Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings are officially over. Typically, the Winter Meetings are overrated, but this year there was quite a bit of action during the first day or two.
Here’s a look back at the past week:
- Starting pitcher Carl Pavano decided to accept an arbitration offer from the Minnesota Twins, meaning the veteran right-hander will be back in 2010.
- The Detroit Tigers, who came within a victory of a division title, were purged significantly. They had already lost second baseman Placido Polanco in free agency, and early in the week, they traded outfielder Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees and pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team swap.
- Bad signing of the week: How about Ivan Rodriguez getting a two-year deal to be a catcher for the Washington Nationals? So Pudge makes $1.5 million last year, has the worst season of his career, and the Nats give him a $6 million contract. Makes sense. And this has an Allen Iverson feel to it. The Nats view Pudge as a mentor to youngster Jesus Flores, while he says he expects to be an everyday player.
- Worst signing of the week: Middle reliever Brandon Lyon gets a three-year, $15 million contract from the Houston Astros. This one’s hard to figure out. Lyon had a nice year last year, but is hardly a dominant reliever. And it’s not like the Astros are one reliever away from making a run.
Finally, I heard on TV today that the Twins plan to watch Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman pitch during a workout in Houston that’s open to major league teams. He’s a left-hander who can hit 100 mph. The Yankees and Boston Red Sox will be there too, and most believe this will be a bidding war between them.
The Yankees and Red Sox presence is scaring many other teams away, leaving most teams thinking they can’t possibly get Chapman’s services.
Here’s a video of Chapman: