- The Braves traded 3B prospect Andy Marte to Boston for SS Edgar Renteria. It's tough for the Braves to lose out on Marte, who looks to be a fine player, but this does fill their SS need. Renteria is amazingly overrated and pretty well overpaid. But if the Red Sox pay part of his contract, it should come out pretty well for Atlanta.
- The White Sox just traded reliever Damaso Marte to the Pirates for Rob Mackowiak. Marte is a good arm and may end up as the closer in Pittsburgh. But the White Sox were dealing from a position of strength in their bullpen and now have a valuable utility hitter who can play third, first, or in the outfield. He'll be great insurance in case somebody (Thome) gets injured. Kudos to Kenny Williams, who's not letting the grass grow under his feet this off-season.
- The Tigers signed Kenny Rogers to a 2-year deal. The Tigers really needed somebody else in that starting rotation, and Rogers does fill that need. He should enjoy spacious Comerica Park. Although again, I must remind the Tigers that Rogers is 41 years old and coming off a season where he struck out a mere 87 hitters in 195.1 IP against 53 walks. It doesn't bode well, and he won't get any help from the Tigers defense. Detroit also signed Todd Jones -- I guess as their closer. See my earlier comments about Jones, when I thought he was going to the Braves. The Tigers are just obsessed with old closers and won't learn their lesson.
- The Orioles signed free agent catcher Ramon Hernandez to a 4-year deal for $27.5 million. Hernandez is not as good as everyone says he is, and he's also had injury problems. The Orioles are now left with Javier Lopez, who could be traded if he doesn't like the idea of being a sometime catcher/DH.
- The Cubs are rumored to be close to a deal for troubled Dodger Milton Bradley. Bradley would be a great addition to Chicago's lineup, but will the Cubs be able to deal with his difficult nature? Time will tell, but I guarantee you he will hit.
- The Yankees traded Tony Womack to the Reds for some prospects. Womack just plain sucks, and this is a moronic deal. Welcome to BoneheadVille, capital city: Cincinnati.
Echoing my own opinions, Rob Neyer had this to say about the Soriano deal in today's ESPN.com chat:
Soriano's going from the best hitter's park in the American League to the worst in the National, and people are going to be shocked by what happens to his numbers. If Wilkerson's healthy, this is a terrible inbalance in talent exchanged.
Thank you, Rob. More to come later, I'm sure.