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Jake's Take: Happy Trails...Until We Meet Again?

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Unless there's a trade in the works, Winter Meetings '06-'07 was pretty much "Addition by Subtraction".

In one big swoop, we lose 2 minor prospects(in DeBarr and Hamilton), gain 100 K and release RP Travis Harper.

-While DeBarr has a High-90s fastball, he's coming to the Majors after a decent season in the High A California League. I consider myself to be a friend of DeBarr, but he's got a tough road ahead of him playing in Boston. My best wishes go to him, but I'm not going to be surprised at all if he gets returned to us. Considering our 2 prospects selected in the Rule 5, Nick stands a better chance at staying the entire year and that's only because he's a reliever in a Boston bullpen that is always in need of arms.

-Who takes a chance on a somewhat troubled soul like Josh Hamilton?

The answer is, the Cubs and Reds. Not sure why either team would pursue a guy that topped out at Double A, 3 years ago, and looked somewhat overmatched in Short-Season Low A last year. The Cubs don't really need any positional players, but that hasn't stopped him from acquiring them. Cincy has tons of OFers and OF prospects, so I'm not expecting Hamilton to stay much longer than Spring Training.

-Hello and goodbye, Ryan Goleski. I hardly knew ye. Considering the Anderade trade for last year, I wouldn't be surprised if Goleski found a way into St. Pete again...if he doesn't pan out in Oakland. At least we got 100 K, basically 150 K because we had to use 50 K to select Goleski.

-The biggest smile came over my face, when I learned that we had to outright release reliever Travis Harper to open a spot on our 40-Man roster to acquire Goleski for Oakland.

Nothing against Harper, but the mishandling of him by Lou did major damage to his psyche and I don't see him ever panning out in the Majors.

I'm putting 3 to 1 odds that Lou signs Travis to a minor league deal with a NRI to the Cubs Spring Training.