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Best MLB Winter Meeting Moves – Analyzed SportsAnalyzed Sports

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December 15, 2014Baseball

December 16, 2014 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)

Top 5 Winter Meeting Moves

1. Jon Lester signs with the Chicago Cubs for 6 years/$155 million 

All rights go to Keith Allison. Taken on May 14, 2008.

All rights go to Keith Allison. Taken on May 14, 2008.

2014 Stats with Red Sox/Athletics   (16-11) 2.46 ERA  196 IP  220 K’s  16 HRs allowed 

Impact for Cubs: The Cubs signed Jon Lester this off-season due to the need for a great starting pitcher after the struggles of Travis Wood, along with the trade of Smardzija to the Oakland Athletics,  The Cubs already had a good 1 & 2 punch in Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks. The addition of Lester is huge for the Cubs and he will become their #3 starter. Also, the Cubs have one of the best young farm league systems, along with a lot of offensive talent on their 40-man roster. GM Theo Epstein, went with a proven winner in Jon Lester to help bring the Cubs back into playoff contention, in fact, the Cubs believe that Lester can help them win their first World Series since 1908. The Cubs this off-season acquired veteran catcher, Miguel Montero, from the Arizona Diamondbacks. With a new skipper in John Maddon, who had one of the best offensive teams during his stint with the Rays, will also help the Cubs win more ball games next season. They Cubs have some seriously good young talent from 1B, Anthony Rizzo, who hit 32 HRs last season, to 3B, Luis Valubeuna, who hit 16 Hrs.  This Cubs team looks hungry and ready to contend for a championship starting this upcoming 2015 season.

Grade: A+  

2. Yoenis Cespedes going to the Tigers

Yoenis Cespedes batting on April 15, 2012. All rights go to HJ_West

Career Stats: .263 BA  71HR  262RBIs  .464 Slugging%  .316 On-Base%  .982 Fielding%

Transaction at Winter Meeting:

Tigers Receive: OF Yoenis Cespedes, RHP Alex Wilson LHP Gabe Speier

Red Sox Receive: RHP Rick Porcello

Impact for Tigers: This trade is probably the best transaction during the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings. The Tigers needed another power bat to join the likes of Victor Martinez (33 HRs), Miguel Cabrera (25 HRs), J.D. Martinez (23 HRs), Torii Hunter and Ian Kinsler (17 HRs/each). With the addition of Cespedes, second Year Skipper, Brad Ausmus, should have plenty of options in the OF and lineup configurations now with Cespedes joining Detroit. He will have to increase his power production since veteran OF,Torii Hunter, left to sign with the Minnesota Twins.

Impact for Red Sox: The Red Sox were in need of a starting pitcher that was young, proven on the rubber, with potential, and they got that in Rick Porcello. The former 27th Overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Porcello, a New Jersey native, has shown great improvement over his 6 years in the MLB. Last season, Porcello, in 31 games started, posted a (15-13) record with a 3.67 ERA, 129 Ks, and only allowing 18 HRs, with opposing batters getting on base by balls 41 times. Porcello, is the grand son of the legendary, shortstop, Sam Dente. Joining Porcello on the Red Sox rubber next year is, RHP Justin Masterson, who will help out too. Great addition for the Red Sox, Porcello, should become a good #3 who has the chance to become a #1 for the Red Sox.

Grade for Tigers: A     Grade for Red Sox: B+

3. Didi Gregorius headed to the New York Yankees in a trade with the Diamondbacks 

Didi Gregorious swinging at a pitch. All rights go to Not That Bob James's Flicker from August 9, 2013

Didi Gregorious swinging at a pitch. All rights go to Not That Bob James’s Flicker from August 9, 2013

Career Stats: .243 BA  13HR  57RBIs  .366 Slugging%  .313 On-Base%  .976 Fielding%

Transaction at Winter Meeting:

Yankees Receive: SS Didi Gregorius

Diamondbacks Receive: LHP Robbie Ray and INF Domingo Leyba

Impact for Yankees: This trade showed Brian Cashman was in need of a serious replacement at SS due to the retirement of Derek Jeter at the end of this season. Cashman must not have had faith in 25-year-old, Jose Pirela, in order to acquire Sir Didi Gregorius. Gregourious in fact, in his first career at bat with Arizona hit a home run in Yankee Stadium last season. Didi has some great attributes that are going to make Yankees fans fall in love with him. He is blessed with a great arm, the ability to cover a lot of range on the diamond with his speed, and can make web gem plays.  A native of the Netherlands, baseball is not common there, but that didn’t stop Gregourious. Gregourious mother played softball, his father and brother played baseball, so he was always on the field growing up. He is the only Dutch player on an active MLB Team. The Yankees will have Gregourious until the end of the 2019 season when his contract runs out, but I believe that Didi has found his home with the Yankees. He has a few things to work on in his career especially his hitting against LHPs, hitting for a career BA .184, but I feel like Didi will work on this with veterans, 2B/3B, Brendan Ryan, UT Infielder, Martin Prado, and 1B, Mark Teixeira. Overall, he is a good fit for the Yankees, and fans should fall in love with the new skipper, Joe Girardi.

Grade: B+ 

4. Matt Kemp traded to the San Diego Padres

Matt Kemp running on April 20, 2013. All rights go to Keith Allison's Flickr.

Matt Kemp running on April 20, 2013. All rights go to Keith Allison’s Flickr.

Dodgers Career Stats: .292 BA  182 HR  648 RBIs  .495 Slugging%  .349 On-Base%  .983 Fielding%

Transaction at Winter Meeting:   Traded to the San Diego Padres. Kemp, now 30, will head to the Padres, where they have an experienced outfield (LF- Kemp, CF- Maybin, RF- Seth Smith)

Impact: This trade will probably end the career of Carlos Quentin on the Padres, but expect a team like the Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Mets, or the Boston Red Sox going after Quentin on a veteran 1 or 2 year deal. With Kemp now on the Padres, they can have their young outfielders like Will Venable, and Abraham Almonte, learn from the experienced Matt Kemp. Maybin, now 27, and on this third team, hit .235 1 HR 15 RBIs last season, while Seth Smith, hit .266 12 HR 48 RBIs last season. Kemp, hit .289 25 HR 89 RBIs last season for the Dodgers. Kemp, can come in and bring some power to this lineup, since Yasmani Grandal, hit 15 HR last season, Kemp can maybe spark these Padres to make a run to make the playoffs, since they were 11 games out of contention in 2014. But, he is also going to be a ticket seller, and help fill the seats for the Padres.

Expected Lineup: Smith, Solarte, Kemp, Gyorko, Alonso, Maybin, Rivera, Amarista, Ross

Grade: B+

5. Ervin Santana signs a 4 year/$55 million dollar deal with Minnesota Twins 

Ervin Santana pitching on May 7. 2013. All rights go to Keith Allison. Published from his Flickr from 2013.

Ervin Santana pitching on May 7. 2013. All rights go to Keith Allison. Published from his Flickr from 2013.

2014 Stats with Braves (14-10) 3.95 ERA  196 IP 179 K’s  16 HRs allowed

Transaction at Winter Meeting:

Twins Sign: RHP Ervin Santana 

Impact for Twins: The Twins were in desperate need of a 3rd starting pitcher who could come in and get them wins. Last season, they had Ricky Nolasco (6-12, 5.38 ERA), Kevin Correia (5-13, 4.94 ERA), and Yohan Pino (2-5, 5.07 ERA), as the bottom end of their rotation, and you’re not going to win many games with pitching like that. The Twins need somebody to come in and have double digit wins in games as a starting pitcher.  They decided to sign the 32-year-old, Ervin Santana, to a 4 year/$55 million deal, hoping he can become their #3 pitcher. Santana, who is going to enter his 11th season in the MLB with his 4th team.  Santana entered the league with the Angels, then played for the  Royals, Braves, and now will probably end his career with the Twins. Santana, has had some good years pitching in the league, i.e. 2008 (16-7  3.49ERA), 2010 (17-10 3.92ERA), are probably Santana’s best years. The Twins hope that Santana can come in and dominate as a #3 pitcher, to help get the Twins to the playoffs, since they haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010, and haven’t won a playoff series since 1991. I think Santana has the potential to have a break out year this year, and win around 12-15 games with an ERA around 3.50 for the Twins. The Twins will need to have solid offense, and the pitching will follow.

Grade: B-

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