Recapping the Winter Meetings: Day Two
Some legitimate moves happened yesterday with the Angels-Reds and Rangers-White Sox. Today we bring some more news for the state of baseball including the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award Winner, another White Sox deal, and the 2024 Olympics. During this, the Yankees as a team have been quiet in their pursuits and negotiations to the point of some questioning if they are motivated at all.
Adam Wainwright Wins the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award:
Adam Wainwright is your 2020 Roberto Clemente Award winner. 👏 pic.twitter.com/hR9xGbd3uP — MLB (@MLB) December 7, 2020
Yesterday afternoon the St. Louis Cardinals veteran starting pitcher won the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. Awarded annually, it is given to the player who, “best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” Each year every team gets to nominate a player to be considered for the honor.
Adam Wainwright won the award for his work with his charitable organization “Big League Impact” which he started in 2013 as a way to provide basic human needs (food, water, medicine, shelter) to those in need around the world.
If you’re interested in reading more about the award, the other 29 nominees and their work to help each improve the world in their own ways, the MLB has a great collection of each here.
The Chicago White Sox Sign OF Adam Eaton (1 Year/$7M):
White Sox in agreement with free agent outfielder Adam Eaton, source tells @NBCSChicago. It’s a 1-year, $7 million deal with a second year team option for $8.5 million. — Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) December 8, 2020
The same day the Chicago White Sox traded for a new starter in Lance Lynn, they have made another move. This time with checking out the free agent market, the White Sox have brought back OF Adam Eaton who spent 2014-2016 with the team before being traded to the Nationals in a deal that got them current starter Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning (who they just traded to the Rangers), and Reynaldo Lopez who may be their 5th starter.
Eaton had his three best seasons with the White Sox, totaling 16.0 bWAR (with a high of 6.6 bWAR in 2016) but after losing most of 2017 to injury he hasn’t been the same since. So far it has seemed to garner a mixed reaction among White Sox fans.
It’s interesting to see this move as setting the free agent outfielders market as he got only $7 Million guaranteed with a 2nd year $8.5 Million option.
Baseball Will NOT Be a Part of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France:
Baseball will not be part of the 2024 Olympics. https://t.co/JB8eaeoTMZ pic.twitter.com/fgKm9RvLzG — Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) December 8, 2020
While the 2020 Olympics that were to be hosted in Tokyo, Japan (and have been delayed to run in 2021) were going to be the first since the 2008 Beijing Olympics to host baseball as an official sport, it seems as though the International Olympic Committee is going to remove it again for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.
Baseball (and Softball) were part of 5 new sports to be introduced at the Tokyo Olympics including karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding. For the 2024 Olympics, both Baseball/Softball along with Karate have officially be removed from the sporting program and instead will be replaced by breakdancing.
It can’t even be said this is a way to increase the ability for multiple countries to participate in a sport traditionally won by the USA. As a part of 5 different Olympic Games from 1992 to 2008, 6 different nationals have medaled in Baseball with Cuba the highest winner with 5 overall medals and 3 Gold Medals (both currently the highest). A different team sport like Basketball (which has been around since 1936) has seen the USA completely dominate with 23 of 30 total Gold Medals (15/19 for Men’s, 8/11 for Women’s), including every Women’s gold (except one) since 1984 and every Men’s gold (except one) since 1992.
Are The New York Yankees Only Looking at DJ LeMahieu?
With the Yankees pursuit of starting pitching yet to begin, even a Masahiro Tanaka return seems in doubt. Could that change?https://t.co/x7mwap9yW7 — Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 8, 2020
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Yankees were scantly interested in making a trade similar to the White Sox package for Lance Lynn. While I agree with this move, they have also made little pursuit on the free agent pitching market and it is looking as though a Masahiro Tanaka reunion is in doubt. That I don’t agree with.
So far it seems the Yankees are stuck on one idea about negotiating with DJ LeMahieu (who is rumored to want up to 6 years!? now) and neglecting a pitching staff that needs some considerable good depth behind Gerrit Cole.
Be prepared for the “budget” talks yet again even though plenty of good starting pitchers, and position players, are likely available for a “budget” rate this offseason.
Royals Sign Carlos Santana at 2-Years/$17M:
Carlos Santana agrees with Royals: $17M, two years — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 8, 2020
After hitting to a horrible .199 batting average in 2020, the Cleveland Indians opted not to bring back 1B Carlos Santana and instead let him pursue free agency. In what would’ve been a $17 Million deal had the Indians took him on, Santana was able to reach for that figure again- although this time with twice the time under a deal.
Santana was seen as an “under-the-radar” type move for teams this offseason as his .199 batting average doesn’t show his true value as he did have a .349 OBP with the most walks in the MLB (47). Santana is a career .248 hitter, so it should be expected that he comes back close to that form for 2021.
At this price, it seems like a great move for the Royals to make and could provide them a good offensive first baseman to boost the offensive profile of a team in a division that could be up for grabs behind the White Sox. At the very least, the size of the contract could make Santana a viable trade asset during a trade deadline over the next two seasons if he is hitting well again.