Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings are a lot like New Years Eve. Despite the same disappointing results every year, the anticipation and lead up to the big event includes no room for negative forecasting. Every New Years, we earnestly believe that at the stroke of midnight we’re going to end up making out with that girl we’ve had our eye on for the last couple weeks. What ends up happening is never what our ridiculously high expectations had hoped for. The obscure object of our desire seldom shows up and when she does, she’s usually on the arm of a better looking and more successful version of ourselves.
You can see the parallels.
We head into each Winter Meetings with great ideas on how our favourite baseball team can improve itself, and despite the evidence of countless Winter Meeting disappointments, we hold on to the illogical belief that our team will somehow magically sign that free agent we’ve had our eye on since August, or else pull the trigger on the deal that brings us the young player who’s ridiculously under appreciated by his current team.
And of course when things don’t work out this way, we bitterly complain about the inactivity on a local sports radio call in show or the live chat of an upstart baseball blog, as though those opportunities were looked over and not realized by our team’s general manager.
What we, in our overeagerness forget, is that there is life after New Years and there is time after the Winter Meetings to improve one’s team.
This year’s version of the Winter Meetings concluded yesterday morning, with the hopes of a million baseball fans, after the Rule Five Draft. Nineteen players were selected to new Major League rosters from the farm systems of other teams. Middle infielder Josh Rodriguez was selected first overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Cleveland Indians.
Signings And Extensions
Miguel Olivo was picked up by the Seattle Mariners on a two year deal worth $7 million, giving the Toronto Blue Jays a supplemental draft pick, while further mocking baseball’s compensation system.
The Cincinnati Reds inked Jay Bruce to an extension, adding six years and $51 million to his current contract.
The number of Jussell Martin’s suitors continue to climb faster than those of an 18 year old girl of moderate attractiveness in a Northern Ontario town.
The Brewers and Shaun Marcum will eventually sign a contract extension.
Adam LaRoche and the Baltimore Orioles seem to get along like a horse on fire.
Brandon Webb and the Chicago Cubs will be talking a lot in the near future.
Finally, HardballTalk’s Craig Calcaterra didn’t exactly get the best reception upon his return home from the Winter Meetings.