The Winter Meetings Reportedly Could Be Wild This Year

Thanks to the pandemic and the lockout, we haven’t had an MLB Winter Meetings in three years. For that reason, alone, you might think it could be a fun one next week. Executives, agents, players, and reporters might all just be a little extra itchy to DO STUFF. And, as a rabid consumer of anything and everything out there, I certainly hope that’s true!

But is that what people in the game are actually expecting behind the scenes? Given the actual market conditions – and the way everything has become all about waiting as long as possible to make deals – will next week be the kind of Winter Meetings we used to see? Or will it just be another slow drip?

Well, for what it’s worth, Jeff Passan hears it could actually be wild this year:

From Passan, the expectation is that things are really going to accelerate, in part because the talks behind the scenes did kick up this week:

None of the eight free agents projected to receive the largest deals has signed. The biggest contract thus far, a $102 million deal for New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, happened the day after the World Series, nearly four weeks ago. Not even the low end of the market is moving. About 100 free agents who did not receive a qualifying offer are expected to command major league deals. Seven have signed.

That could soon change. MLB’s winter meetings kick off Sunday in San Diego, and across the sport, executives and agents anticipate a flurry of action to finally initiate the inexorable winter frenzy. Aaron Judge could conclude his free agency by agreeing to a deal. The starting pitching glut could ease. Even the shortstop market, with four nine-figure players and twice as many teams expressing genuine interest, could start to move, with the rest of the dominoes falling quickly.

In reality, a wide swath of people involved in free agency told ESPN, the dam started breaking Monday, when both free agent and trade calls between teams started to pick up.

Free agent talks AND trade calls. Yeah, baby. Please. Let’s go.

Hopefully that means the rumor mill will continue to more aggressively churn this week and on into the weekend. We might not see any of the MAJOR signings go down until next week, but there’s a chance we’ll start getting more and more clarity on various player markets this week, including – for one example – which, if any, shortstops might actually sign next week, and which teams are in the final mix for that player.

And then please, please, please, let the Winter Meetings be nuts this year. My soul needs it.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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