Winter Meetings Rapidly Approaching!!

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In only 4 short days, the best time of the baseball offseason begins.  Yes, that’s right, the Winter Meetings.  On Monday, December 3rd, the meetings will kick-off in Nashville, Tenn.

There are so many huge names being thrown around in the trade market, and this will surely dominate the talks among GM’s.  Some of the bigger stories to follow:

  • #1 will be the availability of Twins ace Johan Santana – Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Dodgers will be the most likely destinations.
  • The possible trade of Miguel Cabrera to the Angels or Dodgers – the team that gets him or Johan will likely be out of the other race
  • Mets will be looking for an ace pitcher – Bedard, Haren and Blanton remain the most likely prospects; Pelfry/Humber/Gomez are bargaining chips
  • D-Backs will also be in the market for another ace to slot behind Brandon Webb – they appear to be in on the Haren/Blanton sweepstakes as well; Carlos Quentin and Carlos Gonzalez look like the trade bait here
  • The possible trade of Miguel Tejada – we probably won’t see this until after (if) Cabrera gets traded
  • Phils are also looking for pitching depth – Hiroki Kuroda looks like their main target
  • Cubs are looking to upgrade their offense – main target will be Japanese OF Fukudome, who would improve their much-needed OBP; they will also likely fleece themselves on Kaz Matsui
  • Detroit will look to upgrade their bullpen – Dotel? 

Man, I absolutely live for this time of year!  I hope you all are as excited as I am?!  We will keep you abreast of all the rumors, trades and signings. 

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Winter Meetings Overview

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With the much anticipated Winter Meetings roughly 2 weeks away, here is a quick overview of just some of the things to keep an eye on:

* The 2B Market

– Tadahito Iguchi, David Eckstein (perhaps?), Luis Castillo, Caesar Izturis, Kaz Matsui, Brian Roberts, Orlando Hudson

Here are some of the names we’ve been hearing. With teams like the NY Mets, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, SD Padres,  and perhaps the LA Angels in the market for a second baseman, who will land where? If the LA Angels include Howie Kendrick in a deal to get Miguel Cabrera, Iguchi could be a nice fit. Luis Castillo and his cranky knees are looking for at least 4 years. According to the NY Daily News, Eckstein could be looking for a 4 years deal similar to the one Julio Lugo scored from the Red Sox. Orlando Hudson and Brian Roberts’ names have surfaced in scattered trade rumors, but at what cost? The NY Mets have asked about Orlando Hudson, but with limited trading resources, Minaya might have to sign a FA and save his chips to obtain a SP via trade.

* Center Fielders

– Aaron Rowand, Andruw Jones, or Torii Hunter? Each expect to get multi-year lucrative contracts. The LA Dodgers have shown interest in Rowand. Jones had a nightmare of a 2007 season, could he be had for a “bargain”? Expect the SF Giants to make a run at Jones.

* Starting Pitchers on the move?

– You’ve heard the names. Erik Bedard, Dan Haren, Joe Blanton, Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, Dontrelle Willis, and the crowned jewel Johann Santana. Lots of teams would be involved in such a trade market, especially considering the FA pitching market is as thin as ever with Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse leading the charge. The NY Mets will be working the phones, but the LA Dodgers, NY Yankees, and LA Angels have the chips. Keep an eye on the Boston Red Sox here, amongst other teams, as well.

cabrera.jpg* Miguel Cabrera Sweepstakes

– Cabrera is determined to lose weight this off-season, as he should be. He’s young, can hit the cover off the ball, yet can barely manage to bend down to snag his grounders at 3rd base. He could be eligible for a move to the OF or 1B. The LA Angels could be in hot pursuit of this young super-star, but will they give up Howie Kendrick in such a deal? If the Red Sox lose Lowell, could they make a push? Once again, the Dodgers would be heavily involved as well with young chips such as Matt Kemp possibly heading to Florida.

* High Risk, High Reward?  Buyer beware…

– Kris Benson, Bartolo Colon, Matt Clement. Kris Benson is due to throw in Arizona in the coming weeks for interested parties. No word on whether or not Anna Benson will be present. All three pitchers are coming off injuries, but all are also intriguing options to be had “on the cheap”. They could pay high dividends for teams looking to bolster their starting rotations and willing to take a chance, or they could fleece the pants off you. Time will tell.

 These are a few of the items to keep an eye out for, and of course we will bring you all the great fleeces that will likely occur during this time. The Winter Meetings get under way December 3rd in Nashville, TN.