2011 Winter Meetings: Winners and Losers

The Albert signing is a win and a loss for the Los Angeles Angels. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

After a quiet offseason, some sparks flew this week as a general managers, agents, media and many other baseball people met in Dallas during the MLB Winter Meetings. Actually, fireworks is probably a more appropriate term in some cases. Not everyone will look back on this week with a smile though. Who will emerge as the winners and losers from this year's meetings?

Winners

Los Angeles Angels - Anytime you add one of the best hitters of all-time to your lineup and the best pitcher on the free agent market to a strong rotation, its hard to complain. These moves have significantly increased the Angels' ability to win the American League West over the next few seasons.

Mark Buehrle - Who the hell expected Mark Buehrle to get four years and $58 million? I certainly didn't. Not only does he get the long-term contract and big money, but he is "reunited" with manager Ozzie Guillen and he gets to move to Miami.

St. Louis Cardinals - You might call it crazy, but I call it ironic. The sting of losing Albert Pujols will linger for a while - maybe even a season or two for Cardinals fans. After a while though, they'll breath a sigh of relief knowing that they didn't have to commit ten years and $254 million to one player.

And the irony continues...

Losers

Los Angeles Angels - As good as Albert Pujols is, there isn't a successful track record of ten year deals given out to 32 year olds. Just ask the New York Yankees how they feel about Alex Rodriguez and the six years remaining on his deal. The early portion of the Pujols deal will be great, but I won't envy the latter half.

Miami Marlins - The Marlins said that they were going to spend money this offseason and they weren't lying apparently. Aside from Jose Reyes (and the residing concern over his hamstring issues) though, the only big moves were to overpay for Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. That's a lot of mass, but not much muscle.

Oakland A's fans - It's not necessarily the Trevor Cahill trade that A's fans should be upset about specifically, but the fact that Billy Beane was willing to move him signals that he was genuine about embarking on another a rebuilding effort. Speaking of which, how do you rebuild when there was nothing to tear down in the first place?

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