Winter Meeting Wrap
The 2017 Winter Meetings have come and gone, but not without some big splash deals. From big free agent signings to blockbuster trades a lot happened at these winter meetings in Orlando, so let's take a look at what went down.
Marcell Ozuna - Cardinals: After coming so close to getting Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins the Cardinals were heart broken. However, Cardinals GM Mike Girsch didn't let this get to him. Just days after the Stanton trade fell through, the Cardinals acquired another all star outfielder from Miami, Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna is a 2-time National League all star, with a gold glove and silver slugger award to his name already. He had a breakout year last season where he hit .312 with 37 home runs and 124 RBI's, proving himself in that stacked Miami outfield trio. He's entering his age 27 season and is under club control till 2019 and has a lot of upside, especially in a more hitter friendly park like Busch Stadium. In return for Ozuna the Marlins got 3 pitcher prosepcts, Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Costano, along with outfield prospect Magneuris Sierra, a group of guys who will hopefully play a big role in Miami in a few years down the road. Overall this is a great trade for the Cardinals and it will help them try and take back the NL Central from the Cubs.
Ian Kinsler - Angels: As the Tigers traded J.D. Martinez and Justin Verlander last season, a fire sale was inevitable for the Tigers and one of the pieces that would be traded was Ian Kinsler. Kinsler is a 4-time all star and has consistently been one of the top performers at his position. Although Kinsler had a down year last season he has a career .273 batting average with 234 career home runs. Even though Kinsler is entering his age 35 season he is still one of the better players at second base as shown my the long list of teams interested in trading for the man. The Angels ended up being the team to land Kinsler as he will now reunite with his old teammate and friend Justin Upton, who will try and help this reloaded Angels team past the Astros and atop the division.
Stephen Piscotty - Oakland Athletics: Although most people think of baseball as such a business, that was shown to be false when the Cardinals sent Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland A's for minor leaguers Yairo Muñoz and Max Schrock. Back in May Stephen's mother Gretchen Piscotty was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly refereed to as Lou Gherig's disease. ALS is a deadly disease and causes the patient to slowly lose the ability to move until their body can't sustain itself anymore. This disease is very serious and changes the life of the patient and their family. This led to the Cardinals sending their young outfielder to Oakland where he'll be closer to his mother in her time of need. This is still a good trade for the Cardinals as they got 2 solid youngsters, but this trade was more about baseball and shows how much the Cardinals care about their players.
Some free agent signings also occurred at the winter meetings:
Joe Smith - Houston Astros: He'll add to the bullpen and make them even stronger
Brandon Morrow - Chicago Cubs: A breakout player for the Dodgers in 2017, and he'll be a big help for the Cubs bullpen especially if they can't get Wade Davis to re-sign or find a replacement for him.
Jake McGee and Brandon Shaw - Colorado Rockies: Two solid bullpen arms that will hopefully make the Rockies stronger, especially when their starting pitching is still a question mark.