For baseball fanatics like me, one of the most enjoyable times of the year is the baseball winter meetings. Here, every team is a contender and every team is able to make trades, sign free agents and just give their fan base a little ray of hope. Although this years’ Winter Meetings wasn’t the most eventful ever, there was quite a lot that happened and probably even more that will occur as a result of discussions that went on at the meetings.
*This was written before the Reds, Indians and Diamondbacks trade.
What Did Happen
- BJ Upton to the Atlanta Braves: This move happened really early on and has actually played a big role on things during the winter meetings. The crop of free agent outfielders is pretty big this off season and the number of teams looking for outfielders is not quite as big. Atlanta replaced Michael Bourn pretty quickly eliminating their need of an outfielder.
- Dan Haren to the Washington Nationals: You know the team that had the best record in the National League? Well they may have just upgraded their pitching staff. If Dan Haren can come back and play like he did in 2011, the Nationals will be more than just favorites in the NL East. They will be a lot of people’s top pick for the World Series.
- Mike Napoli to the Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox were horrible last year despite having a large amount of talent on the team. This year they are trying to rebuild and do it in a hurry. Mike Napoli offers them a solid catcher/1st baseman/DH, but just how long will his body be able to last? He has put a lot of innings on his knees over his career.
- Eric Chavez to the Diamondbacks: The big news here isn’t that Chavez signed, but that the Yankees didn’t try and keep him despite A-Rod being out possibly for six months because of hip surgery.
- Zack Greinke to the Dodgers: Money is of little concern to the Dodgers now that they have owners who only care about winning and not about using the team as their personal ATM. As a fan of the Dodgers I love this and I am excited to see how things go. Plus anytime you can pair up two of the top pitchers in baseball it is exciting.
- Royals and Rays trade: A lot of people are saying the Royals traded away too much young talent for not much in return. I AGREE!!!
What Could of Happened but Didn’t
- The biggest rumor of the winter meetings was the potential for a four team trade that would include trading Justin Upton. Although it isn’t completely dead at this point I’m not seeing it happening now. This makes me happy because I like Upton staying with the Diamondbacks. Although rumors are coming out of a three team deal being worked on.
What Still Might Happen
- Josh Hamilton to the Rangers or Mariners: With Greinke going to the Dodgers it seems more and more likely that the Rangers will try and hold onto Hamilton. The real question is whether or not Hamilton wants to go back to the Rangers. Both sides have played it pretty cool but you never know what a player is feeling behind closed doors.
- Nick Swisher to the Rangers or Mariners: For the Mariners if/when they don’t sign Hamilton Swisher is the obvious fall back. The real question is whether or not Swisher will give up being a ‘star’ to play in the quiet northwest.
- RA Dickey traded to who knows where: So what is your reward for winning the Cy Young Award? You get to be shopped around to any team that has even the slightest bit of interest in you.
Overall the MLB Hot Stove has been a lot of fun to watch and with two months left until spring training there is still a lot more that can happen.