Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Reynolds and Shaun Marcum switched leagues yesterday as teams started trading at baseball's winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Cliff Lee's agent showed up, too, but said no telling when his prize pitcher might sign.
The Boston Red Sox completed their trade for Gonzalez, getting the All-Star first baseman from San Diego for minor league pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Reymond Fuentes and a player to be named.
Baltimore added a big bat - and a bunch of strikeouts - by acquiring Reynolds from Arizona for righthanded relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio.
The Milwaukee Brewers boosted their rotation, getting righthander Shaun Marcum from the Toronto Blue Jays for Canadian infield prospect Brett Lawrie.
Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, met with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Texas is trying to re-sign the ace lefty. Other teams are interested, but their pursuits aren't nearly so public.
"There's always clubs that kind of lay in the weeds," Braunecker said. "To me, you're talking about the best player on the market."
A day after Washington gave free-agent outfielder Jayson Werth a whopping $126 million, 7-year deal, several teams took the trade route.
The Red Sox got the 28-year-old Gonzalez, a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover. He hit .298 with 31 homers and 101 RBI last season.
"I'm very excited to be in Boston and ready to beat the Yanks," Gonzalez said at Fenway Park.
San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer, who previously worked for the Red Sox under GM Theo Epstein, said the Padres were sure they wouldn't have been able to sign Gonzalez after 2011. So, they decided to make a deal now, rather than risk waiting until next summer.
"There's plenty of examples of trades at the deadline where a team didn't get nearly what they thought they'd get simply because the market didn't develop or because of injuries," Hoyer said. "With that in mind, I felt like this was the right time to do it."
Reynolds is taking his big swings to Baltimore. There is no doubt the third baseman can hit the ball a long way - when he hits it, that is.
Reynolds has averaged nearly 35 homers for the last 3 years. He also has struck out more than 200 times in each of those seasons - those are the three highest strikeout totals in major league history.
"He brings some things we don't have," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You can find negatives on any player. We certainly like his contact-to-damage ratio. We're going to dwell on all the positive things he does."
The Brewers were thrilled to get Marcum, who started for the Blue Jays on Opening Day last season and went 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA. The trade certainly carried a Canadian theme - Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin and Toronto counterpart Alex Anthopoulos both were born north of the border.
Other names in circulation: San Francisco might become interested in Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett to fill its shortstop hole, the Cubs hired Mark Riggins as their pitching coach and the New York Mets interviewed Andy Van Slyke as a possible hitting coach.