Agent Fight! Agent Fight!

There was a fight between agents during the Winter Meetings today. One guy threatened to burn the other guy’s house down. Jeff Passan has the story over at Yahoo! Sports, and he makes a reference to Punch-Out! in it, which is awesome.

THE MYSTERY TEAM WILL BE THE ███████

Next week, the Winter Meetings begin in Orlando. And while we no doubt will see funny images on MLB Network like Kevin Millar hanging out with Goofy and Brian Kenny trying to explain to Captain Jack Sparrow why the win stat must be sent to Davey Jones’ locker, ultimately, it will be about one team. What team is that? Why, it’s the ██████████████!

Here’s how it will happen, of course:

The ██████████████, after all, will no doubt be the ones that will be rumored to be signing ███████████ on the first day, and the team that will be behind the massive three-team trade involving ██████████████████, █████████████, and ██████████████, which will feature ███████ and top prospect ███████, amongst others. Everybody will think the deal is nuts, but some will praise the ███████████’s GM, █████ ██████████, for his initiative and brilliant thinking. Others will call for his firing.

Meanwhile, the ██████████████’s current star, ███████ ███████, will then make a funny comment on Twitter about how he fell asleep in his █████████ home a few hours ago and is honestly wondering if he missed anything, and then make a second comment saying that this is the first time he heard about the ███████████ trade. It’ll be retweeted by everyone and become a meme, with people talking about how “█████████ is sleeping, make sure you do your deals now” or what-not. Everyone will be sick of it within 48 hours and it will then be resigned to the dustbin of baseball memes.

Then, however, a lull will fall upon Orlando for most of the second day. Instagrams of Joe Maddon walking around EPCOT and Alex Rodriguez showing up for reasons beyond mortal minds will fill the void while Ken Rosenthal is forced to tell Twitter people that A) he is tall enough to ride Space Mountain so stop asking and B) he’s too busy to go to Disney World right now. But then, the ██████████████ will be rumored to have been talking to Scott Boras. But about who? The speculation will go throughout the day, until finally, we hear that █████████ has signed a deal! Except, it’ll turn out that that report is actually a fake account, and that ██████████ is actually going to somebody completely different.

Overnight, people will start talking about how lots of pizza is arriving at the ██████████████’s suite, and wonder whether this is proof that ██████████████ will be signing ████████. Nothing will really materialize, but, hey, it’ll kill time.

Then, later on, the ██████████████ will make that one final splash, signing ██████████. People will instantly declare them to be World Series favorites…

….and then, in 2014, they’ll miss the playoffs.

Whoops. Well, at least the ██████████████ will always have their great 2013-2014 offseason to remember.

Winter Meetings Actions and Reactions: Part 5 (Ben Revere-is-traded edition)

Action:

Reaction: The Twins had two good center-fielders. Now they have none. However, they also had very little pitching. For the two CFs they have traded, they have acquired three pitchers: Vance Worley, Alex Meyer and Trevor May. Worley, who did admittedly miss the end of last season with some injury problems, instantly becomes the top starter for the Twins. He’s gone 18-13 with a 3.50 ERA during parts of three MLB seasons, has good upside and won’t be hitting free agency until after the 2017 season.

Meyer (who they got for Span) and May are more of gambles- every pitching prospect is, to the extent that somebody once said that “there is no such thing as a pitching prospect”. However, May is by all accounts a good power-pitching guy who can strike people out and could become a front-line starter if he gets his mechanics under control, and Meyer also is a well-regarded prospect.

While it is likely sad for Twins fans to see Revere go, it probably won’t hurt the team in the long-term. Aaron Hicks, one of the top prospects for the Twins, hit .286 for AA New Britain last season and is a CF. He probably will be up with Minnesota by the end of the 2013 season, and could be the CF for years to come. And although Revere was great fun to watch in the field and on the basepaths, he was more of a slap-hitter at the plate and his arm was… lacking.

So while it is probably sad for Twins fans to see him go, the return in this case- as well as the Twins’ minor league depth in the outfield- make this trade look like a winner for Minnesota, and a good step on the path back to competing in the AL Central.

Still, one last time:

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.