MLB winter meetings: Phillies, White Sox, Rays and the MLBPA among winners and losers from Day 2

Tuesday marked the second day of this year's Winter Meetings. Day one came and went without much action, but day two thankfully contained a few transactions -- including Andrew McCutchen landing with a new team -- and some curious rumors concerning Manny Machado, Noah Syndergaard, and others. It was a much better day, in so many words.

The winter was made for cuddling, for celebrating the year that was, and for hastily overreacting to the smallest bits of baseball news. As such, we've decided to record who we perceive to be as the day's winners and losers. Please keep in mind this is, by and large, a serious and scientific exercise. Thank you.

Andrew McCutchen joined the Phillies on Tuesday. USATSI

Winner: Phillies

We wrote about how the Phillies needed to be aggressive this winter to keep up with the Braves and the Nationals. The biggest domino is yet to fall -- presuming the Phillies remain interested in Manny Machado and/or Bryce Harper -- but Matt Klentak and company entered Tuesday having already buttressed their core by acquiring shortstop Jean Segura and three relievers.

Klentak added his biggest name to date on Tuesday by inking outfielder Andrew McCutchen to a three-year deal worth $50 million. McCutchen isn't the MVP-caliber player he was in his prime. He is, however, an above-average hitter whose defense is passable in a corner -- heck, he's likely to look good compared to Rhys Hoskins.

Add in McCutchen's value in the clubhouse, and there's plenty to like about this deal.

Kevin Cash will be stuck managing his home games inside a dome for the foreseeable future. USATSI

Loser: Rays

The Rays didn't incur any losses from a hot-stove perspective. Nonetheless, they land here because their attempts to secure a new stadium have again hit a hurdle.

You can read more about it here, but it seems like the Rays will occupy Tropicana Field until 2027. There's no two ways about it, that's a loss for a team that's been seeking a new home for more than a decade now.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays
J.T. Realmuto is helping to create a lot of trade rumors. USATSI

Winner: Marlins

The hottest rumors of the day involved a number of potential deals involving the Marlins, the Mets, and the Yankees that would send some combination of Noah Syndergaard, J.T. Realmuto, Miguel Andujar, and Amed Rosario to new destinations. Fun, right?

There's no telling how likely it is that the three teams listed above will hammer out a deal they can all agree upon. But we have to say, the Marlins seem to be doing a better job of drumming up interest in Realmuto than they did with any of their chits last winter. To wit, the rumors that the Yankees themselves are trying to land Realmuto appears to be a Marlins creation:

Will any of this entice the Dodgers, the Astros, the Mets, or any other interested party into making a bigger offer for Realmuto? It's hard to say. But at least the Marlins are trying.

Most Mets fans probably don't agree with the sentiment right now. USATSI

Loser: Mets fans

You have to feel at least a little bad for Mets fans, who are having to deal with nonstop rumors involving Noah Syndergaard.

Maybe the Mets walk away from a Syndergaard deal with a better club. But, to some extent, you can understand any Mets fan who feels this is destined to backfire in glorious fashion.

Ivan Nova is an upgrade for the White Sox. USATSI

Winner: White Sox

The White Sox and Pirates made a small deal that was overlooked on Tuesday and certain to be forgotten by the time spring rolls around. Yet Chicago's decision to add Ivan Nova could pay off.

Although Nova is no prized pig or game-changer, he's been an average or better starter in each of the last three seasons while compiling at least 160 innings per pop. He features better control than command, and he's prone to the long ball. Still, he doesn't have to improve or morph his game in order to be a welcomed addition to a White Sox staff that could use the help.

Last season Nova posted a 93 ERA+ and a 3.26 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The White Sox had six pitchers make at least five starts: two had a better ERA+, none had a better strikeout-to-walk ratio. It's fair to say Nova is an upgrade -- and that's important if the White Sox are serious about making the leap into contention.

MLB: Baseball Hall of Fame-Parade of Legends
Union head Tony Clark can't be happy with the offseason and the focus on the CBT so far. USATSI

Loser: The MLBPA

It's becoming clear that Major League Baseball's teams are operating with the competitive balance tax in mind as a salary cap. For the latest example, the Red Sox are reportedly interested in shedding some salary to avoid overage penalties.

That's not good news for the union, which already endured a difficult winter last year and is starting to see signs that another freeze could be in effect this year.

It's not good news for anyone who wants baseball to avoid a labor strike, either.

Brandon Hyde is the Orioles' new manager. USATSI

Winner: Orioles

Yes, really -- for they finally hired a manager. Former Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde will get the honor of leading what's certain to be a very, very bad team for the foreseeable future:

Here's hoping Hyde can stick around long enough to welcome better days to Baltimore.

Neal Huntington (r.) saved the Pirates more money on Tuesday. USATSI

Loser: Pirates

We're putting the Pirates here not because we hate the Ivan Nova deal -- Pittsburgh has some starting pitching depth to leverage so we get it from that perspective-- but because we're not confident they'll reinvest the savings in whole to upgrade an average roster.

The Pirates will reportedly sign Jordan Lyles -- who we think could be a value deal -- but if that's the extent of their plans, then that's a little disheartening. Pittsburgh is also known to be shopping catcher Francisco Cervelli, among others, to which we'll say: Payroll flexibility is valuable only if there's an intent to use it. Otherwise, it's just saving an owner millions for no purpose.

Maybe the Pirates will do something to surprise us. Until then, we're skeptical.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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