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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Few More Logs in the Hot Stove

The Daily Hat Trick recently reviewed some of the bigger offseason transactions in Major League Baseball, the biggest, of course, being the signing of first baseman Albert Pujols by the Los Angeles Angels. Since then, a few more transactions of note have taken place. Some key players stayed with their current teams and some headed for greener pastures. In either case, MLB fans have plenty to look forward to while waiting around the proverbial hot stove.

Philadelphia Phillies

Jimmy Rollins, SS, 6 years/$46.5 million - This resigning was a no brainer for the Phillies. Fortunately, Rollins felt the same about the Phillies offer. Rollins is one of the best shortstops in the game and the Phillies are one of the best organizations in baseball over the last five years. This marriage is an ideal one and I am sure that Phillies fans are happy that the union will continue.

Hat Trick Grade: A

Rollins has taken one for the team plenty of times. The Phillies have reciprocated to Rollins in 46 million ways.

Colorado Rockies

Michael Cuddyer, RF, 3 years/$31.5 million - Colorado has lost good power hitters to trades and free agency during the past two years. This deal helps fill in the gap. Cuddyer has hit 70 or more RBIs in five of his last six years with the Minnesota Twins. He should be expected, if healthy, to hit 20 or more home runs, especially playing in Denver. He has consistently hit decently for contact. I think the Rockies got better with this move.

Hat Trick Grade: B+

The Rockies get Cuddyer and Cuddyer gets out of injury plagued winning-challenged, and rebuilding Minnesota. That sounds like a win-win. 2

St. Louis Cardinals

Carlos Beltran, CF, 2 years/$26 million - You can never...ever...ever, ever, ever, ever, ever replace Albert Pujols. However, not singing Pujols freed up some funds that would have otherwise gone to resigning him. Carlos Baltran, while inconsistent at times, is an upgrade for the Redbirds. Beltran is coming off of yet another season in which he has either hit .300 or hit 20 or more home runs (doing both in 2011). His on base plus slugging percentage was higher than his career average, at .910. He also had a three-year high for RBIs, with 84. Beltran is a higher risk, higher reward investment. Given the defending World Series champion Cardinals' market size and the available free agents, think this signing offered St. Louis the best value to replace some of Pujols' bat.

Hat Trick Grade: B

Santa tried to bring the Cards some sympathy gifts. 3

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