WHO WANTS TO HIT IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE?
"I don't think anyone thought this was possible without trading Prince (Fielder)."
–Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun on his team trading eremy Jeffress, Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar to the Royals for Zach Greinke.
"You know what? It's a nice compliment that the Royals thought highly enough of Jake to include him in the deal. It's quite flattering and Jake takes it as a compliment. I think the Royals have a quality player and person. Zack Greinke is a Cy Young winner who had a phenomenal year."
–Jake Odorizzi's agent Jason Wood.
"This is sort of a 'now' deal. But I told Zack Greinke this: 'It feels like we got CC Sabathia but we got him for two years, and maybe even longer. That's the difference. He's excited about coming here. He's motivated."
–Brewers general manager Doug Melvin.
"Excited would be a severe understatement. It just shows the players, the fans, once again the commitment to winning from our ownership and management. It's really exciting. We just got one of the best players in baseball and I can't wait to get started."
–Braun. (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)
TIME TO DEFAULT ON THAT LITTLE ROCK CONDO NOLAN
"I think the intensity that you can feel when you get in the game – you can feel the volume. Every game has got an elevated feel to it compared to everywhere else. It's completely different. I don't know what the fans do to create that much more volume and excitement in the stadium, but it's definitely something extra here. I don't know what it is, but it's something they're doing. They get excited. They're passionate fans. They understand what's going on. They don't need a teleprompter to tell them to get up and cheer. It's exciting. It's an historic town. I didn't realize until I got here how interesting the city is. My family really liked it. I mean, that played a big part in it."
–Cliff Lee on signing with the Phillies.
"I don't believe there's any environment he's afraid to pitch in. I don't think New York was something he didn't want to go to. These are attractive places to play. Cliff made a decision I'm sure wasn't easy. I'm happy to at least be in the process."
–Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
"Jayson (Werth) had signed with the Nationals and we went from dipping our toe in to dipping our feet in."
–Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro on how he made the move for Lee at the eleventh hour.
"There's so many things that are so great. How easy it is to get from Point A to Point B. Even in Dallas, where we were staying, it was hard to get to the ballpark because of traffic. It was so hot in the summer. The food. The food is great. It's a fun city. If you want to go out and have fun for a few hours, you can do that. The cultural experiences for our kids. I just think it's easy to live here."
–Cliff's wife Kristen Lee.
"I didn't think it was a real possibility, considering the other options I had in front of me. It's a good team. It's a good environment. They sell out every game here. It's a good group of guys. It's a close-knit group. It's going to be a special team. I think with what we've got on paper and with the personalities that are around, the guys on this team, good things are going to happen."
–Lee. (Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Inquirer)
THRILLS A HALF EMPTY OAKLAND COLISEUM IN JUNE COULD NEVER PROVIDE
"Our motivation is the continued desire to upgrade our offense, particularly from the right side of the plate. We just thought Josh was too good of a player to pass up at this juncture."
–Athletics general manager Billy Beane, on trading Henry Rodriguez and Corey Brown to the Nationals for Josh Willingham.
"When he plays long toss, the coach has to use a fungo to get it back to him."
–Nationals first base coach Dan Radison, on Henry Rodriguez's velocity.
"There's no getting around the fact he's a unique talent with a 100-mph fastball. But we knew we'd have to give up something and felt at this time the attraction of bringing Josh on board was not something we can pass on. He is a unique talent though, and we're prepared for him to go on and have an outstanding career. We think we're better. If anything, we're deeper and more balanced. Are there some shortcomings? Sure, but that's going to happen in this marketplace. We're not going to have the perfect club with our payroll capabilities. But it is better and it'll also be deeper with some guys coming back."
–Beane on parting with Rodriguez. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)
NIPPING THAT ERIC HOSMER-MIKE MOUSTAKAS FEUD IN THE BUD WITH AN INJECTION OF CHARACTER
"It was a great fit. I don't look at it as just one year. I don't want to come here, have a great year and say, 'See ya,' and go somewhere else. I'd like to be here for a while and see this thing turn around, see us start winning games and get a chance to go to the playoffs."
–Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur, on signing with the team.
"The more passionate people are, the better leaders they are – and he's someone that's demonstrated that his whole career. He's exactly what our organization needs as we bring in a lot of young players. It makes perfect sense for us."
–Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
"For me, it works here. I know this ballpark can play big at times, so I'll hit 40, 45 doubles. If you drive the ball gap-to-gap these days with the wood and the athletes being big and strong, I don't think the ball will have a problem going out if you hit it."
–Francoeur. (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)
RONNY PAULINO DIDN'T GET YOU TO RUN SCREAMING TO THE BOX OFFICE?
"We have made some acquisitions. Not big-time acquisitions. Not headline acquisitions, but people we felt could help us… They haven't been overwhelming moves, but they have been moves, more subtle and pointed than headline-grabbing. We also have a lot of time between now and the beginning of spring training."
–Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
"Well, I'd like to hear from him first. But, to reiterate, he and I have been friends for a long time. I have great respect for him as a baseball person. There's always room for somebody with his capabilities."
–Alderson, on whether Omar Minaya has a future with the Mets.
"You can either get rid of him now, or wait until spring training, give them a look, see if they come in better shape, better attitude, better results."
–Alderson, on his plans for Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. (Mike Francesa, WFAN.com)
"I said our budget for 2011 was going to be higher than it was last year and this indicates I wasn't lying."
–Padres general manager Jed Hoyer on signing Orlando Hudson and trading for Jason Bartlett. (Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune)
"That offer from the Giants was a lack of respect. A total disrespect. To play for a million dollars, I'd rather stay with my private business and share more time with my family. Thank God I'm well off financially and my money is well invested."
–free agent shortstop Edgar Renteria, on a $1 million offer from the Giants. (Enrique Rojas, ESPN.com)
"It's crazy. I paid [$183 million] for the team [in 2003], and now we're talking $142 million for one player? Seven years on a player is a huge risk financially. His greatest asset is speed, and he's a very skilled athlete who would have fit perfectly in left field for us. But we didn't look at him as a power hitter in our stadium."
–Angels owner Arte Moreno on losing out on Carl Crawford. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)
"I have talked to a number of a number of general managers, I have talked to agents and I have talked to anybody who I thought might be able to help us prepare for this. We want to do everything we can to make Tsuyoshi and his wife comfortable here. At the same time, we are a very close team and one of the things we expressed throughout the negotiations was that we're a family. We do not want a family of two, being one player and an interpreter, and then a group of 24. We are still looking to maintain a group, a family of 25 guys in the clubhouse."
–Twins general manager Bill Smith on signing Tsuyoshi Nishioka. (Kelly Thesier, MLB.com)
"We've kind of addressed all our needs. Our last two were backup catcher and we needed a right-handed bat. It's not to say that we won't add any more pieces before the start of the season, but if we had to start today we're pretty comfortable with where we're at."
–Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers, on if he's finished making moves. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.