Keppinger, Chavez, Blanton & Bay move at meetings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels added starter Joe Blanton and reliever Sean Burnett to their retooled pitching staff. Jeff Keppinger found a new home, as did Eric Chavez.
The big deals, meanwhile, remained on deck at baseball's winter meetings.
Jason Bay, Randy Choate, Nate Schierholtz and a diamond full of players wound up in different places Wednesday, while top contenders waited for a pair of free-agent prizes to make their decisions.
The lone trade was minor, with Detroit sending left-hander Andy Oliver to Pittsburgh for a young catcher.
Former MVP Josh Hamilton and former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke remained in play. They're the driving forces in this market and depending on where they go more moves are likely to follow.
Texas would like to re-sign Hamilton, at the right price. The slugger was in Nashville this week but has left, and his agent met with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on Tuesday night.
"Obviously, one of the bigger dominoes," Daniels said. "Trying to get the first one to fall."
New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey keeps drawing attention. He lives near the Opryland Hotel and dropped in for a visit, though there's no change in his situation. Signed for next season, he wants a new contract, while several clubs, including Boston, want to trade for the reigning NL Cy Young winner.
In the meantime, some deals loomed. No telling if any of them will get done before the meetings end Thursday with the Rule 5 draft for players left off 40-man rosters.
"We wondered if one of the guys went off, (if) it would speed up. We'll see," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. "It seems like it may be moving a little bit."
Also in the mix: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, amid speculation Arizona is trying to get him in a multi-team swap.
All-Star third baseman David Wright of the New York Mets became the first player to step up to the brightly lit podium in the press room. Standing at the spot where trades and signings are usually announced, his appearance was expected.
Wright was in town to talk about his $138 million, eight-year contract, the largest in team history. The lifetime .301 hitter is a six-time All-Star and turns 30 in two weeks. A Mets fan growing up, Wright said he wanted to spend his entire career with the club.
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