Here is a list of last year's November & December moves, along with letter grades and some thoughts:
Signed INF/OF Willie Bloomquist to a one-year contract extension. New deal totaled $1.825 MM over the next two seasons.
GRADE: B. Not much to say. Have to have utilities guys.
12/4/06 Signed OF Jose Guillen to a one-year contract worth $5 million, with an option for 2008.
GRADE: A-. .290/23/99, pretty good 2007 campaign. Not spectacular, but very good for the price they paid.
12/7/06 (Busy day)
-Acquired LHP Horacio Ramirez from the Braves in exchange for RHP Rafael Soriano.
GRADE: F. Thought about an F+ for a while, but couldn't justify it. This deal had us at hello with how terrible it was. Historicals have already been covered, so let's get to 2007:
- Soriano (ATL): 72 IP, 3-3, 9 S, 19 Holds, 3.00 ERA, .86 WHIP, 70 K, .181 BAA. Salary: $1.2 MM.
- Ramirez (SEA): 98 IP, 8-7, 7.16 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 40 K, .332 BBA. Salary: $2.65 MM.
M's get stuck with a player who can't make their 2008 roster. Braves get a future closer with a ton of trade value. To be fair, last January I compared this deal to the deal the Pirates got for LaRoche. At the time I thought PIT got a MUCH better deal than Seattle. So let's see how the PIT/ATL deal worked out:
- Gonzalez (ATL): Limited by an elbow injury: 17 IP, 2-0, 2 SV, 5 Holds, 1.59 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .246 BAA. Salary: $2.35 MM.
- LaRoche (PIT): Horrible first half. Just horrid. .272/21/88/71 OPS: .808. Salary: $3.2 MM.
Tough to judge the deal since Gonzo got hurt, but it is safe to say that 1 LaRoche is worth 4 or 5 HoRams.
-Acquired RHP Sean White from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.
Grade: D+: Limited to 35 IP due to bicep tendinitis. Was able to put up a 5.60 ERA & 1.56 WHIP before the injury.
12/12/06 Non-tendered RHP Joel Pineiro.Grade: A. Free at last, free at last!!! What's funnier...Boston giving him $4 million in 2007 after he was cut by the M's or STL giving him a 2 year, $13 million contract after managing a 3.96 ERA over the last two months of the season with the Cards? Remember when he was going to close for the Red Sox? LOL
12/14/06 Signed RHP Miguel Batista to a three-year contract.
Grade: B-. 193 IP, 16-11, 4.29 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 133 K's, .282 BAA. Slightly better in the 2nd half of the season but not enough to get excited about. He is what he is. 2007 Salary: $6 MM.
12/18/06 Acquired INF Jose Vidro and cash considerations from the Washington Nationals in exchange for RHP Emiliano Fruto and OF Chris Snelling.
Grade: B-: Vidro finished the year with a huge 2nd half (.354 BA, .423 OBP). Huge for him, which means 19 TOTAL extra base hits in 66 games. A nice improvement over the 13 extra base hits he had in his first 80 games. That has to be tough to do. 2007 final tally: .316/6/59/78, with zero SB to go with his lack of power. .383 OBP, .780 OPS. M's paid him $6 million in 2007 and get to do it again in 2008.
Snelling was a non-factor due to injuries. He was recently claimed by Tampa Bay off waivers, so we'll see what he can do for the new-look Rays in '08.
Fruto: 3-9 with a 5.26 ERA in 18 appearances, including 16 starts, for Triple-A Columbus before he was dealt to the Diamondbacks as part of the Wily Mo Pena deal. Definitely nothing to write home about.
Nov-Dec Report Card: B, A-, F, D+, A, B-, B- Looks a lot like my freshman year in college...