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Winter Meetings, Day 2

Today marks the second day of the meetings, and as far as I can tell, they’ve been pretty quiet. I expect things to pick up a little today as executives have had a full day together, and possibly more importantly a full night of drinking together. I remember reading somewhere that a good portion of the deals at the winter meetings are consummated after dinner when there is some imbibing going on. Since I haven’t mentioned Zack Greinke on this blog in almost a full post, I figured I’d start off with a quick hit update of what I know.

What we know right now is that Greinke is still a Royal. A few days ago, the Royals made the comment that they would not trade Greinke to a division rival. After a day of talking with other teams, it appears that position has softened a bit. Team officials are now saying that “in a perfect world” they would not trade Greinke to a division rival. Anybody who thinks this is a perfect world should share whatever they’re drinking with the rest of us. At one point yesterday, a report circulated that a deal had been reached with the Blue Jays and it was hinging on Zack Greinke waving his no-trade clause. This was a pretty easy rumor to debunk, though, as it’s been made clear that Greinke would pitch just about anywhere as long as it isn’t with the Royals*. As expected, this rumor was put to rest pretty quickly. Still, the saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” isn’t something people say for their health, so talks are probably pretty serious here.

*I haven’t gotten into it too much, and I don’t know that I want to for fear of my blood pressure reaching epic levels, but I’m sick of Greinke. I get that he wants to be somewhere else, but what an ungrateful punk he is turning out to be. This is an organization who saved his career. They stuck by him when he walked away from baseball in 2006. While the people in place now are not those who were a part of that, they did give him $38 million to remain a Royal for four years. They stood by him and have allowed him to only speak on days he pitches. And now he comes out and says that it’s probably not a good idea if he’s with the team next year? Since this is a family friendly blog, I’ll just say this: what a load of bologna.

Perhaps the companion to the Greinke trade is someone signing Cliff Lee. Maybe I have that backwards and the Greinke trade will be a companion to Lee signing. Either way, it makes sense for the Royals to wait until Lee is off the board as it would make teams who lost out more desperate for his services. One rumor on Lee that I find interesting is that one team has or will soon offer seven years. My first thought on that was the Nationals, but I’m not sure that they have the coin available to make another giant signing. Then I thought about it, and I could see a dark horse emerging in the Tigers.

It sort of makes sense as they have tons of money to spend with all that off the books from last season. Looking around the AL Central and some of the best hitters are left-handed from Morneau and Mauer to Dunn to Sizemore and Hafner to a good portion fo the Royals lineup and prospects. It’d be nice to add a guy like Lee to a rotation that already includes Verlander, Scherzer and Rick Porcello. Add to that a history of the Tigers front office with a willingness to overpay for a player they really want and you might have your surprise bidder. Of course, before I decided to hit “publish” on the side of the blog I checked out some tickers and it looks like the Nationals will indeed offer seven years. I still think the Tigers are a dark horse.

On non-Greinke news, the Royals seem to be getting on board with my idea of Andruw Jones. And yes, I plan to take full credit for it because this is my blog and I can do what I want. In all seriousness, they appear to be really intensifying their search for a right-handed bat for the outfield. I think Josh Willingham is a very real possibility, and I think the Nationals may be willing to do it straight up for Tejeda. An article in The Star indicated that the Royals didn’t want to put more than about $2 million into the player they acquire for this role, but with Tejeda’s potential arbitration earnings leaving, Willingham still comes pretty close to fitting that budget.

So things remained quiet yesterday, but look for things to heat up today. While it’s the right thing to do to wait for Lee to sign to trade Greinke, I think there’s a chance that Greinke forces the Royals hand and they do it beforehand. Day two should be pretty interesting to follow.

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  1. December 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm

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