Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings begin today and will run through Thursday, leaving the attention of the baseball world squarely focused towards Orlando, Florida. One of the league’s most watched events of the year, there is hardly a bigger collection of team executives, scouts, players, agents, and members of the media all assembled in one place and this year they’ve converged on Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort.
Despite the flurry of activity that we’ve seen in the past week – roughly 20 teams have either signed a new player or traded for one over the past seven days – there is still plenty of reason to think that this year’s Winter Meetings will be active. Teams are eager to get their rosters in order in advance of Spring Training as options continue to come off the board.
We’re bound to see some trades, plenty of signings, and even more rumors and talk between now and Thursday. We’ll keep up with all of the day’s rumblings and breaking news right here.
8:43 PM. Stepped out for a bit there. Let’s run down what we’ve missed.
Source: #Dbacks on Choo. Active on multiple fronts. Could sign Choo and trade for pitcher, or trade for Trumbo and sign FA pitcher.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2013
Miami still has not moved Morrison, for those keeping track. A deal still appears highly likely this week.
6:27 PM. Add the Brewers into the mix of teams that might be looking at left-handed relievers. It seems that Tom Gorzelanny underwent shoulder surgery last week and may not be ready to pitch again until mid-way through Spring Training, according to Justin Schultz at Reviewing the Brew.
6:03 PM. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has told reporters, including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, that the team is content with their outfield options and aren’t necessarily looking for another center fielder – suggesting they are pretty comfortable with Jackie Bradley Jr. there full time. Cherington also added that the team hasn’t closed the door on adding an infielder to the left side but may just focus on someone who can be a backup option (so long as they can handle shortstop). Brock Holt, John McDonald, and Stephen Drew could all be options here.
5:56 PM. Jon Morosi at FOX Sports is reporting that the Rangers and Blue Jays had a deal in place that would have sent Sergio Santos to Texas, but it fell through when another player involved failed his physical. No word on who that player may have been.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 9, 2013
5:09 PM. A few notes out of Washington.
The Nationals are apparently shopping Danny Espinosa, according to Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan. GM Mike Rizzo has repeatedly said that he’d be happy to bring Espinosa to camp to fill the team’s utility infielder role, so we’ll see how likely a deal may be.
Separately Rizzo has also told reporters that the team is content with their catching makeup and are not looking for an upgrade over Wilson Ramos. They are still focused on adding a left-handed reliever and apparently have received from interest from outside teams (including the Cubs) regarding Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard. It’s unclear if the team has given any thought to moving one of the two late-inning arms.
5:00 PM. Jim Bowden relays that Matt Kemp is still in a walking boot and likely will not be ready for the start of Spring Training. Does that affect his potential trade value?
Ned Colletti told us Matt Kemp leg is still in a boot and they are not expecting him to be 100% by Spring Training SXM
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 9, 2013
4:38 PM. Tampa Bay appears to be out on Morrison. Miami is reportedly close to finalizing a move, but it remains unclear with whom.
3:52 PM. Couple of updates here.
Sounds as though the market for Logan Morrison is starting to heat up – with Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay joining Milwaukee in the mix. Morrison could be moved before the day ends.
Baltimore has also spoken with Nelson Cruz, which would add a big bat to their lineup but he won’t come cheap.
2:44 PM. MASN’s Roch Kubatko is hearing that the Baltimore Orioles have interest in bringing Jason Hammel back, but only on an incentive-heavy deal. Baltimore has struck out on retaining their other free agents thus far (Nate McClouth went to Washington, Scott Feldman to Houston).
2:29 PM. Buster Olney reports that Chris Perez is in Orlando, meeting with teams in person. Perez, of course, was the subject of plenty of discussion over the summer when the Cleveland police ended up at his home to intercept the delivery of a package filled with marijuana. He (and his wife) have received plenty of criticism in the public eye since.
Free agent reliever Chris Perez is on site meeting with teams in person. Smart move, given all the details of his 2013 season.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 9, 2013
— Reviewing the Brew (@ReviewngTheBrew) December 9, 2013
12:57 PM. Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan reports that the Phillies are looking to move Domonic Brown. He’ll attract some interest (young, cost controlled, power hitter) but it’s tough to gauge who may step in with interest.
Sources: Phillies actively shopping OF Domonic Brown. Looking for controllable starting pitching in return. Idea is to sell high on him.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2013
12:37 PM. Halladay stated during his press conference that his arm/shoulder feel great, but it’s a recurring issue in his back that is causing him to retire. If he were to pitch any longer he’s fearful that he’ll require back surgery, which could affect his way of life after the game.
12:29 PM. Ken Rosenthal suggests that the Texas Rangers are willing to move Elvis Andrus, but a deal doesn’t appear likely given the extraordinarily high asking price the team will likely have. There’s a limited market at such a premium position, so it’s understandable that they’d consider moving him (especially with Jurickson Profar ready to take over for him if need be).
12:21 PM. Rumors about Tampa Bay’s willingness to deal David Price continue, with the Dodgers being the latest team worked into the mix thanks to a report from Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. Not everyone in Dodgertown is enamored with the idea, including Stacie Wheeler at Lasorda’s Lair.
11:40 AM. Interest in Bronson Arroyo appears to be heating up. Scott Boras says that he’s received calls from at least 15 teams, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, but no offers have been made as of yet. The Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly been considering him as an alternative to A.J. Burnett, who could retire.
10:56 AM. Roy Halladay has decided to retire, according to Jon Heyman. Apparently he’ll sign a one day contract in order to retire as a Blue Jay.
Roy Halladay is retiring
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2013
10:47 AM. Multiple reports have relayed information that the Toronto Blue Jays will have a press conference early this afternoon, but the news is “not necessarily player related”.
9:01 AM. Teams have reportedly been trying to encourage the Chicago White Sox to consider dealing Chris Sale, given the fact that the team won’t be competitive in 2014 and the sheer volume of talent that the ChiSox could receive in return (think a package for David Price, plus more considering how affordable Sale is). Chicago doesn’t appear likely to move their left-hander but it’s too tough to rule out a deal completely.
8:27 AM. ESPN has announced that Curt Schilling will replace Orel Hershiser in the booth for the network’s Sunday Night Baseball telecasts. Hershiser left the position a few days ago to take a similar role broadcasting games for the Los Angeles Dodgers (alongside Nomar Garciaparra).
8:01 AM. The Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee will reveal the results of their vote later this morning (around 10:00 AM). Former MLB managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre are all on the ballot. As is former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
7:49 AM. Jorge Cantu has officially signed a deal with the Doosan Bears of Korea, according to MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo. Cantu hasn’t appeared in the Major Leagues since the 2011 season, when he hit a mere .194/.232/.285 in 155 PA for the San Diego Padres before the team released him. Cantu is still just 31 years of age. Cotillo first reported over the weekend that the two sides were talking.
7:34 AM. It’s tough to really predict when the day’s activity will really get going, but there are at least two people who’ve already found they way down to the “media room” (i.e. a chair-filled conference room) at the hotel in anticipation of the day, at least according to Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra. Enough media will be in attendance over the next four days that this room will be filled to capacity consistently.
Winter Meetings media room. It’s me, that dude and a lot of no one else yet. pic.twitter.com/uMVlrTKXNF
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) December 9, 2013