Around the NL East: The Winter Meetings Edition

Stephen Dunn

As the Winter Meetings take place, the Hot Stove has been steadily burning this week.

Welcome back to the basement.

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Nationals sign free agent Dan Haren to one-year deal - Nats Insider
Lose Edwin Jackson, acquire Dan Haren; the Nationals have pretty much solidified yet another imposing starting rotation with the acquisition of Dan Haren. Hip and back concerns were the reason the 32-year old only got one year, but that just means he's got something to prove this season. At $13M for the year, the Nationals have the chance to get a lot of bang from a guy who had been contributing several 4-6 fWAR seasons just before an injury-marred 2012.

No pressure with that slogan, Davey - Nationals Journal
I know 2013 is his supposed last season and all, but to declare it as "World Series or bust?" That's a bit presumptuous from the onset, just a little bit.

Adam LaRoche has to be thinking "Here we go again" - Nationals Journal
Despite pretty much having his best year ever, Adam LaRoche can never seem to get any respect, or demand for his talents, no matter what he does. After contributing heavily to the Nationals' 98-win season, winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, the Nats don't want to offer him any more than a two-year deal. After serving all his controllable years in Atlanta and Pittsburgh, our old friend has been bouncing around on a myriad of one or two-year deals since, and can't seem to ever get any long-term security.

But if LaRoche does sign, Mike Morse is pretty much dead on the spot - Nats Insider
If there was any guy that had to be concerned once Denard Span was acquired, it would have to be Mike Morse. The move all but guarantees that he doesn't play in the outfield, which means if the highly-fan-demanded Adam LaRoche were re-signed, then the guy with a reasonably priced one-year left becomes highly, highly expendable.

Sean Burnett leaves Nationals for Angels - Nats Insider
The Nationals didn't think he was worth it anymore, so Sean Burnett accepts a two-year deal with a club option from the Angels, worth $8.5M. Sorry to see you go Sean, thanks for the memories:

Speaking of departed Nationals - Nationals Journal
Jesus Flores, Sloth Gorzelanny, and the pitching pariah, John Lannan were all non-tendered late last week. Among these, Gorzelanny was the biggest surprise to me, as he was actually serviceable as the team's mop-up man, but John Lannan has to be ecstatic. With several teams starving for starting pitching, he could feasibly be pitching for a big league club again in 2013.

Replacements aplenty, though - Nationals Journal
Likely taking the place of Tom Gorzolanny is another former Pirate in LHP Zach Duke. Also coming back for his second tour of duty with the Nationals is LOOGY Bill Bray.

Scott Boras doesn't want Bryce Harper to represent 'Murica - Nationals Journal
It's no surprise that the fear of early-season injury and perceived "unnecessary" exertion of the World Baseball Classic prevents some guys from representing their countries, but it typically comes from the GMs and management of the clubs of players, not their agents. Scott Boras doesn't want his future meal ticket, Bryce Harper to go represent the United States in the third World Baseball Classic.

But nobody seems to care if Roger Bernadina does it - MASN
Bernadina will be going to play with the Netherlands team, as Andruw Jones once did. The Netherlands is in a feasibly advance-able opening round pool, against Australia, Taiwan and South Korea.

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Phillies acquire Ben Revere from Twins for Vance Worley - Beerleaguer
I like this move - as an opposing fan. Ben Revere has no power whatsoever (which means his first career HR will inevitably come against a Braves pitcher), and a noodle for an arm in the outfield, partially negated by his quick feet and ability to make the putouts without having to actually throw. But they gave up Vance Worley, and minor league high-strikeout/high-walk Trevor May for him, which I'm beginning to see more favoring the Twins overall. The funny thing is that the three NL East teams all seeking CFs got their CFs, and somewhere, Michael Bourn feels a chill.

As does Shane Victorino - Phillies Zone
His will be way more literal, as the guy from Hawaii will now be subject to frigid April and September home games at Fenway Park, as he signed a three-year, $39M deal with the Boston Red Sox. I'm actually relieved that he didn't go back to Philadelphia, to be honest.

Interesting, but pretty succinct description of the Winter Meetings for the Phillies - High Cheese

"We didn't really have a Plan A," Amaro said. "We had like 10 Plan Bs."

And the acquisition of B-level talent seems to have been the course this winter for the Phillies.

Phillies close to possibly acquiring Michael Young? - Phillies Nation
I kind of hope this goes through for the Phillies, because the Rangers are asking for cash, a reliever, and prospects, which would seem to me like it would be a pretty drastic overpay for a guy that would probably fall into the same pattern of Phillies third basemen. Perhaps they should get a not-offensive talented third baseman, so that he actually inflates, like Pedro Feliz kind of did, instead of going talented, and watching them wither like Placido Polanco.

Darin Ruf could be the future in left field - Phillies Zone
I will admit, I am excited about the idea of Darin Ruf, ever since he appeared on my radar during the 2011 Arizona Fall League. Do you know how many home runs he hit in 2012, in total? 52. Ruf has scary power, and it's hard to believe that he'd be right on the heels of Ryan Howard's own scary power potentially.

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Yunel Escobar traded away to Rays for infield prospect - Fish Stripes
Surprise, before 'ol Yunel could even play a single game for the Marlins, he's traded off to the Rays for infield prospect, Derek Dietrich. Reports say Yunel did not want to play third base was a motivating factor for the move, but let's not kid ourselves - it was probably the $5M salary he commanded. With Yunel now gone, the Marlins' current payroll is also surprise, lowest in MLB at just under $34M total.

They could shed another $11M if they unload Ricky Nolasco - Palm Beach Post
The team is going to have to undergo some major damage control, if they want to snuff out the smoldering anger from the two remaining notable players in Ricky Nolasco and Giancarlo. But who are we kidding, despite the numerous words stating that neither guy is going to get traded, Nolasco wants out of Miami, and I'm willing to wager that Miami wants Nolasco's $11M salary off the books as well. Will 2013 be another year where Alex Rodriguez makes more than the entire Marlins roster?

Of course the Marlins plucked guys up in the Rule 5 Draft - Fish Bytes
They're cheap.

Giancarlo might participate in the World Baseball Classic. But for whom? - Palm Beach Post
The answer will probably be, the team that has the best chance of winning. Amazingly, a second Alex Rodriguez reference is possible, as A-Rod played for the United States, and then the Dominican Republic, in the two prior previous WBCs. Giancarlo's mother is Puerto Rican, which means he could feasibly play for the PR team, as well as the United States.

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David Wright defers money to "help" Mets - AA
I wonder if this will become the equivalent for Mets fans of when people believed Chipper Jones "helped" the Braves by restructuring his contract to make it longer in order to free up money for Tim Hudson's arrival. But this might help the Mets in the present, but it sure as hell won't help the Mets in 2020 when the value of the dollar will probably be worse, and the interest on the deferred amount will probably astronomically higher.

But at least Wright is using some of his money for good deeds - MetsBlog
David Wright has donated $250,000 to the Mayor's Fund to support hurricane restoration efforts.

Rangers willing to trade for R.A. Dickey if they fail to land Zack Grienke - MetsBlog
Interestingly enough, the Rangers would be willing to unload one of the best hitting prospects right now in Mike Olt for R.A. Dickey. Uh, here's hoping the Rangers get Grienke instead of the Dodgers who are reportedly trying to sign him.

Sandy Alderson still mun about R.A. Dickey's future - NY Post
As is par with the norm, Alderson is more than willing to let Dickey play out the season on the final year of his deal, if nothing appealing comes forth on the trade front, or advancement with agent talks.

A different way of seeing Dickey's value - AA
The folks at AA noticed a trend with R.A. Dickey starts at home.

Kind of scary to think of - MetsBlog
The Royals were sort of interested in R.A. Dickey, but they were more interested in Jonathon Niese. And even theorized a package of Niese plus top-pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, in exchange for highly coveted prospect, Wil Myers. Imagine Wil Myers and Mike Olt on the same team?

Mets interested in free John Lannan - MetsBlog
This makes sense in a lot of ways; freed from the Nationals and arbitration, the Mets don't have to sign him to what he was making in Washington, he's originally from New York, and it gives John Lannan the opportunities to both continue to torment the Braves, as well as get some retribution against the Nationals. But it still makes him available to the Phillies, which nobody should want.

Jason Bay signs deal with Seattle Mariners - NY Daily News
There's something poetically appropriate with the fact that Jason Bay ends up on the same team that former worst Mets contract ever guy, Oliver Perez just re-signed with.

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