Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thoughts of The Winter Meetings, So Far...

There's been a lot of analysis and reporting from the scribes along with those who are lucky as part of the media that traveled out to Las Vegas.

For Oriole fans, I guess the trip out West so far has been fairly productive as we traded Ramon Hernandez to the Reds for Ryan Freel and two minor leaguers, and we may be on the cusp of signing shortstop Cesar Izturis.

It now looks like the path for Matt Wieters to be in a Baltimore uniform at some point in '09 has been put into place, and the team may have resolved the shortstop issue; however, more pitching is needed, as well as a backup/primary catcher, and I'm sure that's what Andy MacPhail will be working on next.

The club is currently in talks with the agents for Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami and Koji Uehara, had interest in Jon Garland -- however, those talks seem to have died down. They might still revisit the A.J. Burnett situation, though it looks like that he might have his choices down between the Braves (who have reportedly are up to giving him a 5-year deal), the Yankees and Red Sox.

It looks like change is coming to Baltimore, the rebuilding process is continuing, and MacPhail really wants to put 2008 in his rearview mirror.

In light of the huge Sabathia deal -- I'm not looking forward to seeing him in the AL East for the next seven years -- the other 800 pound gorilla in the room, Mark Teixeira has not agreed to anything as of yet. While I think the Yankees may not still go after Mark -- with the new ballpark and their expectations of winning, never count them out -- however, it looks like the competition is between the Red Sox, Angels, the Nationals (yes), and the Orioles.

Now, another team may come and jump into the fray; however, only the Nationals according to media reports seem close to be willing to give what Mark wants despite they losing 102 games last year. I believe Washington may want to gain some credibility from the signing and have a marquee name to being fans in; however, I still see him with Boston.

The Red Sox have the money, talent, and desire to win that should convince Mark to sign on the dotted line. Furthermore, you cannot underestimate the influence of Scott Boras -- I think he wants his client to sign in a big market, a place where he could play where the ballpark is filled every night, keep him on the East Coast and get him the national exposure that could expand his marketabiliity.

The only two teams I see in that category are New York and Boston.

I think Baltimore has a slim chance if Teixiera has sentimentality in his mind; however, I think he goes for the exposure, money and the chance to win.

That signals Boston.

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