Winter Meetings Preview – Sunday

As the Winter Meetings get started today here are a few stories we are watching:

Where will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado end up?

Harper by far is the player with the most hype entering the free agent market and remains unsigned as we go into the Winter Meetings.  Harper’s former team the Washington Nationals have said that he turned down an offer of $300 million over 10 years back in September.  They do not see where he would resign with them at this point.  Are the Nationals playing coy? Maybe?  Teams that have been linked to Harper at this point the Dodgers, White Sox and Phillies.  The Phillies are ready to spend stupid money and Harper’s agent Scott Boras can certainly help.  As I look at this situation, I don’t see Harper signing at the Winter Meetings (even though Las Vegas is his home town) and won’t sign with the Dodgers until January. (sorry Cubs fans)

Machado will probably sign before Harper.  Mostly because I can see the Yankees and Phillies getting into a bidding war.  I can not see the Phillies giving up easy.  Although I can see Machado signing with the Yankees.  I think he will have more marketing opportunities in New York and a chance to win.  The Phillies are still a couple years away from being an elite team that big time free agents would sign with.

What will happen with J.T. Realmuto?

As the Marlins continue to rebuild their team it only makes sense to send Realmuto to a team they can get a few good prospects from.  The longer the off season goes the harder and less value he will have so the time to deal him is now at the Winter Meetings.  Also, will Derek Jeter show up this year?

Last year during the Winter Meetings:derek jeter

Who will the Indians trade?

The Indians seem hell bent on trading one of their starting pitchers.  The Indians can afford to trade a starter to help rebuild slightly while still winning the division since it is so weak. We know that Carlos Carrasco signed an extension recently so he won’t be traded.  Now it is between Corey Kluber and Trever Bauer to see who will be traded.  If you think you know, place your bets in Vegas now.

What will the Cubs do?

Joe Maddon is on the hot seat and is in the last year of his contract.  Theo and the boys have history in the last 4 year of doing big things at the winter meetings:

2014 – Sign Jon Lester

2015 – Sign Jason Hayward, Sign Ben Zobrist, Trade Starlin Castro

2016 – Traded for Wade Davis

2017 – Quiet

2018 – TBD

This is Theo’s most crucial off season with the Cubs.  This could also be the off season Theo is criticized the most if the Cubs don’t find a way to improve the team.  More than 2 months ago Theo said they needed to get better.  The only thing that has happened that is noticeable is a new hitting and pitching coach.  At some point the Cubs need to address the on the field personnel and this is the time to start.

Which team will be the first to make noise?  Who will better their franchise for next season and beyond?  We are only getting started!  Welcome to Winter Baseball Meetings week!

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