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What to expect from Winter Meetings

Posted on: November 29, 2010 4:40 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 5:54 pm
Winter Meetings From December 6-9, baseball's offseason will kick into high gear. Team officials, agents, players and media all will descend upon Orlando, Fla., with clubs hoping to swing a trade or ink a contract with a free agent. This week, MLB Facts and Rumors will preview an aspect of the Winter Meetings each day. Monday: The top things to expect from the meetings.

To understand what to expect, it may help to know just exactly what happens at the meetings.

The event was originally created by minor-league baseball, which wanted a meeting place every offseason to discuss matters pertaining to the farm system for MLB. That's why the minors remain responsible for choosing the location of the meeting and coordinating the event. However, major-league baseball has co-opted the meeting for its own purposes, finding it useful to have players, agents, GMs (and yes, the media) all in one spot to accelerate free-agent or trade talks. On the final day of the meetings, baseball holds its Rule 5 draft.

So, what to expect from this extravaganza?

Obviously, the amount of information is going to be voluminous, even with a new rule instituted that is aimed at reducing the amount of leaks that agents, players and clubs give the media for their own personal gain. There's going to be enough rumors going around, and while some or even most may have a tiny morsel of truth in them, it's important to keep it in perspective: most rumors simply won't pan out or aren't as impressive as they sound.

If a team is interested in trading for a certain player, for example, it doesn't mean both sides are deep in talks -- if they even have discussed the player at all.

So yeah, there's going to be plenty of rumors -- and most of them won't pan out. But that doesn't mean there won't be actual news being made. Some significant free agents will sign on the dotted line and you'll probably see a couple blockbuster trades. The Tigers, for example, pulled off the Miguel Cabrera/Dontrelle Willis trade during the 2007 Winter Meetings.

Most teams will have a much clearer idea of which direction they are headed after the meetings. Contrary to popular opinion, teams don't operate on a linear timeframe. There are many avenues available to teams, and once more and more players come off the board, it will crystallize each team's plan of attack and strategy. The direction teams must go after the meetings does take on more of a linear strategy.

You're going to hear a lot of rumors from the AL East titans in New York and Boston. The Yankees are hot to trot after Cliff Lee, and reports have Carl Crawford holding off on signing his own deal until Lee's future is known. That means you have the two top free agents on the market whose offseason might (will) be influenced by the Yankees.

And as for the Red Sox? Boston is in store for a busy offseason, with plenty of holes to fill and the sand in the hourglass running out to fill it. The best catcher on the market in Victor Martinez is now a Tiger, and the Red Sox have to find a way to compensate for his loss.

The Yankees' capacity for making news can't be doubted, but the Red Sox tend to operate a different way and may come away with a quiet week although there will be plenty of ink devoted to the team.


No, not an errant Manny Ramirez throw. At every Winter Meeting, there tends to be a trade or free-agent signing that will catch people off guard.

For the most part, the trade arena is where most of these
occurrences happen. No one saw a Curtis Granderson trade to the Yankees until the deal was on the verge of completion.

So what is something crazy that could happen? Well, the Cardinals might already be aware of the fact they have no chance in extending Albert Pujols. (This is completely conjecture.) They certainly wouldn't share that sentiment publicly, but if that determination has already been made, the club could decide to strike for a big-salaried player a year in advance to go for it all in 2011 alongside Pujols and then use that player to soften the blow of Pujols' departure. How would Jayson Werth look patrolling right field in Busch Stadium?

That's something that would qualify as coming out of left field and yet would make complete sense to the team -- just like it made sense for the Angels to strike for Torii Hunter just one season into Gary Matthew Jr.'s big deal that expires after 2011.

Over the last few seasons, Twitter has become an invaluable part of baseball's media and fans. Most columnists take to Twitter to divulge anything under the sun from opinions to game notes to rule clarifications to rumor-mongering. It's reached the point where Twitter is used to break news, followed by writing the story for the newspaper. Some prefer to do live blogs and put their focus on the blogs, but maintain a presence on Twitter to direct people to the latest.

There is an overwhelming amount of journalists, agents, bloggers and players on Twitter. The journalists in particular will be using Twitter heavily, especially as they run around from place to place. No longer do journalists feel comfortable about hanging onto news until they can sit down and bang out an article. It gets tweeted.

There figures to be well over a hundred media representatives at the meeting, all of which will tweet a dizzying array of news. For those who follow lots of journalists or bloggers, the volume of tweets may be too much to keep up. Given Twitter isn't exactly known for its consistent uptime, you can bank on Twitter crashing at some point.

That's why you should stay on for the Winter Meetings, given that CBS Sports will have six representatives at the meetings. MLB Facts and Rumors will be along for the ride along with columnists Danny Knobler and Scott Miller, as well as Mark Morgan providing video snippets.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:32 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings

Yankees and Red Sox spending a couple hundred million to fix a team that wasn't fixed by the couple hundred million they spent the prior year

The Redsox have never and I mean never spent 200 million.  Their payroll is expected to be around 140 million next season...exactly what the Cubs payroll is.  THe average salary of a cub last season was 5.4 mill...the average sox...5.6 mill.  the average Yank...8.2.

Sorry but that not a huge discrepancy.  Championships are hard to come by so yeah...CELEBRATE.  At least we have owners who spend their money and don't hoard it for themselves...We have owners who give the right people the right money.  KNow why the cubs lose...take a look at Soriano's contract!  LEt me help...he is owe 18 million dollars through 2014...Good luck getting rid of that one. Zambrano, 2011-17.8, 2012- 18, 2013- 19 mill.  Your paying Carlos Silva 11.5 million dollars this year and 12 million next year...CARLOS SIVLA!  His previous era 5.94, 4.19, 6.46, 8.60 and 4.22.  The rules of baseball say spend what you want and the CUBS do!  They just don't do it well...I want the Cubs to win but my god they can't give out contracts the way they have been.  When Soriano signed that deal I laughed. 

Really, if you're a fan of either team, do the championships even feel good at this point?

Ummm YES!!! It is why you are a fan.  I don't care how much money they is not mine.  But to sit around with the boys, drink some crown, play some poker and watch your team win a series...That is great!  The playoffs and some regular season games are a time for the boys to have an excuse to get out and whoop it up.  The Red Sox in the playoffs in my household is off limits and for that 4 hours I am where ever I want to be.  So Yeah spend away and give me my freedom from parental responsibilty for a few hours in October...ABSOLUTELY!

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2010 8:30 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings

First off ...I put out an idea...insults always start off a conversation between people so well.

Why trade Bard
...Why not?  To get Upton?  He is 23 is an absolute stud.  When someone of his ability is available you have to over pay for him a bit.  Upton is going to be a perennial allstar as well and he plays 9 innings per game not 1. 

Doubrant ...he is going to be a bullpen player.  You have Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Lackey all signed for a long time...He is expendable.  Even Theo is said not to be too high on him

Kelly ...absolutely a great wasn't Rick Ankiel, So wasnt Todd Van Poppel.  Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Strasburg get a proven commodity in Upton I do it.  The sox have a boatload of pick this season and their farm system is fine.  Remember Bowden?  UNTOUCHABLE can't have him...and yet he still flounders in the minors. 

Ellsbury ...SOFT SOFT SOFT SOFT...He will never be the Johnny Damon everyone thought.  He can't stay healthy and he is SOFT. 

I don't want Reynold but whoever gets upton has to take reynolds.  Part of the deal.  If they can 3 of the 4 above for Upton, I do it.  Sign Rafael Soriano to replace Bard.  Sign John Rauch or Chad Qualls...they could all do the job that Bard does.  Answer me this...FInd me players (not the one or two exceptions)who throw 100 that don't blow out their arm?  2005 draft...Craig Hansen...How did that work out?  Upton's contract is extremely affordable through 2015.  Your farm system is used to give you payroll flexiblity but it is also used to take some of the prospects and get 23 year old studs who are already doing it at a major league level.  I feel the same exact way about Jay Bruce...He is going to be special and he doesn't need the minors to get him ready cause he is that good and can get ready in the majors producing 25 homers at 23 years old.  Adrian Gonzalez is extremely good and I would love to have him but the Padres price tag is even higher!I think in the long run Upton is the more valuable and better player.  To get Gonzalez, here is a quote from the Globe..."The Red Sox have the prospects to make such a door-splintering deal. In outfielder Ryan Kalish, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, righthander Casey Kelly, and shortstop Jose Iglesias, the Sox have four cost-controlled players who are close to major league readiness."  Do you want to give up that when the need at ss is great?  Rizzo is in the verge!  Sorry the Upton deal makes sense

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2010 8:06 pm

What to expect from Winter Meetings

Comeback players: Greinke, Lilly, Brian Roberts, A-Ram, Wieters, Lind, Pedroia, Sandoval, Beckham, Kemp.

MLB Strikeout Leader: Brandon Morrow, Jays. (178 Ks in 146 IP in 2010).

Carl Crawford purchases the daughters of several owners, and then ... signs with Angels.

Not quite that good: Huff, Cody Ross, Podsednik, Beltre, Kelly Johnson, Jose Bautista.

Prognostication: No, Tim Lincicum is not wearing down or losing his stuff.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2010 4:32 pm

What to expect from Winter Meetings

Expect the same thing you get every year: the Yankees and Red Sox spending a couple hundred million to fix a team that wasn't fixed by the couple hundred million they spent the prior year. Really, if you're a fan of either team, do the championships even feel good at this point? Is it a cause to celebrate or just a team doing what it was supposed to do? I'm not that bitter about their spending habits (the Cubs spend a lot also), but the Yankees very well might double the team in third place on the payroll list. Where's the satisfaction in a ring that was so clearly bought?

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:57 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings


Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:38 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings

Ok, so you like the Orioles. Now, what does your post have to do with the Winter Meetings?

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:52 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings

Are you dumb that has to be the worst trade everrrrrrrrrrrrrr created that would be like cole in the stocking r u kidding. Why trade Bard(who has already shown us that hes ready to be a closer and has some of the best stuff that will make him a perrenial all star), Doubrant(showed us this year he can be either a great set up man or hopefully future starter), kelly(one of the most highly touted prospects in the system), and ellsbury(who hasnt even showed his real potential and could be great bait for a even bigger need) for upton who has been good not great but I will say still has lots of potential and reynolds who will give u 30 homers but hit .200 and strike out over 200 times. Thats terrible. Adrian Gonzalez is who we need to offer great prospects for cmon now!!!!!

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:46 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings

Dunn will be headed somewhere and a big deal will be made of it.
He will get his 40/110.

But I would say that the true contenders don't need major impact players to stay near the top.
Of all those teams, the Cardinals would seem to need the most repairs, esp. in right field and third base.
The Reds need to find a couple of decent parts to stay in the hunt.
The problem the Phils face isn't that they can't contend, it's that at least 2 teams (Mets, Braves) have the money to catch them. If the Mets had invented the wheel, it would have gone flat on one side. New Braves manager may bode new interest.
Giants are a one-shot deal, IMHO. Rockies are probably for real.

AL: NYY, Boston, anybody else is third and fourth, respectively.
Twins couldn't lose the Central if their bus crashed.
Rangers win by default unless Langelheim recreates the Red Sea crossing.

Bad teams getting worse: Cubs, Indians, Royals, Marlins, Mariners

Team to watch: Orioles

Worst team in history: Um ... 1962 Mets, but I bet you thought I was going to say the Pirates, right?

Surprise, maybe: Nationals, for half-a-season.

Teams that don't matter: Anybody not on this list.

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2010 9:45 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings

In my own little fantasy world here is what I would like to see happen for my beloved Redsox...I think it could but as with any scenario...highly unlikely

Sign Crawford,
trade Ellsbury, Bard, Kelly, Doubront for Upton, Reynolds and what ever
MOve Youks to 3b, Reynolds to 1b
Get some middle relief help
Sign Olivo to split time with Saltamacchia

Werth stays in Philly,
Lee to Yanks
ahhh and there is a santa claus too!!!

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:06 am

What to expect from Winter Meetings

The Pirates will trade away Pedro Alveraz for single A prospects and will say they are building a baseball facility in North Korea and thats where all the money is going from the revenue sharing..

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or