Mariners trade Rafael Soriano to Braves for Horacio Ramirez
On the surface this looks like a good old-fashioned fleecing at the hands of John Schuerholz. Both of these pitchers are talented but injury-prone. Soriano will likely setup Braves' closer Bob Wickman, solidifying the back end of a bullpen that was mostly awful in 2006. Ramirez is a left-handed starter with lousy peripherals. Both pitchers will be 27 on opening day.
Ted Lilly signs with Cubs for four years, $40 million.
Pretty good money for a guy with a 4.60 career ERA who hasn't posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio better than two since 2003. Lilly is a decent pitcher but he's far from spectacular. $10 million seems to be the going rate for a man of his talents, and he should see some benefit by facing pitchers instead of designated hitters and the NL Central instead of the AL East.
(read more at Bleed Cubbie Blue)
Mike Piazza signs with A's for one year, $8.5 million.
Good for Mikey to get paid. It'll be Piazza's first foray into American League ball and likely signals the end of his catching career. He'll be Oakland's designated hitter.
(read more at Athletics Nation)
Phillies acquire Freddy Garcia from White Sox for Gavin Floyd and Giovany Gonzalez
Floyd has been a mess as a big league pitcher, and despite being a highly touted prospect a few years ago, his minor league numbers are solid but not spectacular. Still, he'll only turn 24 in January so there's still plenty of time for him to make something of himself. Gonzalez turned 21 in September and has plenty of upside. He gave up too many homeruns and walks for AA Reading last season, but his strikeout rate was terrific (9.66 K/9) and he gave up less than a hit per inning. I looked briefly at the White Sox starters the other day, and Garcia may be the most consistent pitcher of the bunch. He is prone to the longball, a weakness that is likely to be exacerbated by tiny Citizen's Bank Park.
(read more at The Good Phight)
Around the Horn
By Eric Simon