The 2014 Winter Meetings in Review

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These past few days in San Diego were borderline crazy. The Dodgers turned over a huge portion of their roster. The Cubs and White Sox made all kinds of noise. The Phillies finally began their tear-down and, perhaps, their rebuild. The Tigers and Red Sox shuffled and reloaded. The Yankees acted like some small market team. The Marlins and Reds, well, we’re not entirely sure what they did. It’s almost too much to keep track of.

But that’s why HardballTalk is here, dear readers. Below are links to the highlights of these few days in December when the past season was put in the rear view mirror for good and the foundations for the next season were laid:

The biggest deal: Jon Lester signed with the Cubs for $155 million. And here’s what the deal means for him, the Cubs and the Red Sox.

The next biggest: Matt Kemp was traded by the Dodgers to the Padres.

The Dodgers signed Brandon McCarthy to a four-year deal.

The White Sox signed closer David Robertson to a four-year deal. And the Yankees never even made him an offer. For that matter, the Yankees didn’t make an offer for McCarthy either.

But that’s not all! The White Sox also traded for Jeff Samardzija.

The end of an era in Philly: Jimmy Rollins was traded to the Dodgers.

Yoenis Cespedes (and some other guys) was traded to the Tigers for Rick Porcello (and some other guys)

The Tigers then traded for the Reds’ Alfredo Simon to replace Porcello in the rotation.

The Reds then traded another starter, Mat Latos, to Miami. Who’s gonna pitch in Cincinnati, you guys?

The Red Sox rotation makeover continued with the acquisition of Wade Miley and the signing of Justin Masterson.

The Dodgers traded Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to Miami for Andrew Heaney and some other guys. Haren may retire, however.

Oh, and the Dodgers didn’t really want Heaney anyway: they flipped him to the Angels for Howie Kendrick a few hours later. Heaney nonetheless looked back fondly on his many, many minutes as a Los Angeles Dodger.

The Twins signed Ervin Santana for $54 million

The Cubs re-signed Jason Hammel, showing that you can go home again. They also traded for Dbacks catcher Miguel Montero.

The Astros did some bullpen work: they signed Luke Gregerson and then they turned around and signed Pat Neshek.

The Veteran’s Committee had ONE job — to induct someone to the Hall of Fame — and it failed to do so.

The Rays reached an agreement allowing them to look for a new stadium. And, if they don’t get a new stadium, they’ll probably be sold and moved.

We learned that Madison Bumgarner once dated someone named Madison Bumgarner.

The Braves signed infielder/utilityman Alberto Callaspo.

The Royals signed DH Kendrys Morales.

Tom Gage of the Detroit News won the Spink Award. On the broadcasting side, Dick Enberg won the Frick Award.

The Angels acquired a guy who may be the worst hitter in baseball.

The Baseball Writers Association of America made a recommendation regarding the Hall of Fame ballot, but it was lame.

The Braves made an offer everyone will pretty much easily refuse.

The Pirates got Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies.

The Rangers acquired Ross Detwiler from the Nationals

The Rockies sent infielder Josh Rutledge to the Angels for a good relief pitcher.

The Cardinals got Mark Reynolds for some reason.

Nyjer Morgan is raging against the dying of the light: he’s going to go play in Korea.

Scott Boras did what Scott Boras does best.

Finally, I ranked all 30 major league managers by handsomeness again. Because that’s what’s really important.

I think we all need a breather now. Baseball can stop for a few days while we get our bearings if it would like to. Indeed, that’d be much appreciated.

 

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The players association said Wednesday night it was dismayed by the length of the ban.

“While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we’re disappointed by the decision,” the union said. “It was an unfair result for Joe Kelly given the cases presented.”

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty that was first reported by Barstool Sports.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.