MLB Winter Meetings – Previews and Projections
Rays GM Andrew Friedman will be busy this week in Nashville
We thought we would take a look at some players and teams that are sure to make some baseball news this week.
Zack Greinke is seeking a $150 million deal. While there may several teams interested in Greinke, (Dodgers, Angels, Rangers) there really is only one team that will pull the trigger on the deal.
If the Dodgers want Greinke they will get him. There simply isn’t another team willing to go toe-to-toe in a bidding war with the Dodgers.
Are the Mets going to sign R.A. Dickey ?
We should find out this week are we should find out what new team he will be pitching for in April.
Teams That May Make News
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will probably be the most talked about team at the 2012 MLB Winter Meetings.
They will be linked to every player that could potentially be traded or signed.
The reason ?
The Dodgers have the big stack at this final table and aren’t afraid to go all in on anyone.
Heading into the meetings, the Dodgers have been linked to Pittsburgh’s Joel Hanrahan, free agent Brian Wilson, free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, free-agent right-hander Kyle Lohse, Greinke, Hamilton, Anibal Sanchez, …..and the list goes on.
That’s before the meeting start.
Tampa Bay Rays
General manager Andrew Friedman flying to Nashville eight starters deep in pitching, David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Jeff Niemann, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer and Wade Davis. The question is how many will he leave Nashville with?
Will the Rays trade pitching for offense ?
Many rival GM’s feel Shields will be traded this week, and if not this week’s certainly before spring training. The Rays have needs offensively, an outfielder, maybe Shane Victorino, a first baseman, James Loney , both players fit the Rays style and system.
Price will open the season for the Tampa Bay Rays April 3 against the Baltimore Orioles. Price isn’t going anywhere this week, unless the team can get something similar to a Powerball Jackpot in major-league ready players and prospects.
If it isn’t Shields, look for Hellickson to generate some chatter.
Boston Red Sox
How busy will the Red Sox be?
The Red Sox may be ready to make a splash this week.
Thanks to the government style salary bailout granted by the Dodgers, the Red Sox have money to spend and they have veterans and prospects to make a deal if that’s the direction they want to go and that time may be now.
Cherington has been very cautious thus far, and that’s understandable. It would be easy for the Red Sox to get right back in the same position they were in before the mega-trade with the Dodgers.
Left-Hander Franklin Morales has been told to get stretched out for spring training as a starter, but what the Red Sox want are bats.
Mike Napoli is a primary target and Adam LaRoche could provide some additional left-handed pop in the middle of the order. Nick Swisher is looking for a long-term deal, but thus far Boston has been reluctant to make those kinds of deals.
New York Yankees
I have included the Yankees here for one reason. They are the Yankees. Team officials have reiterated their desire to bring payroll down to $189 million at 2014, but count me a skeptic.
I’ll agree they have presented the case to do so.
I’m not from Missouri, but I guess they’re gonna have to show me, to convince me.
Players That May Make News
Greinke and Hamilton remained unsigned of course. Justin Upton will make baseball news, if for nothing else than he seems to be the media’s favorite player for rumors and speculation.
If Morse is traded expect Washington to go hard at bringing LaRoche back.
Morse would be a fit for the Yankees, as well as many teams looking for a right-handed power.
Alfonso Soriano is owed $36 million over the next two years and has a no trade clause. That will not stop the Cubs from shopping his services to another team in need of right-handed power.
Michael Bourn is still available, likely because agent Scott Boras has made it clear he won’t be a cheap acquisition.
Expect to hear his name to be dropped about frequently this week.
Angel Pagan should last much longer on the open market, in Philadelphia may be his new home.
However, Dexter Fowler maybe a more affordable option for some teams including the Cincinnati Reds.
Speaking of Cincinnati, the Reds are talking with Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick turned down his half of a $5 million mutual option to become a free agent and is looking for a multi-year deal.
Will the Marlins trade Giancarlo Stanton ?
The team says no and logic says no, but that’s never stopped the Marlins before. Logan Morrison might be a better candidate to be traded.
While there are many free agents still available on the open market, most of them still will be after the winter meetings are completed.
I would expect more trades to be made this week than free-agent signings.