It’s winter. There are meetings taking place in the winter. Yes, these are the Winter Meetings, but we really only care about winning, and who is doing that so far this off-season? Well, really, no body – yet.
There have been just a hand full of signings by the MLB clubs so far, the Philadelphia Phillies have been active by signing Andrew McCutchen, the Boston Red Sox brought back Nathan Eovaldi, and most recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers inked Joe Kelly – yes, the Joe Kelly that broke Hanley Ramirez in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2013, but the guy was filthy in the post season.
The big boys are left out there, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. For the Dodgers, they look to remain busy and active, with rumors every outfielder on their roster is up for grabs, including Cody Bellinger. Relax, LA fans. The Belli Bomber isn’t going anywhere. He would have to bring back a Herschel Walker kind of return. Although, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, and even the once untouchable Alex Verdugo, are all on the table.
The Dodgers have been tied to just about every position on the field, and a majority of the players on the block. J.T. Realmuto, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Jose Martinez, and countless others have been checked in on, with some real progress being made towards a deal on a couple of the afore mentioned players.
The Marlins are going to want MLB ready, or near-ready, players and prospects. With the Dodgers having great depth at the position, I can see Will Smith, a current pitcher, possibly Wood, as well with an additional prospect or two, being what they want in return. A deal I think the Dodgers would ultimately make. Additionally, I could see L.A. flipping Verdugo, Puig, Kemp, and his salary, with a prospect to Cleveland for Kulber and Jason Kipnis in a salary dump swap with some real value attached to both sides.
There is a lot to process, decipher, and get excited about over the next several days. I do think some blockbusters are left on the agenda before the meetings end, but don’t expect to see Machado or Harper to sign until after the calendar flips to 2019. The free agent market moved glacially slow last year, and I see a repeat of that again to some extent, especially in the relief pitching department. One thing is for sure, Andrew Friedman will be busier than usual well until spring training starts. We won’t know until well after though, however, if these were true winning meetings for him and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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