|The Top 5 Offseason Moves||| Print |||Send|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on February 29, 2008
A weak free
agent class forced general managers to revisit the old fashioned way of
acquiring players: the trade market. This offseason saw movement of
several superstars, as well as very solid players. With spring training
now underway, here are the top five moves made this offseason. (Note:
Several big names were left off this list. These listed were the best
moves, not necessarily the biggest moves.)
New York Mets acquire SP Johan Santana for OF Carlos Gomez, P Deolis Guerra, P Philip Humber, and P Kevin Mulvey
It is difficult to classify this move as anything but a steal for the Mets. They, desperately needing an ace after last season’s collapse, secured the best pitcher in the major leagues for the next six seasons.
drawback for this trade was that Santana plunked Carlos Beltran in an
inter-squad game during spring training. Of course, that’s nothing, as
this move solidifies the Mets as the National League East favorites.
Detroit Tigers acquire 3B Miguel Cabrera and P Dontrelle Willis for P Andrew Miller, OF Cameron Maybin, C Mike Rabelo, P Eulogio de la Cruz, P Dallas Trahern, P Burke Bradenhop
The Tigers paid quite a bit to obtain Cabrera and Willis, but it was well spent. Cabrera, 25, is one of the best young hitters in baseball, and if it were not for Albert Pujols, Cabrera would be better recognized. As for Willis, he gives the Tigers another solid arm in a rotation stacked with guys who can throw 200+ innings.
these young studs, the Tigers had to part ways with Maybin and Miller,
two former first round picks. Maybin is earning accolades as a
do-it-all center fielder, while Miller, who does not have the
repertoire to be a major league pitcher yet, should be one of the
better left handers in a few years. If one of those arms pan out, the
Marlins will be looking pretty good in 2011.
New York Yankees re-sign 3B Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $275 million contract
History will show Rodriguez to be the best right handed hitter in baseball. It is difficult the fathom otherwise, even considering Rodriguez’s young age, 32. He became the youngest hitter with 500 home runs last season, and he should surpass Barry Bonds’s all-time mark by 2014.
against Rodriguez is that he has never won a World Series. Well,
neither has Ted Williams and Yogi Berra has 10 World Series rings. A
great player is not made by the number of championships he has won.
Some people also criticize Rodriguez’s lack of postseason production.
They fail to note, however, that his batting average in the postseason
is higher than that of Craig Biggio (.234), Mickey Mantle (.257), and
Joe DiMaggio (.271). These players have successfully escaped the
Arizona Diamondbacks acquire P Dan Haren, P Connor Robertson for OF Carlos Gonzalez, P Brett Anderson, OF Aaron Cunningham, 1B Chris Carter, P Dana Eveland, P Greg Smith
With the usual uncertainty concerning the health of Rich Harden and the reports of Chad Gaudin’s hip requiring surgery, A’s general manager Billy Beane chose to rebuild. He dealt Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks in return for wide assortment of quality prospects, including the multi-talented Gonzalez, power hitter Carter, and solid swingman Eveland. He netted more talent in return than the Twins did for Santana.
In Haren, the
Diamondbacks are getting a pitcher who finished with a 3.07 ERA in
222.2 innings. Once he steps in behind Brandon Webb, the Diamondbacks
feature two of the best starters in the major leagues. Combined with a
strong remainder of the rotation and a solid offense, the Diamondbacks
are a preseason favorite to win the World Series.
Washington Nationals acquire OF Lastings Milledge for OF Ryan Church, C Brian Schneider
How the mighty have fallen. Just two years ago, Minaya would not deal Milledge for pitcher Barry Zito. Now he had to trade Milledge of a fourth outfielder and a defensively challenged (and offensively challenged) catcher. Milledge fell out of favor by the Mets brass after producing a rap album which featured explicit lyrics and high-fiving several fans after a home run.
The Nationals, general managed by Jim Bowden, receive an outfielder long on talent but short on experience. It will be interesting to watch this young outfield -- Milledge, 23, will be joined with Elijah Dukes, 23, and Wily Mo Pena, 26 -- fares in the future.