The Braves acquire a top-notch setup man for closer Bob Wickman and also saved somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million. When the Braves came to the Winter Meetings, this was the type of deal they needed to make to improve their bullpen and create the flexibility they need to work within the constraints of their $80 million payroll. When healthy, Soriano, who went 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 53 appearances in 2006, has proven to be one of the game's top right-handed relievers.
Ramirez certainly isn't the frontline starter the Mariners had wanted for their rotation -- he's pegged more as a No. 3-type starter. But for a team that went to the Winter Meetings looking to add as many as two starting pitchers, this was certainly a start. Ramirez, 5-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 14 starts for the Braves during an injury-plagued 2006 season, is a ground-ball pitcher and a relatively low-cost option for the starting rotation.
-- Mark Bowman and Corey Brock
Phils acquire Garcia for Floyd, PTBNL
DECEMBER 6, 2006
RHP Freddy Garcia
WHITE SOX GET:
RHP Gavin Floyd
Player to be named later
The Phillies bolstered their rotation with Garcia, a two-time All-Star and the 2001 AL ERA leader. Despite logging a career-worst 4.53 ERA, Garcia won 17 games for the White Sox in 2006. A workhorse, Garcia has started at least 30 games and tossed 200 innings every season since 2001. He adds joins one-time Mariners teammate Jamie Moyer and Jon Lieber as a another veteran presence with postseason experience, although Garcia's addition may mean Lieber's time in the City of Brotherly Love is numbered.
During the press conference to announce the trade, White Sox GM Kenny Williams said Floyd, a former No. 1 draft selection by the Phillies who has struggled in his time in the Majors, would battle Brandon McCarthy for a spot in the starting rotation. The player to be named won't be formallly announced until after Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, but Williams let it slip during the press conference that it's Gio Gonzalez, a young left-hander the White Sox traded to Philadelphia in last year's Jim Thome-Aaron Rowand deal. -- Daniel Rivkin
Mets get Burgos from Royals for Bannister
DECEMBER 6, 2006
RHP Ambiorix Burgos
RHP Brian Bannister
The Mets bolster their bullpen with Burgos, a 22-year-old whose fastball sometimes exceeds 100 mph. He was 4-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 68 appearances for Kansas City in 2006 and recorded 18 saves, but also blew 12 opportunities. The Mets believe he has great upside. GM Omar Minaya said his struggles were due to inexperience, pointing out that Burgos was just two years removed from pitching in Class A ball.
In Bannister, the Royals add a young starting pitcher who already has shown some poise, despite making just six starts in the Majors last season. Bannister is the son of former Major Leaguer Floyd Bannister, a savvy left-hander in his own right. The younger Bannister earned a spot in the Mets' rotation in Spring Training but then sustained hamstring injuries. --Bryan Hoch and Jim Molony