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The New York Mets signed both John Rauch and Frank Francisco away from the Blue Jays, for $3.5 million/1 year and $12 million/2 years. Rauch and Francisco were both type B free agents that were offered arbitration, so the Blue Jays will receive two compensatory picks in the second round for losing them.
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The Jays complete their second trade in a week, shipping out Nestor Molina, the team's 6th best prospect according to, well, us. Molina goes to the south side of Chicago to join the White Sox. In return the Blue Jays reacquire Sergio Santos, who hit .183 for the team in AAA in 2008 before being claimed on waivers by the Twins. He then signed with the White Sox who converted him to a pitcher, a role in which he's been very, very good.
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We talked recently about having bauxites register their opinion of a trade so that when the second guessing starts we have a record of opinions at the time of the trade.

Please discuss the specifics of the trade in the dedicated thread, use this one for your opinion, like, dislike, meh?

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Today is day one of the winter meetings, this year in Dallas.  The baseball scribes are expecting a lot of activity this week now that the new CBA has been agreed to.  Expect free agent signings and trades galore.  But don't be surprised if not much happens.  Our own AA is not a big fan of these meetings, he has said you can get more done via texts and phone calls in your office than you do at the meetings.  But the meetings are good for PR and baseball knows PR.

Richard Griffin caught up with AA as he arrived yesterday and he has some interesting quotes.

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MLB's Winter Meetings won't even start until tomorrow morning here in Dallas/Fort Worth, but the first Big Splash has already been made down in Florida. As of now, arguably the two best shortstops in the National League now play for (former shortstop) Ozzie Guillen's re-monikered Miami Marlins

The Marlins and former Met shortstop Jose Reyes agreed to terms on a six-year, $106 million deal Sunday, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney. Apparently, current Marlin shortstop Hanley Ramirez will move to the hot corner, where -- speculation persists -- the Marlins hope to have him across the diamond from one Albert Pujols in the next week or so.

The three biggest everyday offensive forces on this year's market are a Prince (Fielder), a King (Albert) and multiple kings (that's the translation for "reyes") ... can the Marlins complete a "royal" flush? And what do you Bauxites think of this move?


Breaking news, just before the baseball meetings next week in Dallas. The Jays have traded Brad Mills to the Angels for Jeff Mathis according to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter.
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According to The Baseball Page, Jayson Stark has tweetified that the Miami Marlins have agreed to a three-year $27 million deal with "proven closer" Heath Bell, pending the requisite physical, which he is expected to take Friday.

At this time, this item has not yet appeared on any of the "major' sports news sites yet ... see it? Share a link!

Via tne ...
Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that Bobby Valentine will be named Red Sox manager. "Valentine was offered the job Tuesday and accepted it. Valentine, who appeared at a charity event in Japan on Monday, is scheduled to fly back home at midnight ET Wednesday."
The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired 25 year-old infielder Luis Valbuena from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations according to

Luis Valbuena manning second base for the Cleveland Indians against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Energy Field August 2, 2009. 

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The Texas Rangers, according to multiple local (North Texas) reports, has signed veteran closer Joe Nathan to a two-year deal, $7 million deal with an option for a third year.

Per friend of Batter's Box Jamey Newberg, "As long as Nathan is healthy, Neftali Feliz is your newest Texas Rangers starting pitcher."

Nathan had been rumored to both the Tigers and Twins, but ESPN DFW has the story here.