EVENTUALLY THE RAYS PLAYERS WILL BE COMPENSATING THE ORGANIZATION FOR THEIR TIME
"It's not a reaction to another team's trade as much as we think if we got the right starting pitcher, the right first baseman and a little more bullpen help that we can contend again. That was the only goal… It's just a real good old-fashioned baseball trade that often doesn't get made with the volume of people involved and for the right reasons for both organizations."
—Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry on trading starter Chris Archer, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer to the Rays for Matt Garza, outfielder Fernando Perez, and reliever Zach Rosscup.
"Major-league payroll is always going to fluctuate, but the key is maintaining a talent level that allows us to compete with teams that can go out and spend more than $100 million on a single player. So we need to be able to compete this year, and we need to be able to look out for the next several years and know that we're going to have the talent to compete in this division."
—Rays president Matthew Silverman on the deal.
"We're not giving away the farm to try to win in one year. That couldn't be farther from the truth with a guy like Matt Garza. I want him just to keep improving, keep doing what he's been doing. Let's hope he has another league championship series MVP in him."
—Hendry on Garza.
"It's essential for us as we try to maintain success in an increasingly hostile economic climate within baseball."
—Rays general manager Andrew Friedman on adding talent to the farm system. (Marc Topkin, St. Petersburg Times)
MAYBE THEY CAN MOVE MICHAEL YOUNG TO BENCH COACH IN TIME FOR 2012
"We went to the outer limits of where we were comfortable… We're not going to be able to go out and get that ace. At least not right now. So how do we best position the club? Well, let's have the best bullpen we can have – we tried to upgrade there. Let's keep all our young arms and young talent."
—Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on acquiring third baseman Adrian Beltre on the Ben & Skin Show.
"We felt like if we sat back and did nothing, other teams would pass us by. We have the utmost respect for the other top teams in the American League and we had to try to get better overall. We feel like this helps us do that."
—Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine on spending the team's money.
"I said, 'Julio, there are traditions in the game, and I've got good news and bad news. The bad news is that the veteran player gets the number. The good news is that I am your advocate in negotiating with a very wealthy player to get you a very nice watch.'"
—Scott Boras, agent of Adrian Beltre and Julio Borbon, on what he told Borbon about Beltre taking the outfielder's #29.
"It's clear that I want to play with the Rangers. That's the only part of how this is viewed that's important to me. I'm willing to make some pretty big sacrifices. This move is pretty significant in terms of my career path. How it's viewed is not going to be important to me in terms of my job. And now my focus is on how I can best do that job."
—Rangers designated hitter Michael Young. (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)
GO GET US ANOTHER SLADE HEATHCOTT
"Once Cliff Lee came off the board, I called Damon and said, 'You're going to have your No. 1 pick, you're in the hunt for a first-round pick.' It's a strong draft and I'm going to leave that pick to Damon and his staff for another good pick. That pick is going to be a Yankee player."
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on what he told director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer.
"I will not lose our No. 1 draft pick. I would have for Cliff Lee. I won't lose our No. 1 draft pick for anyone else. Talking about somebody doesn't characterize a level of interest in any guy. And obviously this winter we've done a lot of talking."
—Cashman on his reported interest in signing Type A free agent Rafael Soriano.
"We never got off the dime, but strong impressions were that it would be something that would cost us more because we are in the division, kind of like Roy Halladay. We like Matt Garza and I had a conversation early in the winter and it was clear that what it would take would be more significant than I wanted to do. And there was also reluctance from them to trading within the division."
—Cashman on whether he was interested in Matt Garza. (Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News)
JON HEYMAN IS FORCED TO TASTE HIS OWN SALTY TEARS
"I'm kind of a baseball geek. I love going on Baseball-Reference.com. I always looked at numbers, even as a young kid coming up. I admired Walter Johnson and Cy Young."
—former MLB starter Bert Blyleven, on getting elected to the Hall of Fame.
"It was something out of my hands. Last year, I was so close. This year, I expected to make it, but not with that many votes."
—former MLB second baseman Roberto Alomar, on getting elected.
"It's been 14 years of praying and waiting. I'd like to thank the Baseball Writers of America for, I'd like to say, finally getting it right."
"I'm very, very happy for him. It's overdue. I'm not going to comment on why he didn't get elected the first time. But I forgave him. Maybe the rest of the world has."
—MLB umpire John Hirshbeck on his support for Alomar. (Dan Martin, New York Post)
ANDRE DAWSON JUST SPIT OUT HIS FRUITY PEBBLES
"Guys like me are not going to get in real easily. They're good numbers, but I saw Andre Dawson wait years, and his numbers and mine are fairly comparable. He took that long to get in, which I think is absolutely disgusting also, but that's what's going to happen."
—former Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, after receiving 41.7 percent of the vote.
"Baseball has historically been held to a very high standard, right or wrong. There's a certain integrity required when it comes to baseball's highest honor, which is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The character clause exists as it relates to the game on the field. The character clause isn't there to evaluate and judge players socially. It's there to relate to the game on the field. The voters should have the freedom to measure that however they see fit."
—Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson in a conversation with Joe Posnanski.
"I wasn't really worried about it. Guys are going to vote that way. It's just the way it is. I promise you: I am not disappointed. I'm happy to get that many votes. I've done everything that I can on the baseball field. I can't change people's opinions and how they see my career. I'm OK with that. I've done everything that I can on the baseball field. I can't change people's opinions and how they see my career. I'm OK with that. You can't ask for anything more than to get inducted into the Hall of Fame."
—Bagwell. (Tom Krasovic, Fanhouse)
THE OPPOSITE OF HIS APPROACH AT THE PLATE
"I'd love to see the percentage go up instead of down. That's not what you want to see in second year. I didn't have very high expectations. That's my approach."
—former Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez, after receiving 32.9 percent of the vote.
"When you're in a plane, you're in the hands of the pilot. You have no control."
—former Mets reliever John Franco, after receiving 4.6 percent of the vote.
"It would be like a trophy, I guess, the final trophy. I'd be very honored to be there. But I've also got so many things to be grateful for and appreciative of. I think you've got to keep the big picture in mind, because you could let this thing take control of you. I've seen other guys say some things that I don't think they really even meant."
—former Tigers starter Jack Morris, after receiving 53.5 percent of the vote. (Tom Gage, Detroit News)
"There were definitely times when I thought, 'Am I just beating my head against the wall? Should I be going back to school? Should I be considering other options at this point? … There were a couple of nights when I was lying in bed just trying to imagine myself in different uniforms. I just kept seeing myself as a Met, and I just had a really good gut feeling about it. The opportunity for me, and for the Mets, I think was just a really good fit right now."
—Mets starter Chris Capuano. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)
"I have a hard time understanding how I've fallen so far off the map. I don't know too many people who could have done what I've done considering the circumstances. Seems as if I'm being penalized instead of applauded. It's not sour grapes. My place is more important to be here raising the kids, but for me personally, I wasn't quite done. My skills haven't diminished. The last three or four years of my career were wrought with a tough situation off the field. In retrospect, I'm actually amazed I was able to perform at all."
—former MLB reliever Scott Schoeneweis on handling the death of his wife. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
"He's one of the smartest guys I've met in baseball, and obviously he got a good educational foundation from Princeton. But he's more than just smart; he's logical, which in baseball can be much more valuable than just being smart. And he never rubs your nose in it that he went to an Ivy League school, which is so often the case."
—Mets starter R.A. Dickey, on free agent starter Chris Young. (David Waldstein, The New York Times)
"That's such an anti-gay environment, and it's always been. My first thought is, part of me feels horrible that Buck was in a situation where he couldn't be who he was, and the other part of me is, that he's such a pain in the ass that that's who he's always been."
—former MLB starter Curt Schilling, on gay Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley's decades in major league clubhouses. (The Big Show, WEEI.com)
"Everybody's so emotional up there. I feel like if you say anything, everyone reacts. I know that's what you're trying to do, but it's just like you see where I'm at down here."
—free agent starter Andy Pettitte, on the New York media and fans. (Brian Costello, New York Post)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.