The winter meetings heated up even more Wednesday, with Milwaukee landing pitchers Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins, Baltimore acquiring Kevin Millwood in a trade with Texas, and the Yankees completing the three-team, seven-player swap that brought them All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson.
New York also re-signed postseason star Andy Pettitte, and Houston reeled in hard-throwing reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Florida Marlins on the next-to-last-day of the four-day annual session.
As always, money overshadowed everything, with some teams prepared to pay for top talent and others set to slice payroll.
“We are making some adjustments and it’s a business decision,” Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said after dealing Granderson to the Yankees and All-Star pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks.
Detroit obtained lefty reliever Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson from the Yankees, plus touted young pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from Arizona. The Diamondbacks also got right-hander Ian Kennedy from New York.
Baltimore will receive about $3 million from Texas along with Millwood, while the cash-strapped Rangers get a player to be named. The money offsets part of the former All-Star’s $12 million salary.
“Our job is to identify motivated buyers and motivated sellers,” said Andy MacPhail, Orioles president of baseball operations.
Millwood, who lives in Texas, heads to a team coming off its 12th straight losing season. He was 13-10 with a 3.67 ERA and three complete games this year.
Relief pitcher Chris Ray and a player to be named head to the Rangers, a club in the process of being sold. Ray, 28 next month, was 0-4 with a 7.27 ERA in 46 games and has struggled since elbow surgery two years ago.
Milwaukee, trying to rebound from an 80-82 record and third-place finish in the NL Central, agreed to a $29.75 million, three-year contract with Wolf and a $7.5 million, two-year deal with Hawkins. Both agreements are subject to completion of final details, two people familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcements had been made.
Wolf, a 33-year-old left-hander, was 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA this year in the lone season of his second stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hawkins, a right-hander who turns 37 on Dec. 21, went 1-4 with a 2.13 ERA and 11 saves for Houston.
Pettitte got an $11.75 million, one-year contract, up from a $5.5 million base with $5 million in earned bonuses last season. The 37-year-old left-hander was 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA in 32 regular-season starts and 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA in five postseason starts. He became the first pitcher to start and win the clincher in all three postseason rounds.
“How could you finish any better?” said Pettitte, who contemplated retirement before deciding: “Let’s do it another year.”
The three most prominent free agents remained unsigned – pitcher John Lackey and outfielders Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.
On other fronts, Florida got two low-level minor leaguers, right-hander Robert Bono and infielder Luis Bryan, for Lindstrom, who went 2-1 with 15 saves in 17 chances and a 5.89 ERA last season.