Rounding Third: GM meetings shift focus to the offseason
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." - Rogers Hornsby.
That's certainly not the case for players anymore.
While the champagne is barely dry on the San Francisco Giants' second World Series title in three years, Major League Baseball officially shifts to offseason-mode this week with the start of the general managers meetings in California.
Nothing usually comes out of the GM meetings as they generally serve as a precursor to the main event - the winter meetings, which will take place in Nashville from Dec. 3-6.
Josh Hamilton's agent Mike Moye will likely be making the rounds at the Hyatt Grand Championship Resort in Indian Wells, Calif., this week following a report suggesting his slugger could be asking for as much as seven years and $175 million in free agency.
Hamilton is the best available player on the market, but will he be the most sought after? The Hamilton sweepstakes will be quite an interesting follow this winter. There is no question that when he is on the field he is a top-5 talent and perhaps the premiere slugger in the game.
But, of course, there is a massive amount of baggage.
As he proved last offseason, Hamilton is always one night away from slipping up. Is a team really going to invest close to $200 million in a player like that?
Either way, he is not signing this week, next week or anytime soon. Look for a Hamilton deal to get done in the Music City a month from now.
Another person who figures to be busy is New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. He may or not be trying to peddle third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the $114 million he has remaining on his deal over the next five years.
Following the Yankees' embarrassing ALCS loss to Detroit, most thought the Yankees would try to unload Rodriguez, making this a winter of never-ending A- Rod rumors. However, everyone involved quickly squashed any possibility of the three-time AL MVP leaving the Bronx.
Let's see if anything develops this week. As stated before, there is not much of a market for a declining 37-year-old slugger owed an average of $22.8 million until the end of the deal in 2017. The Yanks would have to eat a tremendous amount of money in any potential deal, and at that point, why bother?
Hamilton may have a better chance at procuring the deal he wants than Cashman has at dealing Rodriguez.
In addition to the schmoozing among executives, there are actual administrative meetings that will be taking place in California, beginning Wednesday. A big topic will be the expansion of instant replay, as will protective headgear for pitchers. The subject of a worldwide draft also will likely be broached.
The big topic, though, will be instant replay. Although, commissioner Bud Selig and executive vice president for baseball operations Joe Torre have both said they are against groundbreaking changes to the game, instant replay has a very good chance of expanding for next season. It won't be drastic, but fair- foul calls down the lines and trap catches by outfielders will likely be added.
It's a no-brainer. If there is technology out there to get the call right. Get it right. It is simple enough.
So, get ready. The offseason is upon us. Can't you smell the Hot Stove heating up?