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First Big Deal

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The Tigers and Braves just consummated the first trade of the off-season. Edgar Renteria goes to Detroit for two prospects, which means two shortstops we've mentioned as possible replacements for Omar Vizquel -- Renteria and the 25-year-old Yuniel Escobar, who now takes over the starting job in Atlanta -- are probably off the table.

The news also produced this memorable quote from new Braves GM Frank Wren, who just took over for John Schuerholz: "John is the president of the club, and you deal with him like any club president," Wren said. "You inform him what you are doing, but don't necessarily give him a blow by blow."

Good thing, otherwise it would make for some awkward office politics. There was another quote from the story I found interesting: "The Tigers don't wait around for the winter meetings, when all the owners and agents get involved," All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez told The Associated Press. "We got Sheffield early last year and now we got Renteria right away."

Given the circus of the winter meetings -- according to this story, they now have an official corporate sponsor -- I wonder if more teams will take this pre-emptive route. If so, November will be a busy month.

With two marquee shortstops now out of the trade picture (again, probably -- you never know if a just-traded player will be flipped again), I'll put the odds on Vizquel returning to the Giants for one year plus a mutual option at better than even.

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