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Wrapping up the winter meetings wrapping up

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With the winter meetings wrapping up, some items of note...

T.R. Sullivan blogs on Brad Penny, Jon Lieber, and Joaquin Arias, among others...

Ken Rosenthal says that the Mets are after Dan Haren, not Rich Harden, from the A's rotation...

Kevin Goldstein reviews the Rule 5 draft...

And The Royals signed Gil Meche to a 5 year, $55 million deal.

You know, I don't like the Meche deal...but in a weird sort of way, I can understand it.

The Royals aren't a marquee team. They are bad, small market, and no one wants to play there. The past few years, even when they decided to spend money on free agents, it was to get guys like Doug Mientkiciwzala4oH:;a;0z or Mark Grudzelanik, guys who didn't cost a whole lot, but who weren't going to make the team better.

Now, if we assume that the Royals aren't going to be able to land Barry Zito, how can they spend money in the free agency market without throwing it down ratholes of proven mediocrity?

Well...one possible solution would be to find a pitcher with ace potential, a guy who was one of the best young pitchers in baseball a few years back, and give him a contract for more, and longer, than anyone else.

Dayton Moore is rolling the dice on Meche turning back into the pitcher it once looked like he would be. If Meche does, he's a bargain at $11 million per year. If Meche doesn't...well, it is money down a rathole, but at least it isn't being spent on someone like Michael Tucker.

Again, I don't like it...but for a team like the Royals, it makes a certain amount of sense.