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December 10, 2012

The Week in Quotes

December 3-9

by Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum, Andrew Koo and Matthew Rocco

A-ROD BRACES FOR SURGERY
“I am fully committed to a very hard road back. We've done it before in '09 and it was a great result, both on a personal level and on a team level, more importantly. I take it as a great challenge and I'm excited for the challenge.”
—Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who will have surgery on his left hip in January and could be out until the All-Star break. (ESPN.com)

“I'm not concerned. I'm actually, in many ways, relieved that there's something tangible that we can go fix.”
—Rodriguez, whose abysmal performance in the 2012 playoffs—he hit .120 (3-for-25) with no RBI—was likely impacted by his ailing hip.

TWINS TRADE ANOTHER OUTFIELDER, ACQUIRE MORE PITCHING
“I don't think we are taking steps back. We are trying to take steps forward. I would understand if someone did equate it into taking a step back, [but] we aren't going to take a step forward until we get pitching.”
—Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who traded his second outfielder in less than two weeks for pitching help. On Thursday, Ryan shipped Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May, just days after sending Denard Span to the Washington Nationals. (La Velle E. Neal, Minnesota Star Tribune)

“At least I finished my workout here before I got traded. It was a great workout, too. Then I got the call from [Phillies general manager] Ruben Amaro Jr. I was like, 'Aw, man. Hey, it was a great workout. Nice working with you.’ ”
—Worley, who was working out at Citizens Bank Park when he was informed of the trade.

“May has a lot of stuff.  He's got four pitches and plenty of velocity. He's got everything you look for, size and strength and durability."
—Ryan, giving a scouting report on his newest asset.

WILL R.A. STAY OR BE SENT AWAY?
“We’re moving forward on two tracks. You shouldn’t assume that we’re waiting for a better trade offer. We’re also still exploring bringing R.A. back. It’s a combination of those things.”
—Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, on the team's plans for pitcher R.A. Dickey, who has one year remaining on his contract. (Andy McCullough, The Star-Ledger)

“I don’t think it’s had a direct impact on all of the conversations we’ve had.”
—Alderson, on whether Zack Greinke had an impact on trade talks. Greinke agreed to an offer from the Dodgers on Saturday.

“I'm hoping to be here man. I love it here ... [But] Sandy Alderson has a job to do. He’s paid to make the Mets better. I have to try and be as professional as I can and try to understand that.”
—Dickey (Yahoo! Sports)

SIGNINGS GALORE DURING WINTER MEETINGS WEEK
“If the Nationals were competitive with what other teams were offering, the Nationals were the best fit for me. When the Nationals showed interest, I was really zeroed in on them. … In regards to my health, I know it was a question for a lot of people. If it makes you feel any better, there were lots of teams that were interested in my services. I think I have a lot to prove this year. … I’m 100 percent confident I’ll be healthy this year.”
—Pitcher Dan Haren, who signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals last week. (Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post)

“Our primary goal is to have him here as part of the solution. We’re a big believer in his talent, as well as his character, so we think he'll be a positive influence on our younger pitchers and will be a real stabilizer for our bullpen. We’re not signing him at all with the intent to trade him. Obviously, we’ll see happens. Hopefully the team performs well and he’s pitching very important games for us.”
—Cubs president Theo Epstein, on signing Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9 million contract. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)

“From that day on, in my head it was Cubs, Cubs, Cubs.”
—Fujikawa, talking about his meeting with team management a couple weeks ago. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)

“It's not like you're getting a straight situational lefty. This guy can handle left-handed hitters, he can handle the turnarounds, he's got a solid sinkerball, and he can attack. He's funky, he's tough to pick up, he puts the ball on the ground. It's a nice package for a left-hander, and like I said, I think he fits us very well.”
—Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto, who signed lefty reliever Sean Burnett to a two-year, $8 million deal. He also signed starter Joe Blanton to a two-year, $15 million contract. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

“We are excited to welcome Hyun-Jin Ryu to Los Angeles and the United States, continuing the tradition of Korean pitchers with the Dodger organization. The Dodgers continue to show the commitment to signing players from Asia and other international areas where baseball is played at the highest levels. We are looking forward to watching Ryu pitch for the franchise.”
—Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, on signing Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to a six-year, $36 million contract. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“Congratulations to the Dodgers and Ryu on this great signing. I'm excited to see him carry on the tradition of great international pitchers in Dodger blue and have Ryu represent Korean baseball in the United States.”
—Newly retired and former Dodger Chan Ho Park.

“I am glad we were able to put this together and bring Jason back to the Northwest to continue his baseball career. This is a good opportunity for Jason as well as the Seattle Mariners. Jason has a history of being a productive major-league player and has participated in post-season play. We look forward to adding his experience to our young group of players.”
—Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, on signing Jason Bay to a one-year, $1 million contract. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)

TWITTER

—All the pitchers want to be caught by A.J. Ellis. (A.J. Ellis, @AJEllis17; Bill Plunkett, @billplunkettocr, The Orange County Register)

—Seattle was in the thick of several rumors during the Winter Meetings, but GM Jack Zduriencik chose not to pull any triggers, unless the addition of Jason Bay qualifies. (David Laurila, @DavidLaurilaQA, FanGraphs)

—It’s not uncommon for players like Perez to go to the Winter Meetings to find coaching jobs after their playing days are over, or even to suit up for one more go at playing. And with Justin Ruggiano’s endorsement, Perez is probably sifting through the offers as you read. (Marc Topkin, @TBTimes_Rays, Tampa Bay Times; Justin Ruggiano, @justinruggiano, Miami Marlins)

—Doesn’t R.A. Dickey throw a little too hard to call Target Field home? (Darren Wolfson, @DarrenWolfson, 1500 ESPN Twin Cities)

—Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson knows his way around a sentence. The Mets aren’t advertising with billboards, but tune in to next week’s “30 Rock” to see Jack Donaghy talk about Dickey’s rising value despite his age. #productintegration

—No, the press conference didn’t end after that, as awesome as that would have been.

Jose Valverde, 2013 AL Cy Young. (Craig Calcaterra, @craigcalcaterra, HardballTalk)

Pedro Martinez on Roger Clemens. Pedro is apparently done tipping his cap and calling the Yankees his daddy. (Peter Abraham, @PeteAbe, Boston Globe)

—Apparently David Price doesn’t think Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard count as “other prospects.” (David Price, @DAVIDprice14, Tampa Bay Rays)

THE REST
“Clearly, this brings a wonderful package to what we're trying to do here in Philadelphia. One, [Young is] a very, very good ballplayer. He has a tremendous track record. I know that last year was not his best year, but after talking to the scouts and discussing it intently with the rest of our front office, we felt like this is an excellent person to bring to our club. [Young] has all the elements we're looking for. First of all, the make-up is extraordinary. He's the ultimate team player. He knows how to play baseball. He's a winning baseball player. He's had the opportunity to be in big games in the playoffs and he just fits real well.”
—Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro on acquiring Michael Young from the Rangers. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

“We went through a medical exam on him and reviewed all his history. ... Pitchers get injured, and it's risky. But we're very confident in where he is right now.”
—Rockies senior VP of major league operations Bill Geivett, on newly acquired reliever Wilton Lopez. The Astros received Alex White and Alex Gillingham in return. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)

Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jonah's other articles. You can contact Jonah by clicking here
Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here

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