This Week In Hot Stove: December 4th

Hot Stove season has started and it could be a wild off-season for many teams. The economy took a dive this year, but will salaries? Who won the trades this week? Who signed with a new team? I’m here to help talk about the significant trades and signings the week before the Winter Meetings take place in Indianapolis.

Mets sign SS Alex Cora to a one-year deal – I don’t see the significance to this signing, if anything it’s a weak security blanket in case Jose Reyes doesn’t come back or re-injures himself.

Phillies sign C Brian Schnieder to a two-year deal – It’s no secret that the Phillies are looking to upgrade this position, but Schneider could be a nice platoon option at catcher.

Cleveland trade C Kelly Shoppach to Tampa Bay Rays for player to be named later – I believe Tampa Bay won this trade hands-down. Shoppach had a rough ’09 season, but if you look at his ’08 totals, they were great. Cleveland has a lot of young catching talent, so he was expendable. I look for him to be a nice player for the Rays going forward.

A’s re-sign RHP Joey Devine – Devin is often injured and has never reached his potential. I don’t think he is going to get there with as many injuries he has suffered in his short career.

Atlanta Braves sign LHP Billy Wagner to a one-year deal – The Braves had trouble closing games out and they really didn’t have one solid closer for the last couple seasons. If Wagner can stay healthy, he could have a nice season for Atlanta.

Phillies sign 2B Placido Polanco to a three-year deal – This signing is a little weird. They are wanting Polanco to play third-base, so this signing means that Pedro Feliz will be on another team next season. Polanco is a nice player, but I’m not sure what he gives you at third-base.

Oakland trades RHP Jeff Gray and two minor-leaguers for C/3B/LF Jake Fox, 2B Aaron Miles, and cash considerations – You can see my take on this trade by reading this story.

Mets sign C Chris Coste and Henry Blanco to one-year contracts – The Phillies basically trade catchers with Schneider signing with Philadelphia. This signing proves that the Mets are looking to platoon this position.

Braves sign RHP Takashi Saito to a one-year contract – I really like this signing since they have added Bill Wagner to the pen. Saito can be a nice setup guy and with their starting rotation, Atlanta is building a bullpen to match.

Red Sox sign Marco Scutaro to a two-year contract – It looks like Boston may have cured its search for an able shortstop. I like this signing, it’s not flashy, but he’s good defensively.

Mariners sign Chone Figgins to a three-year contract – Figgins is a nice player, but they are signing him for $9 million per year. I like him, but I’m not sure if I like him that much. I look at the Mariners roster and I don’t see where the power will come from. Figgins can get on base, but who will drive him home?

Look for a lot of activity to happen next week….

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