The annual Winter Meetings for Major League Baseball are approaching. They will be held at Walt Disney World, and things always seem to happen around this time of year. We have already seen some big transactions as teams have not waited to upgrade their rosters. The Rangers and Tigers made a blockbuster trade with Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler. The Yankees signed Brian McCann to give them a formidable force behind the plate. There is definitely more to come.
The Winter Meetings give owners, GMs, and other team personnel the chance to talk in person with each other about possible trades and other roster moves. Teams can find out about players they are interested in signing from their former teams. Rules are updated and changed. Unexpected things happen and very few secrets are safe with so many executives in the same place at the same time.
One of the big rule changes that will be discussed is collisions at home plate. With catchers getting hurt in recent years, this has become a safety issue for baseball. Personally, I think it is part of the game and adds suspense to the game in big moments. There is no need to limit the way players slide into home or to ban collisions. There is too much baseball history at home plate to change the rules. Players go hard no matter what and that includes an occasional run in between a runner trying to score and a catcher blocking the dish.
Instant replay has already made its presence felt, but I really wish they would re-evaluate the expanded use of it for next season. If managers are given challenges like in football, baseball will have totally reversed the effect of shorter games they want by dragging out games with possible multiple booth reviews during games.
The biggest free agent on the market, Robinson Cano, has a good chance to be signed in these few days. Although he and the Yankees are still reportedly far apart in terms of money, someone is bound to take this chance to make Cano a respectable offer that the New York will have to try to match if they want to keep their All-Star second baseman. His agent’s (Jay-Z) presence in the Big Apple can’t be ignored, and I still consider the Yankees the front-runner to sign Cano.
You might think that the Winter Meetings are a boring get together for team executives, but I promise you it is anything but that. You can expect a lot of bottom line breaking updates over the four days. Heads are already spinning over the Detroit-Texas trade, and that is just a sign of things to come in a few weeks in Orlando.