Skip to content

2013 Winter Meetings Preview

Dec 8, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

Winter Meetings pic

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — Greetings from the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, deep in the dark recesses of the happiest place on Earth. I have been down here with my children since last Tuesday, doing battle with a mouse. The mouse is a worthy adversary. Much respect for him and his hyper-efficiency at separating a man from his hard-earned dollars. Normally when you spend as much money as I have these past few days you feel regret and maybe even some anger. All I can do now, however, is tip my hat in awe and wonder at just how good the mouse is at what he does best.

Now I return my full attention to baseball and its biggest offseason event: The Winter Meetings.

One might think that, given the outrageous flurry of free agent and trade activity over the past week, the Winter Meetings would be anticlimactic and boring. Cano did what everyone expected and took all of the Mariners’ money.  Carlos Beltran signed with the Yankees. Joe NathanJacoby EllsburyJarrod SaltalamacchiaA.J. PierzynskiPaul KonerkoJustin MorneauScott Kazmir and Ryan Vogelsong all signed deals in, like, a six minute period last week. There were something like seven trades last week involving close to 30 players. The wheel spun ’round and ’round and everyone was cast hither and thither and yon. So this week will just be baseball executives drinking and shooting the breeze and stuff, right?

Not necessarily.

Nelson CruzShin-Soo Choo, Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez, Bronson Arroyo, Stephen Drew, Bartolo Colon, Kendrys Morales, Grant Balfour, Corey Hart, James Loney and many, many more free agents are still on the board. Big names like Matt Kemp, Mark TrumboDavid Price, Brett Anderson and Jeff Samardzija are on — or are at least rumored to be on — the trading block. Maybe the sexiest of the sexiest deals have been done, but there is still volume business to attend to on the hot stove.

It’s also worth remembering that the Winter Meetings are about more than trades and signings. Indeed, the bulk of the 3,000 or so people who have descended on Disney World don’t care about that stuff. They are here to network, seek jobs and discuss the business of baseball. Ever year we hear about a rule change. Or a proposal for future rule changes. Or changes in the circumstances of the game, be it relocation, realignment, replay or any other “re” you can imagine. The point of meetings are for humans to actually get together rather than send emails around, and as most of you know, when you get face-to-face with someone, more things can get done. Expect the unexpected. Expect something new to come out of Bud Selig’s office before we all go home.

Finally, there is Hall of Fame business to attend to. There’s a great chance that Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, George Steinbrenner and maybe — at long, long last — Marvin Miller will be voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee when it meets later this week. Steve Garvey, Dave Parker, Billy Martin and many others from the 1970s-on are under consideration as well.

So, no, we will not be on Cano-Watch this week. We will almost certainly not see anything as big this week as we saw last time the Winter Meetings were in Florida and the Red Sox did things like acquire Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. But baseball is about more than its stars. It’s about several thousand players across 30 major league and 243 affiliated minor league teams. It’s about the execs and employees of those teams. It’s about all of them meeting each day and showing up in the lobby of a strange-looking hotel each evening to drink, chat, brainstorm, mingle and — if we’re at all lucky — get up to no-good.

And HardballTalk will be following it all closely, from both on-site and from our satellite offices around the country. Be sure to check back often between now and Thursday to keep fully-apprised of everyone in baseball doing the do.

Latest Posts
  1. David Ortiz: “Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me”

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:02 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

    In a first-person essay for The Player’s Tribune, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz came out swinging against his critics.

  2. The Mets continue to monitor the market for left-handed relievers

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:50 PM EDT

    mets logo

    The Mets are keeping an eye on the Dodgers and Rockies as they look to replace Josh Edgin.

  3. 2015 Preview: Chicago Cubs

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    kris bryant Getty Images

    Are they ready to contend?

  4. New White Sox closer David Robertson is not worried about forearm soreness

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:29 PM EDT

    David Robertson Getty Getty Images

    Robertson signed a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox over the winter to be their new closer.

  5. Unsigned 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

    Mar 26, 2015, 7:31 PM EDT

    Brady Aiken

    After failing to reach an agreement with the Astros last year, unsigned No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken underwent Tommy John surgery.

  6. Rangers name Yovani Gallardo as their Opening Day starter

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    Yovani Gallardo AP AP

    It will be Gallardo’s sixth straight Opening Day start and first as a member of the Rangers.

  7. Scott Boras is on FIRE

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT

    Scott Boras AP AP

    Even after all of these years, baseball’s preeminent B.S. shoveler remains on top of his game.

  8. Legal filing shows that the Mets cut back security at Citi Field over the past five years

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:07 PM EDT

    Apple Citi Field

    Which doesn’t mean that Citi Field has gotten less safe. It does mean, however, that the Mets will have a much harder job convincing people of that.

  9. Yankees release reliever Jared Burton

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Jared Burton Getty Getty Images

    Burton had a 4.36 ERA and 46/25 K/BB ratio in 64 innings for the Twins last season.

  10. Chris Archer is the Rays’ replacement Opening Day starter

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT

    Chris Archer AP

    Archer will be the first pitcher other than David Price or James Shields to start Opening Day for the Rays since 2007.

  11. 2015 Preview: Seattle Mariners

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:51 PM EDT

    Felix Hernandez Getty Images

    The pitching is great and the offense should be better. But is better good enough?

  12. The two most popular teams in Florida: the Braves and the Yankees

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game 3

    The Rays and Marlins have some challenges a lot of teams don’t.

  13. It’s not just about Kris Bryant: let’s fix the option rules, too.

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Darin Ruf Darin Ruf

    We shouldn’t forget about the 28- and 29-year-olds getting sent down, too.

  14. Indians send top prospect Francisco Lindor to Triple-A

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:33 PM EDT

    Francisco Lindor AP

    Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus all ranked Lindor as a top-10 overall prospect this year.

  15. John Buck announces his retirement after 11 seasons

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    John Buck Getty Images

    Buck was trying to win a job with the Braves on a minor-league contract.

  16. Michael Saunders will not be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Michael Saunders AP

    Saunders was acquired from the Mariners in exchange for J.A. Happ in December and will be the Blue Jays’ starting left fielder once he’s healthy.

  17. Major League players are fleeing Venezuela

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

    venezuelan flag

    The country with the world’s highest murder rate is no longer a safe offseason home for many Venezuelan natives.

  18. Blue Jays demote former All-Star Steve Delabar to Triple-A

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Munenori Kawasaki; Esmil Rogers; Steve Delabar AP

    Delabar was an All-Star in 2013 and now he’s headed to the minors.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Olivera (3805)
  2. J. Fernandez (3440)
  3. K. Bryant (3391)
  4. S. Souza (3288)
  5. H. Ryu (3259)
  1. S. Doolittle (3077)
  2. J. Kipnis (3029)
  3. A. Cobb (2992)
  4. M. Fiers (2964)
  5. A. Rendon (2918)