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Winter Meetings Begin

The winter meetings are sort of like a holiday for the baseball nerds like me who are out there. If only our employers checked internet usage, they’d see that most of our time is spent on various rumor sites to see who our favorite team has acquired or traded away. Every year, there’s a darling to the winter meetings, and this year the Royals are the team who will be getting the most attention because they hold the chip to the biggest trade piece out there. I’ve posted a lot about Zack Greinke in recent weeks, but I have a feeling that I’ll be done posting about him for awhile. I think he gets traded this week or at least a trade becomes a lot clearer.

A few weeks ago, we talked about some possible destinations for Greinke, and I settled on the Rays as the team who I’d like for him to go. That was because I’m a fan of Greinke and I like the Rays, but I also liked the possibility of what they could give in return. While the lack of rumors involving them doesn’t preclude them from obtaining Greinke, it does make it less likely. The teams who have been in the forefront lately are the Blue Jays, Rangers, Yankees, Brewers and to a lesser extent the Braves. I’ve also heard the Mariners thrown in the mix, and some fans have indicated that it’d be pretty nice to be able to get Colby Rasmus from the Cardinals to patrol center field. There have also been some rumblings about Greinke to the Diamondbacks in a deal involving Justin Upton, but I don’t see that happening.

Probably the most interesting rumor out there was posed by Bob Dutton in a Royals Notebook in The Star a couple of days ago. The rumor was Zack Greinke for Ryan Braun straight up. I went through a myriad of emotions when I read that. The first was a resounding yes, but then I thought about it for a little and soured on it. I let my mind wander to other more important things like what bad movie was on next on Comedy Central (it was The Slammin’ Salmon…truly awful). I came back around after that, and now I’d be firmly on board with Greinke to the Brewers for Braun. Now, though, news has come out that the Brewers just acquired Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays in exchange for Brett Lawrie and others. So it poses questions about whether these trades were made as a precursor to a potential Greinke deal. I could probably give a good argument both ways, which means that I have no idea. See? This is why the winter meetings are awesome. They haven’t even started yet and my head is spinning from possibilities.

Onto other winter meetings tidbits – Rany just wrote an article that is an absolute must read. If you don’t get a chance to click over there right now, I’ll give you the brief rundown. He wants the Royals to get Carl Crawford and stop at just about nothing to get there. $20 million per year is what he’s suggesting. One thing about Rany’s articles is that he makes a terribly compelling case that not only makes sense, but makes the reader think that it’s a possibility. I’ll save you the trouble, it’s not. It may have been early yesterday, but Jayson Werth just signed a deal with the Boston Red Sox Washington Nationals. He signed an identical contract to that of Barry Zito and Vernon Wells. Let’s hope for the Nationals sake that it works out a little better than those two have.

The point is, though, that Crawford is probably going to be asking for more than $20 million now and has a legitimate case that he deserves it. If he’s asking good teams for more than that, he’ll be asking the Royals for WAY more than that. So that’s not happening. More heartbreaking for me, however, is the fact that the Royals couldn’t get Werth for my proposed 3 years/$51 million deal. The good news is that it looks like Josh Willingham is now more available than he was even a couple of days ago when I suggested trading Tejeda for him. He’d look awfully nice in the Royals lineup with all those young lefties making their way through.

Regardless, we’re in for a fun week. If anything breaks, I’ll give my analysis that I’m sure you’re all so anxiously waiting for. If nothing breaks, well, I think you know by now that I’ll figure out something to talk about.

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