MLB: Rumors Galore at the Winter Meetings
Lets take a look at what is going around at this years baseball Winter Meetings, which are taking place this week in Nashville.
It appears that it’s just a matter of time before the Los Angeles Dodgers and top free agent pitcher Zach Greinke come to an agreement. With the Washington Nationals signing Dan Haren, the Dodgers, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are the only remaining clubs in the Greinke sweepstakes. The Atlanta Braves have checked in, but that appears to be a long shot. The Dodgers are willing to spend and do whatever it takes to bring in Greinke, who reportedly enjoys to hit (which he would in the NL, of course) and would be very happy pitching his games in pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium. While Greinke has been weighing his options, I am under the impression that sometime this week he will become a member of the Dodgers. I would be extremely shocked if this is not the case. Then the flood gates will open regarding pitchers on the trade market, as well as other free agent pitchers like Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse.
Speaking of the Rangers, they are working hard to keep former AL MVP Josh Hamilton. They appear to be the favorites in the Hamilton sweepstakes, especially with the Seattle Mariners turning their attention to center fielder Michael Bourn. While I was under the impression that the Baltimore Orioles would end up getting Hamilton, it appears that won’t be the case and returning to the Rangers seems very likely. Although things can change, it does indeed appear the Rangers and Hamilton are working towards getting something done this week. If the Rangers sign Hamilton, that wouldn’t necessarily put them officially out of the Greinke sweepstakes, but it would make it very difficult to come close to what the Dodgers would probably be offering.
The Shane Victorino sweepstakes appear to be a tight race between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. While Victorino struggled in the second half of 2012 after his trade to the Dodgers, he has put together a solid career and these clubs are banking on him returning to form. Expect a deal to be done with the “Flying Hawaiian” within the next 48 hours.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been very busy on the trade front, as it is well known that outfielders Jason Kubel and Justin Upton are available. It appears as usual that if the Diamondbacks can get a young starting shortstop and/or a top of the rotation starting pitcher, then perhaps we will see either Kubel or Upton on the move. Upton, of course has more trade value and clubs that miss out on some of the top free agent outfielders may turn their attention to the Diamondbacks, as many already have. If we see the Diamondbacks strike a major move during these meetings this week, don’t be shocked if it is a three-team trade. An example is a team like the Braves has big time interest in Upton, where he would join his brother, the newly signed B.J. Upton. The Braves and Diamondbacks don’t make very good trade partners though, for what the Diamondbacks are looking for. So perhaps a third team or even a mega four-team deal can be discussed. Not saying this will happen, but the Diamondbacks are actively listening and of course looking at all scenarios. Remember this…at the end of the day, Upton or Kubel will not be moved unless the club gets what they want and great value in return.