So there was a tremendous amount of activity in the landscape of MLB. Here are my impressions of the important points:
The Philadelphia Phillies
It seems to me that the Phillies trade of Cliff Lee for Roy Halliday doesn't solve a thing for the Phillies. For arguments sake, why trade an ace who pitches superbly in Philadelphia. We see what he brings by how he shut down the Dodgers and the Yankees in the last postseason. Maybe by not including Cliff Lee in the deal it becomes an impossible transaction but if you're the Phillies GM, why not take the chance and spend the money to have 3 studs in your starting rotation. Not that the Phillies take a step back by trading Lee for Halliday. Realistically, it was believed that Lee wanted a contract similar to the amounts signed by C.C. Sabathia last season. The Phillies believe that starting pitching over 30 years of age should not be signed for more that 3 years. At 31 years of age, Lee wanting 5 to 6 years in a new contract would not be acceptable to the Phillies.
According to Jayson Stark on ESPN.com, The Phillies would receive Roy Halliday, who would agree to a 3-year extension through 2013, with a vesting option that could lengthen the deal by another year or two, one source said. The extension is expected to guarantee Halladay in the neighborhood of $60 million, plus the $15.75 million he would make in 2010, the final year of his current contract. In turn, the Phillies would send outfielder Michael Taylor, Phillies catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and a Phils pitcher -- either Kyle Drabek or J.A. Happ -- to Toronto. To finalize the Lee deal with Seattle, the Phillies would receive they would receive Seattle's top pitching prospect, Phillippe Aumont and one other prospect -- believed to be 21-year-old outfielder Tyson Gillies.
The Seattle Mariners
The Mariners sure are making waves this offseason. By shedding 50 million in expiring contracts from the payroll and a determination to reinvest in the team, they show Felix Hernandez their commitment by trading for Cliff Lee and signing Chone Figgins. My prediction is that they will also sign Jason Bay, whose idol Edgar Martinez's name graces the street where Safeco Field is located. By making these moves, the Mariners with their perennial MVP, Ichiro Suzuki leapfrog the Angels as the favorites in the A.L. West. Maybe Ken Griffey Jr., changes his mind and comes back for one more year and a last chance at a ring.
The Boston Red Sox
Boston improves tremendously by signing John Lackey. By adding Lackey to their already formidable rotation of Josh Beckett, John Lester, Daisuke Matsusake, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield the Red Sox remain in the top 3 of American League teams. The Red Sox also signed OF Mike Cameron to a 2-year deal. The big question for the Bosox is how do you replace Jason Bay. As I predicted, he'll be going to Seattle. By trading Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers, 3B is opened for free agent Adrian Beltre. I think the best course of action for the Red Sox is to resign Bay, move Youkilis to 3B and sign Nick Johnson to platoon at 1B with Victor Martinez when he gets a breather from behind the plate. By Varitek taking his option, it muddled things up a bit since as Captain he'll get his fair share behind the plate. But Martinez is the catcher of the future for Boston. Depending on how Ortiz plays this year, maybe Varitek can DH more letting Martinez to get his playing time behind the plate.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I have one thing to say to Arte Moreno, owner of the Angels. Que haces con su equipo hermano (What are you doing with your team brother). So you let Lackey, Figgins and Guerrero walk. You fail to trade for Halliday thereby falling to second best in the A.L. West. Where's the aggressiveness that allowed you to sign free agents in years past like Torii Hunter. I expected more from the Angels, but things are not all negative for the Angelinos. They resigned Bobby Abreu who was pivotal in their run into the ALCS. Also, rumor has it that the Angels will sign Hideki Matsui for 1 year 6.5 million dollars to replace Vlad at DH. At this stage of the game, I believe Matsui is a better hitter than Guerrero since he is a more disciplined batter. Vlad can still scare opposing pitchers but his skills are diminishing and so have the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim...