With the budgets set, Chicago wasted no time in getting two deals done that had been rumored to be in the works.
Chicago Snake Tamers and Houston Riverdogs
Chicago gets: IF Hideki Martin, RP Pablo Santana
Houston gets: 1B Don Walsh, RP Achilles Hume
Skinny: An interesting deal, as Santana is the only player involved who is not arbitration-eligible and all 4 players have upside, but each is a bit of a gamble in some way. Martin's only season in Houston was arguably his best since season 2 back in Huntington. Santana has a decent arm but has yet to put it together at the ML level. Walsh probably should have been dealt a few seasons back- he had a dynamite rookie campaign in season 3 but ended up losing his job the next season. Hume has been a closer, but his ERA was a bit high last season.
Chicago Snake Tamers and Trenton Traffic
Chicago gets: LF/1B Rico Valdes, IF Duffy Brewington
Trenton gets: RP Bernie Corino, RP Darrell Melton (AA)
Skinny: Chicago wants Valdes to get on base so Simpson, Hernandez, and company can drive him in. He could provide a new dimension to the offense. Brewington is a nice complementary player- he'll back up a lot of positions. Trenton was looking to cut payroll and rebuild the bullpen- it looks like they've done both with this deal. Corino is a fairly good arm out of the pen, and their scouts think Melton will be even better than Corino.
These two deals are likely just the tip of the iceberg. Big-time names such as Toronto CF Dewey Greenwood, Norfolk SP Babe Broadhurst, Trenton SP Johnnie Reagan, and Washington 2B David Rushford are all rumored to be on the market. An unnamed source in the Trenton organization (speaking on the condition of anonymity) has stated that at least 2 teams have inquired about Reagan, and similar reports are coming out of Norfolk about Broadhurst. No word in either case as to if any team in particular can be considered a front-runner to land either starter.