This is The Stew's running list of trades and signings that happen during baseball's winter meetings. We'll keep updating this post as the news happens. For more chatter and rumors, be sure to check out our winter meetings tracker.
Joba Chamberlain joins the Tigers bullpen
Adding another arm to their rebuilt bullpen, the Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms with Joba Chamberlain, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The contract is for one year and $2.5 million. Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown first reported Wednesday that the Tigers were a possible destination for Chamberlain.
BLS take: Joba was once a star-in-the-making for the Yankees, but floundered in the Big Apple. By 2013, he had the worst year of his career. He posted a 4.93 ERA in 40 innings. Now he'll likely set up new Tigers closer Joe Nathan. Getting out of pinstripes could be a new start for Joba, 28, at least the Tigers are hoping so.
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Phillies sign Roberto Hernandez to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million
The Philadelphia Phillies added Roberto "Don't Call Me Fausto" Hernandez to their starting rotation on a one-year deal. He'll get $4.5 million plus incentives tied to how many innings he throws. Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly was first to report. MLB Trade Rumors had the financials.
BLS take: Oh, Phillies. He was good in 2007 and decent in 2010. But his ERA by year, from 2011 to 2013: 5.25, 7.53 (in only three starts) and 4.89. The Phillies need pitching help, for sure. But this? Meh.
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Clint Barmes returns to Pittsburgh on one-year deal
The Pittsburgh Pirates are bringing back 35-year-old shortstop Clint Barmes on a one-year deal worth $2 million, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.
BLS take: Barmes doesn't hit much, but plays good defense, and that's important to the Pirates. He's a player they know. They're not paying him much. Ho-hum deal.
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Giants sign Mike Morse to a one-year deal
You wanted a power-hitting left fielder, San Francisco Giants fans? Here you go. The team signed Mike Morse — ex of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals — to a one-year deal worth $6 million. Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area was first to report the deal.
BLS take: OK, so Morse comes with a lot of risk and baggage in addition to that power. He's probably *not* the big-hitting left fielder the Giants dreamed about, but he can hit the ball out of the yard. He hit 13 homers with only 27 RBIs last season while hitting .215. Not wonderful. But he was hampered by injuries. Morse, 31, was stellar in 2011. He hit 31 homers and drove in 95 runs, while hitting .303/.360/.550. If he can return to that form, huge steal for the Giants. Maybe he's an Aubrey Huff-type addition? A lot of that depends upon his health. But, hey, if there's any team that knows about a high-maintenance left fielder who can hit the ball far, it's the Giants.
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The Cubs and Marlins pulled off a trade, swapping a pair of unspectacular outfielders — Brian Bogusevic and Justin Ruggiano. The Cubs get Ruggiano and the Marlins get Bogusevic.
BLS take: Ruggiano hit .222/.298/.396 last season, but was much better in 2012, posting a .313/.374/.535 line. He's 31, so there's not tremendous upside, but he could be a decent player, if he lands somewhere in the middle in 2014. Bogusevic, 29, is a former first-round pick by the Houston Astros. So after spending his career with the Astros and Cubs, now he's going to the Marlins. You have to feel for the guy. He hit .274 in 47 games last year for the Cubs. In 2012, when he played closer to everyday for the Astros, he hit .203/.297/.299 with seven homers and 28 RBIs. In essence, this is mostly a shoulder-shrugger of a move with Ruggiano having a little bit more upside.
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Tomo Ohka agrees to minor league contract with Blue Jays
Wednesday's comeback story is a fascinating one. 37-year-old right-hander Tomo Ohka, who last appeared in the major leagues in 2009 and sat out the 2012 season in Japan following shoulder surgery, has verbally agreed on a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Shi Davidi of Sportsnets.ca was the first to report the agreement. He also notes Ohka has reinvented himself as a knucklerballer.
BLS take: If you're going to attempt a comeback as a knuckleballer, you couldn't ask for a more ideal teammate than R.A. Dickey. The former Cy Young award winner has gone through the exact same process and extended his career by several years already. Ohka, who posted a 4.26 ERA over 10 big league seasons, is expected to begin the season in the minors but could be a quick mover if he finds success with his new pitch in spring training. It's probably a longshot, but there's nothing to lose for either side. At the very least it could be a fun storyline to track come February. — Mark Townsend
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Mets sign Bartolo Colon to a two-year deal
Be honest, if you heard a team gave a two-year deal to a 40-year-old pitcher, you'd think it was a New York team, right? Well, it's the New York Mets. Colon, of course, isn't just any 40-year-old. He's the 40-year-old you throw $20 million at. The deal was confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It was first reported as close by Sweeny Murti of WFAN. Colon turns 41 in May and will be 43 in the last year of his deal.
BLS take: He's a 40-year-old pitcher and they're paying him $10 million per year. That might not build the most confidence amongst Mets fan, but keep in mind that Colon had a 2.65 ERA last season for the A's. He's got great control. He's been around. He's a wily vet. And $10 million dollars ,while it might seem like a lot, that's how much the Astros are paying Scott Feldman.
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Edinson Volquez agrees to one-year deal with the Pirates
Edinson Volquez is headed back to the NL Central after being passed around the NL West last season. The ex-Padres and Dodgers starter has found a new home with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Volquez, 30, has agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million, according to Ken Rosenthal. He'll back near Cincinnati, where he started his career.
BLS take: If the Pirates can turn Volquez into Francisco Liriano 2.0, then this will be brilliant. If they don't get A.J. Burnett back and they're expecting big things out of Volquez, this could flounder. We all remember when Volquez was good — 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 2008 — but that was a lifetime ago. Last year: 5.71 ERA.
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Mariners sign Corey Hart to one-year deal, get Logan Morrison in trade
The Mariners are busy. They've signed slugger Corey Hart, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. He'll bat behind the recently signed Robinson Cano in the rebuilt M's lineup. The Marlins also traded for Logan Morrison from the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Carter Capps, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Both guys can play first base, the outfield or DH.
Hart hit 87 homers in the past three seasons, including a 2010 campaign in which he hit 31 homers and drove in 102 runs. He's not a .300+ hitter, but the M's are looking for a guy to mash behind Cano, and that's something he should do.
Morrison is similar to Hart. He's a big guy with power potential, just from the left side, and he's had injury trouble the past few years too. In 2011, Morrison hit 23 homers and drove in 72 runs. He's not a high-average guy. His career line: .249 /.337./427. But Morrison is still 26 and won't be a free agent until 2017, so the Mariners are hoping his best days are ahead of him.
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Nationals get reliever Jerry Blevins in trade with A's
The Washington Nationals had been chasing a left-handed relief pitcher, and rather than pay for one on the free-agent market, they found a trade partner in the always wheeling-and-dealing Oakland Athletics. The pitching-rich A's are sending Jerry Blevins, 30, to D.C. In return, the A's get minor leaguer Billy Burns, a speedy switch-hitting outfielder who was the Nats minor-league player of the year in 2013. SB Nation's Chris Cotillo was first to report the deal.
BLS take: The Nats got what they needed, and didn't spend a ton of money to do it, so that's a plus. Blevins is a quality bullpen guy — he had a 3.15 ERA in 60 innings last season for Oakland. Burns, meanwhile, stole 74 bases a year ago in between Single-A and Double-A. After Tuesday's Brett Anderson trade, GM Billy Beane talked about Oakland's need to replenish its farm system, and that's the immediate outcome in this trade for the A's as well. You know those A's, always a few moves ahead.
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Pirates give pitcher Charlie Morton a three-year extension
Not a team-changing deal here: The Pittsburgh Pirates signed starting pitcher Charlie Morton to a three-year extension worth at least $21 million and maybe as much as $30 million. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan was first to report the deal and explains in detail.
BLS take: You're seeing how much starting pitching is beginning to cost — i.e. A LOT — so the Pirates are smart to grab Morton for three more years. It'll likely be a good value move for them. Morton gets a lot of ground balls and had a 3.26 ERA last season in 20 starts. He's 30, so they're getting him for some good years too.
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Mark Trumbo goes to Diamondbacks in three-team deal with Angels and White Sox
Slugger Mark Trumbo, one of the Los Angeles Angels' big bats, will join Paul Goldschmidt in the Arizona Diamondbacks lineup, after the Angels, D-backs and Chicago White Sox completed a three-team trade. Speedy center fielder Adam Eaton will go from Arizona to Chicago, while the Angels get the starting pitching they so desperately needed — Tyler Skaggs from the D-backs and Hector Santiago from the White Sox. The D-backs are also getting two prospects, one each from the White Sox and Angels.
BLS take: The Angels did what they needed to, and got some pitching. That makes them the immediate winners here. Trumbo hits for power and having him in the lineup with Goldschmidt might be daunting, but he's streaky and doesn't have a great OBP. Plus, he's not an ideal outfielder. Eaton has a lot of upside, as a speedy top-of-the-order guy and could be looked at as a steal in a couple of years.
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A's trade Brett Anderson to the Rockies for Drew Pomeranz
The much-rumored Brett Anderson trade has happened. Anderson, 25, will join the Colorado Rockies with former first-round pick Drew Pomeranz headed to Oakland with prospect Chris Jensen in town.
Source: LHP Brett Anderson goes to Colorado for LHP Drew Pomeranz and Class A RHP Chris Jensen. @Ken_Rosenthal had it first. — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 10, 2013
Would not have thought this: Brett Anderson is only 9 months older than Drew Pomeranz. A's control him for five years, Rox Anderson for two.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 10, 2013
BLS take: Risky move on both sides, which in reality means it works. Anderson has front-of-the-rotation stuff, but has had a rough run with injuries. He was expendable in Oakland, which has a talented young rotation and already added Scott Kazmir this offseason. Going to Colorado isn't ideal, but Anderson is already an underdog, so might as well have to overcome the elevation too. Pomeranz, on the other hand, was the No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft. He was a main piece in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. But Pomeranz struggled in Colorado. He was in the minors for much of 2013, but he's started through parts of three seasons. For his career, he has a 5.20 big-league ERA. If there's a place he's going to turn it around, though, Oakland seems like a good bet.
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Rajai Davis agrees to a two-year deal with the Tigers
Speedy outfielder Rajai Davis will be a Detroit Tiger for the next two years, signing a $10 million contract, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. Davis, 33, spent the last three years with the Blue Jays.
BLS take: Not exactly the outfield help that Tigers fans had in mind after the team freed up some money by trading Prince Fielder and Doug Fister, right? In Toronto, Davis saw the most action in 2012, when he played 142 games and hit .257/.309/.378. He wasn't an everyday player in 2013 but hit .260 in 108 games. His WAR was 1.8 last season. Davis hits lefties well, and could be a platoon option for the Tigers, as their outfield sits right now. The Tigers could still use another outfielder, as Davis is not the get-you-over-the-hump answer in Detroit. He did, however, steal 91 bases over the past two seasons.
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White Sox add pitcher Felipe Paulino on a one-year deal
The White Sox added starting pitching depth by signing Felipe Paulino to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. He's coming back from 2012 Tommy John surgery. In 2011 and 2012, he pitched for the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals.
White Sox newest addition is @fpaulino05 at 1-year, $1.75-million. They hold a $4 million option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout on the RHP — Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) December 9, 2013
BLS take: There's good potential here. There's also risk. His ERA was 4.46 in 2011, but advanced-stat minded pundits will tell you he's better than that. They love Paulino's FIP of 3.54 (that's from 2010-2012). This isn't a organization-altering move, but come July or August, the White Sox could look smart.
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Indians sign David Cooper to major-league deal
The MLB comeback of David Cooper looks to be upon us. The Cleveland Indians signed the 26-year-old former first-round pick to a major-league deal. He had a career-saving spinal surgery last April and then hit .314/.364/.373 in 13 minor-league games for the Indians in August.
BLS take: Cooper hit .300/.324/.464 in 45 big-league games for the Blue Jays in 2012. He can hit and get on base, which is always helpful. He'll mostly be called upon as a pinch hitter for Cleveland, who starts Nick Swisher at first. Catcher Carlos Santana played 29 games at first in 2013, but there's talk of him playing some third base in 2014. That might open a window to more playing time for Cooper if he's productive.
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Marlins sign ex-Pirate Garrett Jones for $7.75 million
The first signing of the Winter Meetings isn't the sexiest. It's not even all that surprising. But here it is: First baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones has agreed to join the Miami Marlins on a two-year, $7.75 million contract. The two had been lined up as match since last week, but now it's legit. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald gave us the financials.
The Pittsburgh Pirates ended their six-year relationship with Jones in November. He had a down year in 2013 hitting .233/.289/.419 with just 15 homers. Jones, 32, was in line to make about $5.3 million via arbitration from the Pirates. Instead, he'll make $2.75 million in 2014 from the Marlins with $5 million following in 2015. Jones is power prone. He hit 27 homers in 2012 and has 102 for his career. In Miami, he's expected to be a platoon option at first base and add depth in right field, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
BLS take: Again, not sexy, but the Marlins can hope for a better 2014 from Jones, whose career average is 20 points higher than it was in 2013. However, he's not exactly a young guy still trying to figure things out, so there's not a tremendous amount of upside to hope for. The most interesting thing about this deal, actually, is that it probably means the Marlins will trade Logan Morrison now, and his power could be a good acquisition for a contender seeking another bat. In fact, the Pirates are one of the teams said to be interested in Morrison.
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