When Victor Martinez signed his four-year, $68 million deal with the Tigers ... yes, everybody thought it was a lot of money, but everybody thought Martinez had Mike Ilitch and Dave Dombrowski over a barrel. They're in win-now mode until their increasingly expensive core overwhelms the front office's ability to build an effective-enough roster around it.
From Tigers standpoint, they're essentially a terminally ill franchise, so it doesn't matter if they overspend on their upcoming vacation— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) November 12, 2014
At this point, with such a poor long-term trajectory, the Tigers best position is to just keep the party going as long as they can.— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) November 12, 2014
Among other things, the V-Mart and pending Stanton deals suggest there is a lot of money available out there. MLB revenues are way up.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) November 14, 2014
Of course, this is the Marlins we're talking about. That club's front office signed Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes for $164 million, and traded them after paying just $16 million of it. Chris Cotillo's sources say Stanton could have an opt-out clause in 2019, and the Marlins' historical fear of commitment makes it seems like there has to be some way they wouldn't see it all the way through.
Along with the sheer spending, USA Today's Bob Nightengale says general managers are expecting the winter to turn into a swap meet.
"I think it's going to be an active trade market," Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says. "There's a lot of aggressive conversations going on. It seems like there's a lot of teams looking to change their clubs."
"I expect it will be a pretty busy trade season," Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels says, "because the free agent market has areas that are really lacking. It pushes teams toward the trade table."
The move itself doesn't shift tectonic plates, but it's the first deal for new guys in charge (Dave Stewart for Arizona, Matthew Silverman for Tampa Bay), and while it made sense for the Rays to move the arb-eligible, post-surgery Hellickson, it's not a particularly intuitive move for the Diamondbacks. They could use depth, since injuries destroyed a deep on-paper rotation last year, but it doesn't seem like Hellickson is the best of bets to provide it.
The Diamondbacks could be one of the offseason's more active teams -- a new front office is there to presumably make some changes, and they have areas of need and areas of depth. If Kevin Towers were still in charge, one might call them ripe for the picking (see the Adam Eaton trade last year). The combination of Stewart and Tony La Russa in the front office is an odd one, though, so maybe they'll still have some weird trades in store.
Also on Friday, Dombrowski said he told Torii Hunter they wouldn't be able to fit him into their plans after the Martinez signing. If Kenny Williams were GM, you could've probably penciled him into a corner spot at U.S. Cellular Field for 2015 already.