This is The Stew’s running list of trades and signings that happen during baseball’s Winter Meetings. We’ll keep updating this post as the news happens. For more chatter and rumors, be sure to check out our Winter Meetings tracker.
Angels acquire Drew Butera in trade with Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels hadn’t made a trade in 38 years, but they did Tuesday, forever rattling the L.A. baseball landscape by sending backup catcher Drew Butera to Anaheim. OK, so maybe it’s not rattling any landscape. In return, the Dodgers are getting a player to be named later or cash.
BLS Take: Unless the PTBN is Mike Trout, this is mostly a snoozer. Butera had been designated for assignment by the Dodgers recently, so he was on his way out. He’s only caught 65 games for them the past two season. For the Angels, Butera will fill the spot vacated by second catcher Hank Conger, who was traded to Houston.
Braves add Alberto Callaspo for infield depth
The Atlanta Braves dipped into the free-agent pool and are close to signing versatile veteran Alberto Callaspo, who last played with the Oakland Athletics. Callaspo, 31, played 127 games last season for Oakland at first, second and third bases. The deal is all but done. It’s just awaiting a physical, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
BLS Take: Callaspo hit .223 with four homers and 39 RBIs, so he’s not anybody’s long-term solution in the infield. But he’s a nice plug-and-play guy who can help your team in many places on the diamond when you need him. The Braves have struggled finding a second baseman in recent years, He’ll bridge the gap for Atlanta until second-base prospect Jose Peraza is ready to play.
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Braves sign Cuban outfielder Dian Toscano
The Atlanta Braves added another outfielder to their roster in Dian Toscano, a 25-year-old international free agent from Cuba who could be a left field option down the road. Toscano isn’t one of the big-name Cuban imports — i.e., he’s not the Yasmany Tomas consolulation prize.
Ben Badler at Baseball America has more on Toscano:
Toscano, who is around 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, is a lefthanded hitter with good bat control and strike-zone awareness. He never played on the Cuban national team, so he wasn’t a player scouts saw much of before he left the island.
Playing for Villa Clara in Serie Nacional, Toscano batted .356/.400/.452 in 86 plate appearances with eight walks and eight strikeouts in 2012-13, his last season in Cuba. The year before, Toscano hit .287/.438/.380 with 35 walks and 16 strikeouts. He hit just three home runs that year and never showed much power in Cuba, though he’s in significantly better shape and has increased his strength since leaving Cuba.
BLS Take: Naturally, when you hear “Cuban outfielder” these days, excitement and intrigue are not reactions, but Toscano doesn’t have nearly as much hype as the high-profile Cubans we’ve seen land in MLB the last few years. As Badler writes, less is known about Toscano because he didn’t play on the Cuban national team, so there’s a chance the Braves found a diamond in the rough. But based on what we know, you shouldn’t expect Toscano to be an Opening Day starter or anything.
A’s trade Brandon Moss to the Indians
Our first trade of the Winter Meetings is in the books. The Oakland Athletics continue their roster shuffling, sending All-Star Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians. Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan was first to report that the deal was done, though the two sides have been working on this since last week. The return for Moss — who hit 25 homers with 81 RBIs in 2015 — is second baseman Joey Wendle, 24, a former sixth-round pick who hit .253 in Double-A last season.
BLS Take: The Oakland A’s of 2015: No Moss, no Yoenis Cespedes, no Josh Donaldson. Where’s all the power going to come from? It’s another typical Billy Beane move. The A’s GM has to figure he’s gotten the most out of Moss, who had hip surgery in October. But Moss has hit 76 homers the past three seasons, and that’s desirable for a club like the Indians looking to leapfrog the competition in the AL Central. Overall, it’s a good deal for the Indians, as they get Moss for their ninth best prospect according to MLB.com. The risk for the Indians is that Moss, 31, could end up being another Nick Swisher-type and they’re already burdened with one of those. Moss’ OPS plummeted from .954 in 2012 to .772 in 2014. If the Indians think they can trade Swisher (as has been rumored), Moss is a much cheaper first base/DH option.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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