Welcome to Dallas and the 2005 Winter Meetings…
Over the next few days, I’m going to do my darndest to keep you all up to date on all the wheelings and dealings here in Dallas, at least as far as they pertain to Minor League players. I’ll post on the done deals, the rumors, the whispers. Many of those rumors won’t come to fruition, and I’m sure many of them won’t even be true. But one of the best things about combining blogging with a gossip-fest like the Winter Meetings is that I don’t really have to care about accuracy. (Wow, I just got a brief glimpse of what it must be like to work for Fox News).
At any rate, we’re just getting going here, but here’s a brief synopsis of what’s gone on Hot Stove-wise from a prospect perspective so far:
The Marlins have traded away just about all of their Major League talent (I have not been able to substantiate rumors that Juan Pierre is circling the lobby here with his luggage). In the process they have gathered up quite a collection of Minor League talent (in no particular order): Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, Yusmeiro Petit, Mike Jacobs, Gaby Hernandez, Harvey Garcia. Don’t be surprised if you see Jake Taylor catching and Willie Mays Hayes playing center for that team in 2006. Of course, the ironic thing about making the "Major League" film reference is that the Indians’ fictional owner tried to make the team so awful so she could move the team to South Florida and a sweet stadium deal.
The Mets’ lone pitching prospect, or so it seems, is now Brian Bannister. He will have to pitch every day for Norfolk in 2006. Petit and Hernandez are gone and many of the other arms are either hurt (Humber, Lindstrom) or unproven (Soler). That cha-ching sound you just heard is the price tag of unsigned first-rounder Mike Pelfrey going up.
Over in Chicago, something must be in the water. The White Sox traded two top-notch lefty pitching prospects (Gio Gonzalez, Daniel Haigwood), along with their starting big league center fielder, for an aging, oft-injured first baseman. A short while later, the Cubs, after throwing $23 million at the likes of Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre, traded their best Minor League reliever — Jermaine Van Buren — a guy who could do what Howry does for about $11 million less, to the Red Sox for a bucket of baseballs.
OK, we all caught up? Good. More later as things unfold…