The Winter Meetings concluded Thursday in Orlando with the Rule 5 draft. As you might’ve noticed with the increased number of posts, there was a lot to talk about this week. If you missed anything, here’s a recap of what (and what didn’t) happen.
Sunday/Monday – The Brewers got busy before the meetings even officially started, trading top prospect Brett Lawrie to the Toronto Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum. Marcum compares favorably to Yovani Gallardo and figures to be a solid #2 behind him. Despite giving up Lawrie in the one-for-one swap, I gave you 14 reasons why I liked the deal. We always had a feeling Lawrie was immature and kind of a punk, but Miller Park Drunk had some photographic evidence that blew up on the web. Bernie’s Crew is a little worried about how Marcum will fare in front of the Brewers’ porous defense. Tom Haudricourt reported that the Brewers made two attempts to land Zack Greinke before trading for Marcum, and Lorenzo Cain‘s name came up in trade rumors, prompting him to get “all worried” about being traded away. Doug Melvin was not pleased.
Tuesday – With Marcum in the fold, the Brewers began looking for a second starter. They were rumored early on to be interested in Rich Harden, and I tried to show why he would be a bad idea. Thankfully, later in the day Haudricourt reported the Brewers have no interest in pitchers trying to come back from injury. Rumors started to pick up about the Brewers possibly getting that second starter through another trade, and this time they were connected to Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza (I was a fan, due to 3 years of team control). Unfounded rumors had the Brewers possibly trading Prince Fielder during the meetings, but a team official told Haudricourt talks were “not even simmering.” What did heat up, though, were the team’s talks with Rickie Weeks about a long-term deal.
Wednesday – Looking for backup catching candidates, the Brewers signed former National Wil Nieves to a major league deal. Ron Roenicke said he wanted a guy who could be a mentor for Jonathan Lucroy, but I don’t think Nieves — who can neither hit nor throw runners out — is the guy most of us were thinking about. The biggest news of the day, though, was the team’s sudden push for free agent starter Carl Pavano, after trade talks with the Rays about Garza stalled. Adam McCalvy did some thinking out loud in an attempt to figure out what the Brewers were thinking. I probably overreacted when I first heard the news.
Thursday – The last day of the meetings brought a sigh of relief: the Brewers are interested in Pavano, but will only go up to two years on a possible contract, and they believe that will ultimately cause Pavano to look elsewhere. The last order of business for Melvin was the Rule 5 draft, and after saying he didn’t think he would make a pick, he took right-handed reliever Pat Egan out of Baltimore’s farm system. His height and stuff remind a lot of people about Kameron Loe, and Brewers scouts think adding another groundball pitcher to the bullpen is a good fit for Miller Park. Haudricourt reports that the Brewers expect an answer soon from Craig Counsell on their contract offer, but it looks like they might be waiting a bit longer on Chris Capuano.
All told, it seemed like an active week, but as usual with the meetings, there was a lot more talk than actual action. It was a lot of fun, though, and this was the first year I had really followed the rumors on Twitter and Facebook, which was a blast. The traffic here really picked up over the meetings, so if you’re a new reader, welcome and keep coming back.