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Winter Meetings Newsbeat

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Why the Winter Meetings Were Finally a Success

SAN DIEGO — Major League Baseball has been desperate for an event. This week it got one—because the sport at last got out of its own way.

The league markets the annual Winter Meetings as the game’s offseason showcase, complete with logo and merchandise. The official website bears a large countdown clock. But for the past few years, an alarm clock might have been more relevant.

Last year, the marquee free agents—rightfielder Bryce Harper and third baseman Manny Machado—did not sign until spring training had begun. Harper was scheduled to be the cover star of the MLB the Show video game; the company finally opted for a photo of him dressed in a white hoodie, because it could not wait any longer for him to choose a team. Harper eventually got a record $330 million over 13 years, and Machado $300 million over 10, but fans and players alike were left disheartened by the delay.

On Monday, as the meetings opened, the Nationals brought back World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg on a seven-year, $245 million deal, a record for a pitcher. On Tuesday, the Yankees shattered that mark when they signed AL Cy Young runner-up Gerrit Cole for nine years and $324 million. On Wednesday, the Angels nabbed NL MVP third-place finisher Anthony Rendon for seven years and $245 million. In a span of 56 hours, the top three free agents chose their futures and clarified the rest of the market.

A question I’m not sure this article answers, at least in any sort of coherent manner….


QLE Posted: December 14, 2019 at 12:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: winter meetings

Friday, December 13, 2019

‘Fourth-Grade Diet’: Welcome to the Winter Meetings, the Unhealthiest Week of the Year

SAN DIEGO — Mike Rizzo was intrigued. The Nationals GM was on the phone with Scott Boras, and the agent seemed out of breath. It had been 24 hours since Boras client Stephen Strasburg had re-signed with Washington, and as far as Rizzo knew, fellow Boras client Anthony Rendon had not decided on a team. But Boras’s gasps got Rizzo’s attention.

“I thought he had a big deal or something that he was panting over,” Rizzo said.

Rizzo later learned that the explanation was much simpler: The legendarily high-motor Boras finds the fatty dinners, ubiquitous snacks and interminable meetings of baseball’s annual convention vexing, so he walks five miles each morning, conducting negotiations over AirPods. (Rendon agreed to a seven-year deal with the Angels Wednesday night.)

Welcome to the winter meetings, the unhealthiest week of the year. Hundreds of executives and agents descend upon a hotel—this year, the Manchester Grand Hyatt—to commodify thousands of professional athletes. They do so with a smartphone in one hand and a Dorito in the other.

Well, it’s been a while since we’ve had a food thread- bring up the foods (healthy, unhealty, or somewhere in between) that you have interests in.


QLE Posted: December 13, 2019 at 12:49 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: food, winter meetings

Winter meetings winners and losers, starring Scott Boras and his $814M week

SAN DIEGO — Remember when the winter meetings lost their gusto? It sure seemed that way the past few years. Remember when hot-stove season was a free-agent freeze? It sure seemed that way recently too.

Well, the 2019 winter meetings have come and gone and sound the alarm because the winter meetings were back as baseball’s biggest money-spending, team-swapping bonanza.

And it was glorious.

Three days saw the top three free agents — Stephen Strasburg on Monday; Gerrit Cole on Tuesday; Anthony Rendon on Wednesday —  coming off the board with huge deals and bold moves.

So, how would all of you appraise the Winter Meetings?


QLE Posted: December 13, 2019 at 12:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, scott boras, winners and losers, winter meetings

Thursday, December 12, 2019

MLB Rumors: Angels Pursuing ‘Significant’ Starting Pitcher

Some examples of rumored goings-on with the Winter Meetings:

- The Angels are still reportedly planning to add a “significant” starting pitcher prior to the 2020 season and are pursing Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-jin Ryu, Dallas Keuchel or a trade for Jon Gray. (Jon Morosi, MLB Network)

- The Angels, after missing out on signing Gerrit Cole, have “expressed interest” in trading for Indians righthander Corey Kluber. A two-time Cy Young winner, Kluber is coming off an injury-filled 2019 season. Anthony Rendon remains the Angels’ priority, but they’re open to other options. (Fabian Ardaya, The Athletic)

- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians continue to engage in “serious” trade discussions for All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. Cleveland is seeking a package from the Dodgers including top prospects Gavin Lux and Dustin May. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

- The Yankees are interested in free agent catcher Martin Maldonado. In 2019, Gerrit Cole posted a 1.57 ERA and .471 opponent OPS in 10 starts with Maldonado, his best with any Houston catcher last season. (Mark Feinsand, MLB Network)

This enough excitement for you, Sports Illustrated?


Friday, December 06, 2019

MLB Winter Meetings Will Be Scott Boras’s Show Once Again

Rarely have the annual baseball Winter Meetings belonged to one agent the way the ones next week belong to Scott Boras. He represents the three free agents this winter who are expected to sign contracts of at least $150 million: pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon.

No agent ever has negotiated three free agent deals that big in the same offseason, and when Boras is done he will have negotiated 12 of the 37 biggest contracts in history.

Oh, and by the way, he also represents free-agent pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel, outfielder Nicholas Castellanos and third baseman Mike Moustakas, who already signed with Cincinnati for $64 million over four years.

By the time Boras is done he will have negotiated free agent deals worth close to what the entire free agent class of 10 years ago secured: $847 million.

With Don Wilson as Scott Boras’ portly announcer, Phil Harris as his drunken bandleader, and Dennis Day as his idiot boy singer!


QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:34 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: scott boras, winter meetings

Ahoy, San Diego: 2019 Winter Meetings Preview

Commentary on what to expect from the Winter Meetings- here is a sample of this approach:

Major League Baseball vs. Minor League Baseball

One thing a lot of people don’t know about the Winter Meetings is that it’s put on, primarily, by Minor League Baseball as an organization and the vast majority of the people on the ground at the Winter Meetings either run or work for or are trying to sell stuff to minor league teams. Almost every team’s owner comes and brings along some staffers. Coaches, trainers, scouts, and other team employees who spend most of their year out in the bushes as opposed to back at the big club’s home base attend meetings and hobnob with one another.

Normally that’s all pretty routine. This year, however, it probably won’t be thanks to Rob Manfred’s plan to contract 42 minor league clubs and rearrange a great many more of them across levels and leagues.

As we noted earlier today, that scheme has set off a political firestorm and is no doubt the top agenda item and point of concern for every single minor league official and employee at the Winter Meetings. There are, reportedly, already meetings going on in San Diego about all of this. Expect some news about it at any point in the next week. At this point I’d expect anything from Manfred totally scrapping the plan, to him doubling down on it, to reports of general acrimony and possible legal action and everything in between.


QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:21 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, free agents, hall of fame, managers, minor leagues, rule 5 draft, trades, winter meetings

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

How Can MLB Create Excitement Around the Winter Meetings?

The landmark event of the offseason is about to begin, but the landmark deals of the offseason don’t seem likely to take place during it. With the Winter Meetings kicking off in San Diego this Sunday, SI’s MLB crew takes a look at what the league could do to generate more excitement around the wintry baseball convention.

Wait- should we really have excitement break out during the Winter Meetings?


QLE Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:18 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, winter meetings




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