Meetings Day Two

The latest from the Winter Meetings:

We have a blockbuster: the White Sox sent top-shelf starting pitcher Chris Sale to Boston in exchange for the entire Red Sox  Top-10 Prospect List. OK, not quite, but close. The White Sox received uber-talented infielder Yoan Moncada, 105-mph pitcher Michael Kopech, high-ceiling teenager Luis Basabe, and a young pitcher named Victor Diaz. Sale has three years left on his very cheap contract, so the Red Sox were willing to give up the farm.

Seattle continues to pursue an experienced starting pitcher, and The News Tribune’s Bob Dutton suggests that the Los Angeles Dodgers could make a good trade partner. The Dodgers have a surplus of pitching and could make veterans Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy available. Both come with some serious injury risk but have had success when healthy. It’s hard to see the Mariners giving up much in the way of prospects for either – unless the Dodgers agree to pick up their salaries.

The Mariners have been quiet so far, but they did announce the signing of catcher Jesus Sucre to a split contract. Sucre was in an odd spot: he was arbitration eligible, and he’s out of minor league options, and he’s the No. 3 catcher behind Mike Zunino and Carlos Ruiz. A “split contract” means he has one salary when he is in the majors and another when he is in the minors (and each is prorated). The minor league salary is extremely high by Triple-A standards, reportedly $300,000, which shows how much the Mariners value having a player with Sucre’s experience and defensive skills available in Triple-A. The split contract makes a Triple-A assignment much more palatable for Sucre, too. I’m not sure how the lack of minor league options works in a case like this – perhaps that is addressed in the deal, or maybe the Mariners figure that the high minor league salary will scare teams away from claiming him off waivers.

Extra Links:

  • Here’s the Seattle Times running blog from Day Two of the Winter Meetings.
  • Dutton has an article covering the Mariners roster as it stands now, discussing at length the fact that the M’s will be relying on three rookie position players.
  • A recent link on Lookout Landing reminded me to remind you that if you are a baseball nut and you’ve never watched the ten-minute episode of Pretty Good about Mets reliever Koo Dae-Sung, well, you should do so right now.

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