I'm studying for my Series 7 and for a break I turn on MLB Network to see what's going on at the Winter Meetings. The Winter Meetings is where most baseball trades are made that aren't done before the non-waiver trade deadline.
Anyway, I like the pickup of Rafael Soriano for the Rays. They have had trouble shutting the door and this allows J.P. Howell to move back to a setup role. While it is a big hit on the payroll, it is a move that had to be made. The Yanks and Red Sox are starting to solve J.P and the other Rays relievers were average at best. If Burrell hits decent, everyone stays healthy, and B.J. Upton gets it back some how, the Rays can again challenge in the East.
Speaking of the Yankees, they win the World Series and then go out and get a better centerfielder. Curtis Granderson is a team guy and allows them to move Melky Cabrera to left field if New York doesn't re-up with Johnny Damon. I do like the move as the Yankees get younger and better defensively, but Granderson struggles against lefties. Other than that, another good move by Brian Cashman.
On a completely different note, the Blue Jays are trying to move Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay. The Red Sox are a potential suitor, but the Jays want pitcher Casey Kelly and the Sox won't give him up. I remember covering Kelly as an All-State quarterback and shortstop while he was in high school and even then I was sure he would make the show in one of those sports. He was that guy who was just better than everyone else. I'm a little surprised that the Red Sox made Kelly a pitcher, but apparently his hitting numbers were below average and good pitching is hard to come by. Which brings me to the Sox other pickup. Pitcher Boof Bonser.
Bonser is best known as one of the players the twins picked up, along with stud pitchers Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano, in the A.J. Pierzynski trade. I know him as the guy who single handedly beat my Venice High School Baseball team in the state playoffs while playing for St. Pete Gibbs High School. Bonser hit three home runs and a triple while also throwing a complete game.
I always find it interesting when I see a player that I either played with/against in high school, or who I have covered while working making noise in college or the pros. You guys have anyone out there doing it on the big stage who you saw before they made headlines?