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MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Other Winter Meeting Thoughts

The big news at the winter meetings was the Red Sox signing Carl Crawford, and dealing for Adrian Gonzalez. Can we start calling them the new Big Red Machine?

Well, like I said on Wednesday evening, or was it Thursday morning?, Cliff Lee is going to get a 7 year deal that could approach anywhere from $160-175 million. He is money in the playoffs, one of the best ever.  But, is it a good idea to give a 32 year old pitcher a 7 year deal? Here is a tweet from Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus on Lee:

Big League Exec via IM: "The numbers have gotten to a point where Cliff Lee is a bad contract for either the #Rangers or the #Yankees."

The Dodgers signed Vicente Padilla to be their swingman/6th starter. For some reason, I have in the back of my mind that the Dodgers will deal Chad Billingsley for a power hitting first baseman in 2011. Probably wrong, but at some point, Ned Colletti has to figure out if he wants to give Billz a long term contract or not. With Clayton Kershaw certain to garner plenty of Frank McCourt's money, Billz could be expendable.

More after the jump:


The Angels signed reliever Scott Downs to a 3 year, $15 million deal on Friday, and now they are saying they are out of the chase for closer Rafael Soriano. So, as a result, Fernando Rodney may be closing in Los Angeles, the other LA, in 2011. Soriano, represented by Scott Boras, is probably shooting for the moon after seeing what middle relievers are getting paid this offseason. It appears the Angels will be making a serious run at Adrian Beltre now. I think Beltre has a few more good years in him, and may be worth a 5 year deal, as he will turn 32 in April. Will Beltre be a Hall of Famer when he retires? He has 278 HRs and over 1,000 RBIs and a career .275 BA. It is possible for him to hit over 400 HRs by the time he is 36.

I am not sure if I touched on the Shaun Marcum for Brett Lawrie deal, but I think Marcum will be a top 10-15 starting pitcher in the NL in 2011, now that he is out of the AL East. He won 13 games in 2010 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.147 WHIP. And that was pitching against the Yankees, Red Sox andRays in 10 of his 31 starts in 2010. Now he gets to pitch against the PiratesBrewers, and Astros in 2011.

Brett Lawrie is yet another prospect with off-field issues to be traded. Lawrie refused to play in the Arizona Fall League this fall, which upset the Brewers front office. Pat Gillick stated last week that when putting together a team, players with good character have become more and more important on championship teams. Alex Anthopolous is taking a chance Lawrie will change in Toronto. Time will tell.

The Rockies signed utility hitter Ty Wigginton to back up Todd HeltonIan StewartSeth Smith andCarlos Gonzalez. And this was after trading for Jose Lopez. But before talking to the Rangers about third baseman Michael Young. Not sure what GM O'Dowd is doing in Colorado. He apparently likes his infielders, and has three guys who can play second base in Eric Young Jr., Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson, not to mention Jose Lopez. One would think Ian Stewart's time in Colorado is close to ending. Fantasy owners will have to wait till spring training to see how the Rockies infield shakes out.

The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays are all making a push to sign former Dodger Russell Martin to catch. And I thought Jesus Montero would be the starting catcher in New York in 2011. And apparently, there is a fourth "mystery" team involved in the discussions. Gotta love those "mystery" teams. I wish I could use that excuse in fantasy trades to drive up the value of players I want to deal. 

The White Sox are dangling outfielder Carlos Quentin in the trade market in the search for a reliever, and a few teams that could get involved are the Phillies and Dodgers, who are both in the market for a right handed hitting outfielder. Quentin has good power, a solid eye at the plate, but hits for a low BA.

The Diamondbacks apparently aren't too high on prospect Brandon Allen as it was reported today that they are interested in either Derrek Lee or Jorge Cantu to play first base in 2011. This after they made a 3 year, $30 million offer to Paul Konerko, who signed with the White Sox. Its entirely possible Allen will play some outfield in 2011, but am beginning to think they don't think highly of him in the desert.