A trio of big major league moves happened late last night or early this morning.
- The Braves acquired outfielder Justin Upton from Arizona. Also coming to Atlanta is third baseman Chris Johnson. Arizona acquires Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, Zeke Spruill and Brandon Drury. That’s still a lot for the Braves to give up, but they were able to hang on to shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons, who seemed by nature to be part of the deal. For more on Upton, check out this post from yesterday.
- The Mets addressed its starting rotation issue in a big way, signing free agent Shaun Marcum to a one-year deal. With R.A. Dickey having been traded to Toronto in the offseason, the Mets rotation should look a little something like this: Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese, Marcum, Dillon Gee and Matt Harvey. Marcum, who began his career in Toronto, was traded to Milwaukee for Brett Lawrie before the 2011 season. The last two seasons with the Brewers, Marcum, a third round pick in the 2003 draft, was 20-11 with a 3.60 ERA in 54 starts. He’s had some elbow issues in the past, but it looks like he should be ready by opening day.
- The Scott Hairston saga finally came to an end and the powerful outfielder won’t be playing in New York in 2013. Hairston, who shone for the Mets in 2012, signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs worth up to $6 million. Hairston had been linked to both the Yankees and Mets this offseason.
- (Update, 6:05 p.m.): The Yankees signed Dan Johnson today to a minor league deal. Playing for Tampa Bay, Johnson famously hit the game-tying homer in the final game of the 2011 season against the Yankees that set up Evan Longoria’s game-winning shot in extra innings. The Rays squeaked into the playoffs when Boston had lost in Baltimore in the bottom of the ninth just moments before. Johnson, a left-handed hitting first baseman/DH-type, has played off and on in the majors since 2005. He has good power with 56 home runs in 1,320 career at-bats in the majors and 224 career home runs in the minors. He’s a long shot to make the major league roster, but could be useful off the bench in a platoon split at DH should he shine in spring training. If he accepts a spot at Triple-A, he could come in handy if the Yankees have any injuries.
- I wrote yesterday about Michael Bourn to the Mets being not very likely, but that might change. (Check out the link to yesterday’s post in the Upton item above). The Mets have the 11th pick in this June’s draft, but technically had the 10th-worst regular season won-loss record in 2012. The Pirates were awarded a top-10 pick for failing to sign their choice last year. The Mets, then, believe they could sign Bourn and not lose that 11th pick based on the technicality that they should have the 10th pick based on their record. If MLB decides to rule in the Mets’ favor and the team signs Bourn, they would still surrender a second round pick for singing him since he rejected a qualifying offer from the Braves. At this point, with most teams having solved their outfield problems, the market for Bourn is thin. Seattle and the Mets figure to be the only players in the Bourn market at this point. If the Mets have to lose the 11th pick, you can all but count them out. Seattle already has too many outfielders at this point, so they’d have to trade someone to make Bourn fit on the 40-man roster.
Closer to home, the Hudson Valley Renegades announced the coaching staff for 2013. Jared Sandberg, who managed the team to a New York-Penn League title in 2012, earned a promotion to full season Class-A Bowling Green of the Midwest League.
Michael Johns, who had managed rookie-level Princeton (W. Va.) the last three seasons, is the Renegades’ new skipper. Steve Watson is the new pitching coach. Dan DeMent will return as bench coach.
Your thoughts on the Marcum signing and the failure to retain Hairston? A bit of good news and bad news? Let me know on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery.