LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Normally in this space, you'd be reading the annual, ever-popular Winter Meetings Winners and Losers recap you look forward to all offseason.
Sorry. Not this year.
Can't do it. So much happened the week before the winter meetings, it wouldn't be fair to grade just the goings-on of the past four days.
"Last week was so nuts," one National League executive said, "we couldn't possibly top it."
So this is the annual winners and losers recap, but we're also including the deals and signings that led up to the winter meetings. So everyone got that? Cool. Now heeeeeere we go:
"Most years," said one exec, "you wait out a guy like Scott Feldman until January and get a sweet deal. This year, if you wanted a guy like that, you just went in and got him. When we look back at this winter, the Tim Hudson signing (two years, $23 million, by the Giants) is going to look like a thing of beauty."
• Washington Nationals -- We always try to remember not to grade any team's offseason by looking for the team that wrote the biggest checks. And no team embodies why more than the Nationals. Doug Fister may not be David Price, but the Nats' trade with Detroit to get him was "the best deal of the winter," one exec said. Nate McLouth may not be Shin-Soo Choo, but the Nationals needed a left-handed-hitting outfielder who could play left, center or right -- and McLouth was a perfect fit. Jerry Blevins may not be Aroldis Chapman, but the team needed another left-hander in the bullpen -- and trading for him beat spending $10 million on J.P. Howell.
"I really like what they've done," an AL executive said. "They're not big, big moves. But that's a really good team that got better. They should have been better than they were last year. But I bet this year is different. I bet they won't take it for granted this year that they're destined to play in October."