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notes-from-the-final-day-of-the-winter-meetings | December | 2010 Articles

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Notes from the Final Day of the Winter Meetings

Written by Joe Lucia on .

The MLB Winter Meetings have come to a close, and the Braves have left with a new toy in the bullpen in George Sherrill. Kenshin Kawakami has still not been traded, but the Braves are apparently involved in talks to move Kawakami to the Pirates, where he'd join former teammate Matt Diaz. I'm thrilled about Diaz going to the Pirates. They're a team I don't have to hate (aside from my intense bias towards the entire city of Pittsburgh) because we only see them 6 times a year, and they're never any good anyway, so I don't have to worry about them competing with the Braves for a playoff slot. I assume Diaz will be getting regular playing time with the Pirates, so good for him.

In even more hilarious news, the Royals pulled a double whammy this week, signing former Braves outfielders Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera. Neither should have a job, and here they both are, on the same team, possibly even both playing every day. Dayton Moore's fetish for former Braves knows no bounds. It is possible next season for the Royals to have 3 former Braves starting in the outfield (Francoeur, Cabrera, and Gregor Blanco), and have the battery also be former Braves (Brayan Pena catching with either Jesse Chavez or Kyle Davies on the hill). And Wilson Betemit can come in as a defensive sub! I love having a team like that in the league. A constant punchline. Fantastic.

The Rule V draft was also today. The Braves only lost one player, but it was kind of a big one: Scott Diamond, who the Twins selected. Diamond ranked 22nd on my Braves prospect top 40 last offseason, and was 20th at the midseason mark this year. He'll be missed, but couldn't really go anywhere with the Braves anyway, with the logjam of pitching the team has right now. Hopefully he gets a shot with the Twins. The Braves also selected 2 players, both in the AAA phase of the draft. The first player is Eliecer Cardenas, selected from the Twins organization (payback, baby!). He'll be 23 at the beginning of the season, and is a righty from the Dominican Republic. Last season for Beloit, he put up a 3.69 ERA in 63 1/3 innings while walking 44, striking out 53, and allowing 6 homers. He's a guy, I guess. The second player selected by the Braves has one hell of a name. I am of course talking about ROWDY HARDY, selected from the Royals. The left-handed Hardy has both started and relieved during his career, and spent last season as more of a long man for Northwest Arkansas (why not just Arkansas? Was the specification that this team is in Northwest Arkansas really key to naming the team?) in the Texas League. He had a 3.44 ERA, while walking only 18 and striking out 57 in 81 innings. Another guy. Hardy has potential to be a decent LOOGY though, as he held lefties to a .214 average in 2010.

Now that the meetings are over, expect things to slow down a little bit on the news front, especially with the Braves roster being nearly completed. I'll get back into doing the season in review pieces that I really need to get done by the end of January. Also in January...top 40 prospect list! Woohoo! I'm looking forward to doing that again.
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