It didn't take long for trade talks to bear fruit at this year's winter meetings; a little after 9:30 AM on the first day trades can happen, the Witch Hunters and the Big Test Icicles made the year's first deal. And a half-hour later, Huntington and New Orleans made the year's first deal that has playoff implications. And an hour-and-a-half after that, Indianapolis and the 'Cicles came to terms.
Salem got the infield glove (or 1 of them at least) it wanted, Bartolo Perez. Not a major pickup, but Perez does have 39 + plays (to 0 - plays) at (mostly) SS and CF over 4 seasons. New Orleans gets Nicholas Wilkins, a (very) low-contact power prospect who was last year's #46 overall.
Huntington won the AL East last year, but wanted to boost the 760 runs scored. And with Phillips and Andujar heading the rotation and a strong bullpen, they felt like they had a pitcher to give. Bobby Michaels was a huge part of the Icicles' wild-card season, hitting .307 after arriving in N.O. (.328 overall) an playing good defense at 2B and CF (he even handled SS well in their deep playoff run). But with CF Neruda and 2B Kawasaki ready for big-league action and no lefty pitchers on the roster, there was an obvious pitching-for-hitting deal to be made. The Fire Blitz get Michaels, New Orleans gets Ramiro Lira.
New Orleans gets DH Vicente Rodriguez and cash, Indy gets SS Derek Cammack. The Started from the Bottom wanted to trim payroll but pick up some glove men to at least stabilize the defense in Year 1 of the rebuild; the Big Test was looking for a good lefty bat at minimal cost. When the average salary for Rodriguez got below $3mm, a deal was made.