Here is your quick Hot Stove recap!
Alright, I don’t know about you guys but these days I don’t get to keep up with every little baseball transaction, especially during the holidays! If you’re like me you’d appreciate a hot stove recap cheat sheet where you can catch up on weeks of big trades in a short period of time!
I just don’t have the time to keep up and cover each trade on my blog and while it bugs me, I much prefer making money (and let me tell you this blog doesn’t! lol!) working everyday. I’m still working with baseball (I’m hella lucky and like my job) and I am hardly ever unaware of the latest trades and of course on most all of them I have my own usually unique view.
This is going to be a list of the major transactions from the last couple of weeks of the month of November along with a short analysis. My thoughts on most of the trades will be italicized.
Also, I’m skipping transactions such as signing players to minor league deals and not putting thought into trades that involved players being traded for cash although those will be noted. Ready? Here we go:
- November 17: Angels sign Cliff Pennington to two year deal: this signing can’t hurt the Angels giving them more depth at all positions on the middle-left side of the infield. However, the Angels have a lot more work to do because Pennington can’t play second, third and short at the same time. I was thinking Chris Davis could be a good fit for LAA,
- November 18: The Detroit Tigers acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez from the Milwaukee Brewers for Javier Betancourt and a player to be named later: This works well for Detroit, I mean the kid’s nickname “K-Rod” doesn’t come out of nowehere. He may not have been the most dominant close in the big leagues in the last couple seasons but he really does help shore up the Tigers bullpen which has been their nemesis in recent seasons.
November 20: Ramon Flores traded from Seattle to Milwaukee for Luis Sardinas. Ian Krohl traded from Detroit to Atlanta for Cameron Maybin and Gabe Spier. Rich Hill signed a one-year $6 million deal with the Oakland Athletics – I think that this is a slightly risky move for the A’s. Hill could be a total bust or the next Scott Kazmir. Plus, $6 million is a high salary in Oakalnd. Liam Hendriks traded from Toronto to Oakland for Jesse Chavez: Less risky move for Toronto as Chavez has proven himself a back end starter over the past two seasons. Hendriks had an ERA over 6.00 every season of his career until he moved into a bullpen roll in 15. The A’s will be very satisfied if he can replicate what he did last season in Toronto, they desperately need good, solid bullpen help.
- November 23: Chris Iannetta signs a one-year deal with Seattle: Good move for Seattle after thee trading Wellington Castillo fiasco. They NEED a catcher and Iannetta is not the best of the best but he’s much, much better than Mike Zunino.
- November 24: Angels sign catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year deal: I like Soto. I think this is a great signing for the Angels. He spent part of the 2014 season with the A’s and he was great all around, especially at catching base runners. Had he not broken his finger in the 2014 Wild Card Game, the A’s may have won. The Royals stole six bases off of Derek Norris and one off of Soto.
- November 25: L.J. Hoes traded from Houston to Baltimore and Allen Webster traded to Pittsburgh from Arizona, both for cash. Jed Lowrie traded from Houston back to Oakland for minor league pitcher Brendan McCurry you can read my take on the trade here: Lowrie, Lawrie and why bring Jed back to Oakland was a good move. Bud Norris signed a one-year deal with Atlanta. Rex Brothers traded from Colorado to Chicago Cubs for minor leaguer Wander Cabrera. Alex Avila leaves Tigers, signs one-year $2.5 million deal with the Chicago White Sox: I think it’s odd that Avila moved on, after spending his entire career thus far as a Tiger and after his father was just named the team’s general manager. Overall the White Sox got a good deal on the 29-year old former All-Star who, while coming off a bad year in which an injury severely limited his playing time, has experience, gets on base (.345 career OBP) and provides a lefty bat against righty pitchers. I don’t expect him to play full time but platoon or back-up Tyler Flowers. Pitcher Kirby Yates traded from Tampa Bay to Cleveland for cash.
- November 27: J.A. Happ signs a three-year, $36 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays: This is an interesting signing since he was with the Blue Jays for two and a half seasons before being traded to Seattle and then to Pittsburgh. This would be an awesome deal if I was in Happ’s shoes. He’s 33 so it will take him through his 36-year-old season and if he still wants to play after the age of 36? No problem he can sign a one-year deal somewhere (probably Oakland! LOL). He’s got stability – assuming he doesn’t get traded. The Blue Jays MAY have overpaid a bit. Three-years seems like a relatively long contract for a pitcher who is getting up there in age. However, the numbers Happ put up after being traded to Pittsburgh (1.85 ERA over 11 starts) were fantastic. He wasn’t bad in Seattle either, posting a 3.61 ERA over 31 starts. He’s a solid back of the rotation starter and should fit back into the rotation in Toronto.
November 30: Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann signs a five-year, $110 million contract with the Detroit Tigers: This is a good deal. I like it. Five years is a safe number of years for the Tigers with Zimmermann being one of the better pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery in 2009. He threw the first no-hitter at Nationals’ Park on the final day of the 2014 season.Zimmerman was also probably the fourth best pitcher on the free agent market and the Tigers didn’t pay anywhere near the $200 million – plus that the three guys ahead of him are likely to get. The only risk that the Tigers are taking is that Zimmermann may end up having a second Tommy John surgery sometime within the next five years but they might get lucky. There’s been some speculation that his velocity has dropped but Zimmermann has stayed strong in his conviction that he isn’t having elbow issues and isn’t worried about the drop in velocity. And while I do not know this for a fact, I’m assuming that his contract was pending a physical. Also, Zimmermann made free agent history being the first post TJS pitcher to receive a six-figure contract. Braves sign reliever Jim Johnson to a one-year $2.5 million contract: If you know me then you know my answer to this. BRAVES STOOOOOOOOOP! NOOOOOOOOO! JJ is NOT my favorite player. In fact he is literally one of the worst pitchers I’ve ever seen play the game live (and my seats are right behind the bullpen).Johnson got lucky to get so much money and the Braves WAAAAAY overpaid! Ouch! St. Louis signs veteran catcher Brayan Pena to a one-year deal: This is a smart move by the Cardinals. Pena is a veteran and will serve as back-up to arguably the games best catcher Yadier Molina who suffered a few injuries last season suggesting that they need a solid back-up. The odds of Molina not getting the majority of the playing time is slim to none but it doesn’t hurt to have a decent back-up.
- December 1: Korean first baseman Byung Ho Park signs a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth season, with the Minnesota Twins: This signing could go either way. Park was a home run (and bat-flipping) superstar in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) but will that power translate to the big leagues. MLB is a lot different than the KBO. This is a wait and see, kind of situation.
No, I haven’t forgotten that the Red Sox signed top-tier free agent pitcher and 2015 AL Cy Young runner up David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract yesterday but that’s hardly a story you won’t be hearing about all day today so I’m not going to examine it too closely.
Anyway, I hope that this is helped you catch up on the latest moves during MLB’s Hot Stove Season. It wasn’t easy for me to keep up with around the Thanksgiving Holiday week so I hope this helps you catch up a little bit! Cheers! 😀