Mariners make waves on Day 3 of Meetings
Seattle signs Hart, adds LoMo via trade; Nats get lefty Blevins from A's
The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., does not have a Starbucks, but on Wednesday, otherwise known as Day 3 of Major League Baseball's 2013 Winter Meetings, there was still plenty of Seattle to discuss.
Wednesday had its share of moves, big and small, and no team was more active than the Mariners, who continue to redefine and reshape their organization in one of the franchise's most memorable offseasons. Seattle pulled off two more transactions on Day 3 and seems poised to do much more -- possibly Thursday on the final day of the Meetings and certainly in the months ahead.
The latest Mariners moves were the signing of free-agent outfielder Corey Hart to a one-year, incentive-laden deal, and obtaining outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison from the Marlins in exchange for hard-throwing young reliever Carter Capps. The Mariners already made the biggest wave of the winter by landing second baseman Robinson Cano on a 10-year, $240 million deal that will likely be officially announced later this week in Seattle, and they're already hard at work to give Cano some new teammates.
Winter Meetings Action
|Day 4: Dec. 12|
|SS Clint Barmes||1-year deal with PIT||Yes|
|OF Brian Bogusevic||Traded to MIA||Yes|
|2B Robinson Cano||10-year deal with SEA finalized||Yes|
|RHP Joba Chamberlain||1-year deal with DET||Yes|
|OF Nate McLouth||2-year deal with WAS finalized||Yes|
|OF Michael Morse||1-year deal with SF||No|
|1B Mike Napoli||2-year deal with BOS finalized||Yes|
|OF Justin Ruggiano||Traded to CHC||Yes|
Bartolo Colon will not be one of them.
In the biggest signing of the day, the Mets swooped in and agreed to terms with the burly 40-year-old veteran right-hander on a two-year, $20 million contract, bolstering their pitching staff and rewarding Colon for a monster 2013 season in which he won 18 games for the A's, pitched to a 2.65 ERA, and finished sixth in the American League Cy Young Award voting.
The Pirates, coming off their first playoff appearance and winning record in 21 years, also made pitching a priority on Wednesday, doing it from inside the organization and outside.
Pittsburgh agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract extension with starter Charlie Morton that includes a club option for 2017, and the Pirates also reportedly inked free agent right-hander Edinson Volquez to a one-year, $5 million deal.
Morton, 30, went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts in 2013 after coming back from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. Now, he'll be a key component in a pitching staff with designs on getting back to the postseason.
"His growth, his development, has been a big part of our present, and we believe it to be a big part of our future success," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Wednesday. "We felt it was a good opportunity and there was a financial common ground we were able to reach."
Meanwhile, there was more action as the Meetings rolled along.
The Nationals had been looking for a left-handed relief specialist and got one via trade, landing Jerry Blevins from Oakland in exchange for Minor League outfielder Billy Burns. Blevins has a career ERA of 3.30 and has averaged 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
"Oakland is the only place I've known, but I'm really excited to know D.C.," Blevins said. "I have a couple of friends on the team."
In other news, the name of Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp continued to be spoken throughout the massive hotel lobby, but in an entirely different way than it had been on Days 1 and 2.
This time, the story was that the Dodgers told Kemp's agent, former big league ace Dave Stewart, that they will not be looking to trade Kemp. This comes after days of speculation that Los Angeles might be dangling Kemp and his enormous contract.
"They said he's not moving him, but I put in the words 'for the time being,' because you never know," Stewart said. "Somebody could come along and overwhelm them with a player or players or a combination of players that might make it worth their while to do something that's going to help the team."
Other teams were helped on Wednesday with minor moves. The Cardinals signed right-hander Angel Castro to a one-year deal, the Astros obtained right-handed reliever Anthony Bass from the Padres in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations, and the Yankees got righty Kyle Haynes from Pittsburgh as the player to be named later in a trade for catcher Chris Stewart.
Also on Wednesday, Major League Baseball's Playing Rules Committee voted to eliminate home-plate collisions between runners and catchers. The exact language of the rule has yet to be written and agreed upon, but Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who is chairman of the committee, said he's confident that the new regulation can be put into effect for the 2014 season.
"This is, I think, in answer to a few issues that have arisen," Alderson said. "One is just the general occurrence of injuries from these incidents that affected players, both runners and catchers. And also kind of the general concern about concussions that exists not only in baseball, but throughout professional sports and amateur sports today. It's an emerging issue, and one that we in baseball have to address as well as other sports. So, that's part of the impetus for this rule change, as well."
And in one more piece of Winter Meetings business on Wednesday, Texas Rangers radio play-by-play voice Eric Nadel was selected as the 2014 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Nadel will be honored at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in July.
"I'm on cloud nine right now," Nadel said from Arlington, Texas.