Center fielders everywhere! Well, except Florida and New York. That was the gist of the Winter Meetings in the NL East. The teams closest to contending got parts that they needed and through all the shuffle, I see the order as the same I did prior to the meetings. Washington, Atlanta, Philadelphia with the Mets and Marlins bringing up the rear.
The Nationals had two big moves over the meetings with the first being acquiring Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins for pitching prospect Alex Meyer and agreeing to a deal with Dan Haren on a one-year contract.
As of today, the physical has yet to be completed so the deal still has some issues to be resolved but if Haren doesn’t pass his physical, it’s probably not the impact move it would appear to be on the surface.
The Nationals still have some things to do, mainly add pitching depth, but were able to at least keep pace if not extend their “on paper” lead in the NL East.
The Atlanta Braves signed B.J. Upton just prior to the winter meetings and traded starting pitcher Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels in return for reliever Jordan Walden. It adds depth to a bullpen that needs solid arms in order to take some of the load off of Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty. Walden does that and allows the Braves to maybe even explore the possibility of selling high on one of their star relievers.
Upton is probably an improvement on Bourn especially since they had been looking for an impact bat from the right side. But for the money and years they are giving him, I think that they are a push with the Nationals and Span if not slightly behind.
There aren’t many people that think that Ben Revere was worth what the Phillies gave up, but Revere has the potential to be a solid starter for the Phillies and is definitely better financially than signing a Bourn or Angel Pagan who they were in talks with.
Revere right now seems like a Juan Pierre clone which is fine, but to expect a lot from him isn’t probably the way to go and to to think that they gave up two pitchers as opposed to the one Washington gave up for Span, I don’t think they did themselves any favors with that move.
New York Mets
The Mets made David Wright‘s signing official as well as unveiling a new look. But the big story was what they didn’t do. They didn’t trade R.A Dickey and they didn’t sign him to an extension. With the price being paid for pitchers, they may sign him below actual market value or they can trade him at the height of his value.
The Mets are not set to contend in 2013 but are positioning them nicely to make a Nationals-like run with prospects in a few years.
I had initially typed “Florida” instead of Miami. I was in Miami right as the trade with the Blue Jays happened and all the news outlets had outraged fans and I don’t blame them. The new ballpark is really a sight to see as you pass it on the highway and is bigger than a normal baseball stadium from the outside.
The Marlins picked up a couple of players in the Rule 5 draft but I don’t need to tell you that they are planning for the future and got a few solid pieces for their future. They also traded Yunel Escobar, who they received from the Blue Jays to Tampa Bay.