and chatter has him taking RHP Taijuan Walker off the table in a David Price deal, instead substituting Zunino. Jack Z is showing some awareness that he may be bidding against himself again and that dealing Walker should get the deal done, a player that has a lot of trade value right now. I still see Price ending up in Seattle with of without Walker in the deal (likely with), but it's interesting to see a handful of rumors snowballing into a trend and how clubs are reacting to basic supply and demand when there's far more rumors out there than concrete moves to use a measuring sticks.