We stand on the eve of this week of “meetings” that you hear about consistently in rumors, beginning as early as late October (or August, for Cubs fans). The Winter Meetings. In the Twitter age, they’ve reached almost mythical status, with a tacit expectation that we’ll see a lot of exciting movement around baseball this week.
The 2012 Winter Meetings begin tomorrow and run through this Thursday. Front office execs, players, agents, and media (as well as job seekers) will gather in Nashville, beginning today, as their flights get in. For many of those groups, the meetings are a bit like camp – folks can have some fun with their friends, have some drinks, and casually chat about the offseason. For others, it’s a packed schedule of meetings – both external and internal – trying to finalize transactions for which the foundation, perhaps, was laid back last month at the GM Meetings. The meetings conclude with the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, about which more later.
The action isn’t quite as dense or fast-and-furious as it is at the Trade Deadline, but it is similar, at least in rumors. Teams are legitimately discussing a number of trades, a handful of which will be completed, and you have the additional layer of moves related to free agents – that’s something you don’t have at the Trade Deadline. In other words, across baseball, you can expect to see a huge volume of rumors, a fair number of signings – including a big one or two – and probably a few trades.
If it’s anything like years past, you can see a number of your preconceptions about the Cubs’ plans for the offseason shifted considerably. I’m not so sure that will happen this year, but I’m open to some excitement. I think you’ll see the Cubs talking to outfielders and pitchers, shopping Carlos Marmol and Alfonso Soriano, and maybe popping up with a surprise trade.
As a frame of reference, when friends and family ask about holiday plans, I make sure to black out this week. It tends to be busy around here.
I anticipate having a host of Lukewarm Stove posts this week, and roundups on the latest what-have-you each morning and evening. As always, you’re going to want to keep tabs not only on the site, but also on Twitter and on Facebook.