Monday, December 7, 2009

Baseball Winter Meetings Kickoff

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On your mark, get set, go!

All thirty of baseball's general managers will be off to the races today at the annual winter meetings in Indianapolis. Although not as flashy as last year's backdrop in Sin City Las Vegas, the winter meetings will provide a stellar setting for some of the most talked about story lines this off-season.

I've never been to or probably will never get the chance to cover the winter meetings, but I have a feeling that this year's gathering will have all the makings of a schoolyard at recess. Alex Anthopoulos will be the cool kid in Grade 3 who has the toy that everyone wants to play with (Roy Halladay), but will only accept a king's ransom for an opportunity to get their hands on it.

Don't expect much to change from what's already been reported on the hot stove, but there could be some progression in talks with existing teams in the Halladay sweepstakes. It sounds like the big news will be whether or not the Red Sox or Yankees are willing to pony up and offer what the Blue Jays are asking for ... the farm.

On the secondary front, Alex Anthopoulos will likely be shopping Lyle Overbay and left-handed relievers like Brian Tallet and Scott Downs. With the free agent catcher market dwindling by the week, AA will have to make something happen in order of trades to lock up a starting catcher for 2010.

I'm not exactly sure why the General Managers always decide to have this meeting in the dead of winter, but for once at least I can say that something interesting in the baseball world will be happening on my birthday (shameless birthday plug).

So Alex, if you could somehow manage to get the Halladay trade done, deal Lyle Overbay and find a starting catcher all at some point today, that would make for an excellent birthday present. Thanks very much!

5 comments:

  1. My Dream Winter Meatings would include any or all of the following type deals:

    1) Halladay to the Yankees for Phil Hughes and Jesus Montero
    2) Scott Downs to the Angels for Brandon Wood
    3) Lyle Overbay to the Mets for Ike Davis
    4) Rickey Romero to the Brewers for Matt Gamel
    5) Brian Tallet and Jeremy Accardo to the Rockies for Eric Young Jr.
    6) Aaron Hill to the Rays for Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson

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  2. I like most of those deals except for the Aaron Hill deal (I don't think he's hit his ceiling quite yet) and the Romero trade (same deal). It's time to "Build"!

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  3. I don't think trading either Romero and/or Hill would be very popular with most fans. However, I would do so if:

    - They could get a stud bat prospect for Romero that could for the Jays in 2010. I would do this for a few of reasons,

    a) I'm not as high on Romero as most people, I think he's okay, but definitely not untouchable and may be at his peak value at the moment, and

    b) I think Bats are a little more predictable and there is less chance of injury. Therefore if the Jays aren't going to compete for a couple of years, I'd rather have a hitting prospect.

    c) I really like Rzepczinsky and Cecil and project them to be better than Romero long term. Add in someone like Phil Hughes that you get back in a Halladay deal, and Shawn Marcum, I think that Romero is expendable.

    As for Aaron Hill, I would only deal him if I got a package that blew me away, such as Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson, two guys that I think will be very good. Also, Hill needs to do something about his poor OBP.

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  4. That being said, sometimes you have to make the tough moves to better the team for the future. I'm sure Pat Gillick wasn't the most popular guy in town when the Jays traded away two fan favourites like Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez.

    I'm on the same page with you that I don't believe Romero has what it takes to be the next ace of this team. It's tough to give up on him now, but like you said, unless he puts up a stellar sophomore season, his value will be at his highest right now. Even though it was a J.P. Ricciardi draft pick, AA will likely have a tough time trading away a first rounder like Romero just yet.

    Hill's OBP is what is preventing him from becoming a top-tier second baseman in the league. I did a post on this back in July (Why Aaron Hill is good but not great at the plate). Aside from needing to draw more walks, Hill needs to quit hacking at the first pitch so often. I'm sure that's something the coaching staff will address in the offseason.

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