Winter Meetings Action and Reactions: Part 3

Action:

Reaction: Dan Haren could very well end up being the fifth starter for Washington. Fifth. This is a three-time All-Star who until recently didn’t have many injury concerns and who doesn’t walk many people. A nice deal for both parties, barring an injury.

Action:

Reaction: I think Yankees Pacific Rim scout “David P.” sums it up nicely-

Action:

Reaction: The Angels’ road to getting Greinke may be easier since the Nationals have now gotten a pitcher, but the fact is is that for the most part the entire pitching market seems to be in a stand-still as everyone waits for Greinke to sign. A similar thing is happening, to a lesser degree, with Hamilton and the hitters. Action:

 

Reaction: Called it.

WBC News from the Winter Meetings (WILL BE CONSTANTLY UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE DAY)

This is the Winter Meetings World Baseball Classic update post. I’ll post links and news that I find on Twitter or other online sources about WBC news from the Winter Meetings here. Come back later as more stuff is added.

2:10 PM, Monday: The earliest schedule is up on the WBC website, although not quite complete (some games in the Asian pools are missing), it gives a good idea of what will be going on. Needless to say, there will be early mornings for me in March.

Next off, Chien-Ming Wang will be playing for Taipei in the WBC as a way to showcase himself for teams.

And finally, we have confirmation that Andruw Jones will play for the Netherlands.

3:24 PM, Monday: The schedule for the WBC on the website is no longer there, suggesting to me that somebody put it up before it was supposed to. Joe Torre will apparently be speaking later today, and although it likely will include lots of stuff about his role in the MLB front office, he will surely talk about his role as the manager of Team USA as well.

4:06 PM, Monday: WBC has released an early sheet of some of the notable players who will be playing for each country, although they seem to limit it to a maximum of two per country, presumably to save space on the list.

MLB players on the list include Liam Hendriks and Grant Balfour (for Australia- Balfour is a surprise since he hasn’t pitched for them in past WBCs), Yan Gomes (Brazil), Justin Morneau (Canada), Robinson Cano and Jose Reyes for the DR, Alex Liddi and Italian-American Jason Grilli for Italy, Adrian Gonzalez and Sergio Romo for Mexico, Andruw Jones and Roger Bernadina for the Netherlands, Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran for PR, David Wright and Joe Mauer for the USA, and Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval for Venezuela.

4:26 PM, Monday: This is weird. The previous list has been replaced with this one, which has some differences. For example, it replaces Hendriks and Balfour with Ryan Rowland-Smith and Luke Hughes, it adds Brett Lawrie to Canada, it confirms Chien-Ming Wang for Taipei and replaces Sergio Romo with Jaime Garcia. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps the first one they put up was a first draft or something.

More news if it comes out.

Winter Meetings Action and Reaction: Part 2

Part of a feature in which I react to the news coming from the Winter Meetings.

Action:

Reaction: An umpire, an owner and a player. The biggest surprise though is that more than one person was elected by the Veterans Committee- previously they haven’t put in this many.

Action:

Reaction: Well, I guess the Red Sox are back to their old ways. The large amounts of salary they dumped on the Dodgers earlier this year means that they they once again will be able to spend. Mike Napoli has long been a good hitter, and although he likely is now on the downward part of his career, he should be a good fit in Fenway.

 

More actions and reactions will come semi-regularly throughout the Winter Meetings.

Action and Reaction, Winter Meetings, Part 1

Throughout the Winter Meetings, I’ll react to the acts that are going on in Baseball.

Action:

Reaction: I saw Lidge pitch once when he was with Houston. It was the year after he’d had his soul eaten by Albert Pujols, who sent a go-ahead home run in the NLCS so far into the night that I believe one of the Mars rovers recently discovered it. He got the save, if memory serves, but it was during one of the down points of his career. You see, Lidge was a player who was either lights-out or a heart attack waiting to happen, great one year but not-so-great the next, and injury-prone often (he mentioned on MLB Network this morning that he’s had 9 surgeries over his career). Overall, however, he had a good career, and as he retires he goes out with 225 saves, two All-Star Games, he played a role in a combined no-hitter against the Yankees,  a World Series ring and appearances in two other World Series.

Action:

Reaction: Oh, Alex Rodriguez. It never seems to end for him. With every successive year, his contract with the Yankees becomes even more of a albatross, and as his body breaks down and production decreases, it’s also becoming clear that the one saving grace the Yankees might have had- the attention that would come when Rodriguez could break Bonds’ HR record- is highly unlikely.

Action:

Reaction: And so it begins for the Tampa Rays, who many- including me- think will be a big mover-and-shaker at the Winter Meetings.They have an excess amount of good pitchers. Everybody wants good pitchers. And the Rays aren’t the market where they are able to sign lots of guys to long-term deals once they get expensive (with the exception of Evan Longoria, of course). To flip a pitcher could be a prudent move, for the right prospects. James Shields is the most likely to be dealt, but there have been on-and-off rumblings about David Price for about a year and a half. James Loney, meanwhile, seems like the type of guy who could turn out to be a shrewd move for the Rays. He had an off-year in 2012, but a rebound could give a good new cog to the Rays’ lineup.

Non-Baseball Action:

Reaction: Others might have been more deserving, but it is hard to argue with a MVP, a league title and an Olympic Gold medal.

Keep an eye open for more Action and Reaction throughout the Winter Meetings.

Q and A: The Winter Meetings

Baseball’s “Winter Meetings” are about to get going in Nashville. You may be wondering why this is happening, and what it is. So, here’s a little question and answer for those of you wondering about it.

What are baseball’s Winter Meetings?

Meetings by baseball people. In the winter.

Very funny, mind going a bit more in-depth?

Okay, technically, the Winter Meetings is a trade-show and convention. Baseball people- from the highest owners, GMs, agents and superstars to the lowest of job-seekers, salesmen and tourists confused as to why their hotel is so full- come to the meetings to discuss business, network, sell their wares, buy stuff, and honor some people over dinners. It’s usually held in a tourist mecca with big nice hotels, like San Diego, Orlando, or, this year, Nashville’s Opryland resort. Technically, the Winter Meetings are run by Minor League Baseball and it’s where many people try to get jobs with minor league front offices, but it’s the MLB parts of the meetings that get all the attention.

That’s it?

More or less. But, guess what? When people in Major League Baseball “discuss business, network, sell their wares, buy stuff and honor some people over dinners”, it’s far different than if, say, paper salesmen were doing that. No offense to paper salesmen. You see, the fact that almost every major baseball mover-and-shaker is in such a small place means that it’s a place where deals and negotiations can happen quickly. Instead of playing phone-tag or flying around in private jets to do negotiations, agents and GMs only have to go between hotel rooms.

Because of this, a ton of deals get made during the winter meetings, far more than the average day of the off-season.

Anything else?

Several announcements will be made during the Winter Meetings.

The Veterans Committee, for example, will be voting for the Hall of Famers on their ballot during the Meetings. Notable names include Bill Dahlen, Jacob Ruppert, Marty Marion and Wes Ferrell. Well, they are notable to seamheads like me, at least.

There will also be announcements about the World Baseball Classic, including a schedule and probably provisional rosters.

And maybe, just maybe, somebody will fall into a fountain and get caught doing it by a MLB Network camera.

How can I follow these… winter meetings?

Well, I’m going to be there, of course, so I’ll… I’m sorry, that’s not true. I’m not going to be there. I’d entered a contest to try and win a trip there, but I lost. Which is a bummer.

So instead, I suggest you follow baseball people on Twitter and watch MLB Network, and perhaps ESPN as well.

Okay, thanks.

You’re welcome.

Coming soon: All-New WBC projections

Next week, at the Winter Meetings, the provisional rosters of the World Baseball Classic will be announced. Essentially, these are lists of players who have indicated they will take part if asked. This does not necessarily mean they will ultimately take part (as there is always the risk of a late injury or change of heart), nor that those who aren’t on them won’t (as, again, there could always be a change of heart if it comes early enough).

Once these are released, I will be going through them and creating another round of predicted rosters for the World Baseball Classic, working entirely from the provisional rosters. This will mean Team USA projections version 3.0, Dominican Republic 3.0, Venezuela 2.0, Canada 2.0 and plenty of other projections.

So stay tuned next week!