The winter meetings in Dallas officially kickoff Monday morning, but as I write this it looks like the Marlins are making another big splash on the free agent market, landing Jose Reyes. The terms appear to be 6 years $106MM (AAV $17.67MM). The Marlins have already signed Heath Bell and are one of the 3 teams closing in on Mark Buehrle and still have an offer out there to Pujols. Buehrle also has the Nationals and Rangers very interested (it's believed those three teams have made offers to Buehrle). The only hold up with the Marlins apparently is the inclusion of a no trade clause, which they historically do not offer. The offer to Buehrle is rumored to be 3 years $52MM. These are not the only suitors for Buehrle, there are no less than 14 teams interested in the steady lefty.
To hear that the Rangers have are serious on Buehrle is a little surprising because I haven't seen anything that has them in on CJ Wilson. I think that should give the teams that are interested in Wilson some pause. And perhaps some have, as the Nationals have pulled their interest in Wilson. Marlins, Red Sox, and Angels are said to be interested in Wilson.
While Pujols is most likely heading back to St Louis, Prince Fielder is drawing interest from the Nationals, Blue Jays, and Mariners. I think the Mariners have to overspend to get him. Can you imagine the Blue Jays lineup with Bautista and Fielder...WOW!
How are the Nationals involved on every major free agent out there???
The Yankees are very quiet on the free agent front and I can't blame them. While I think Buehrle would fit in well with the rotation I don't think that is a price the Yankees were willing to pay. Yankees are really only interested in 2 potential free agents: Yoenis Cespedes & Yu Darvish.
Cespedes has 3 teams showing serious interest: Yankees, Tigers and Marlins. No word on when he is officially declared a free agent, but analysts are projecting $50MM to sign him. His natural position is CF but I have a suspicion that he would be a corner OF for the Yankees. If the Yankees are truly serious about getting this guy I would think they would want to get it sooner rather than later so they can then turn their OF surplus into a starting pitcher.
Yu Darvish will apparently be posted after the meetings but most likely before Christmas. The Yankees, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Red Sox are said to be the primary players. Ken Rosenthal says it's not certain that he posts early and could go to January, which will diminish his market because most of the teams will already spent their money, leaving only the Yankees and Red Sox to bid.
Bobby Valentine has a 2 year deal with team options for 2014 and 2015 in Boston. I think he's done in Boston after 2013 because that's when John Farrel's contract is up in Toronto. Unless Bobby V wins a Championship, which I don't see happening.
While some of the focus is on the free agent signings, these winter meetings will be all about the big blockbuster trades. An I think this where the Yankees make deal for a big time starting pitcher. If I'm the Yankees I'm hoping Fielder signs this week anywhere other than Seattle, then I try (again) to get Felix Hernandez. If not I'm calling Brian Sabean, who is good friends with Cahsman, and try to get a deal done for Lincecum or Matt Cain. Both are going to become very expensive in the next season or two. The Giants need offense in a big way and are looking for a SS and OF help...I'm thinking Nova or Hughes, Swisher and Nunez for one of those guys mentioned. Lincecum is trying to get extended in SF now, he recently turned down a 4 year deal because he's looking for 8 years. But he's also comfortable taking a 2 year deal.
I think the Yankees will deal a starter this off season. They sent Hector Noesi to the Dominican Winter League to stretch him out again after being stuck in the pen for much of the second half last year. Noesi dominated the league going 3-1 with 2.22 ERA over 28 1/3 innings. He reportedly was hitting 97mph on the gun. I know everyone was in love with Nova this past year, but keep in mind he was actually projected to have a lower ceiling than Noesi, Betances, and Banuelos. He may be at his peak now.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Manny Ramirez has applied for reinstatement and would serve a 50 game suspension. He's a joke and I can't see anyone even offering this guy a minor league deal. I saw one report that already had 17 teams officially not interested in Manny. I think he plays Independent ball this year.
Non-Baseball news...the Giants lost that game plain and simple. The Giants secondary is absolutely terrible. The Packers score on a blown coverage play leaving Driver open in the end zone, then they drive 60+ yards in under a minute to put them in FG position. They were well within FG range after 2 plays. And the penalty for illegal contact was ridiculous. That turns into a 42 yard swing as the Packers went from 4th and 21 to an automatic first day then on that next play get 16 yards. Giants should have won that game and did everything possible not too. Only good thing is Dallas also loss and they got 2 games with Big-D left. The Giants need to take both games to get the division.