When, where and what they’re all about, factually and wistfully!
Professional Baseball’s ‘Winter Meetings’ commenced today, which has (notwithstanding yesterday’s early arrivals) historically been known as “Check-in Day”. This year’s ‘meetings’ in San Diego, California continue through Thursday, the 11th, which as the last day, is habitually a ‘short-day’ which is pretty much taken up by the ‘Rule-5 draft’.
One will note that I did not say ‘Major League Baseball Winter Meetings’. While it is that, with all thirty MLB teams represented, it is also attended by somewhere near 170 minor league (‘MiLB’) teams and their entire organizations.
Essentially it is baseball’s annual ‘trade-show’. There are numerous MLB associated committees doing their annual thing. Some of those groups convening and conducting business are the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) announcing its Taylor Spink Award for excellence in baseball writing, the HOF’s committee for the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting announcing its annual winner, those who comprise the HOF veterans nomination group, the newer ‘Gibby’ award winners and others.
Most organizations conduct serious business such as reviewing, through a broad pre-planned series of head-to-head ‘meetings’ and interviews, the status of their entire organizations at the one time each year when all of each organizations’ managers, assistant managers and front-office personnel are together in one place.
Of course there is league business also conducted from rules committees to discussions on the status and make-up of the league itself. Once in a while something of significance breaks (Such as the time in 1975 when Bill Veeck and a new group of investors received word that they had been approved to retain ownership of the Chicago White Sox. Veeck dragged a table with phones into the lobby of the main hotel…much to the chagrin of many other owners… with a sign “Open For Business” and had his own employees making calls to the phones to feign brisk business. By the ‘meetings’ end they had consummated six trades composed of 22 players!).
Who knows what legacy this year’s ‘Meetings’ will leave.
It has been a number of years since so many rumours, unfinished business (Jon Lester stating he would wait until the Winter Meetings to announce who he was going to sign with!), unsigned free-agents and teams with numerous declared players up for trade.
What role will the Blue Jays play? Will Alex Anthopoulos round out his team by filling the acknowledged gaps such as in the bull-pen, perhaps a starting pitcher and/or another infielder (2nd B?)? Will he trade or sign…or both?
There have been numerous names (Practically every free agent, at one time or another!) associated with the Jays, rumoured to be of interest, and/or interested in or ‘name-dropped’ in the old “…according to sources…”.
The bull-pen could be the one area which might, realistically be addressed. All of the following players’ names, as well as others, have been floating around and oft attached, in some way, to ‘Blue Jays’ from weeks to days:
– Former Yankee and current free-agent David Robertson
– Free-agent, former A’s reliever Luke Gregerson
– Marlins closer Steve Cishek (and other Marlin RPs)
– Royals’ closer Greg Holland
– Nationals’ closer Tyler Clippard
– numerous others…
Interesting….then there are Navarro and Dickey, both of whom rumours and suggestions have as possibly going the other way …
Fun and games, with ‘The Boys of Summer’ happily keeping their season going into the winter in Southern California!