December 8th, 2014
It’s amazing how much one free-agent pitcher means to the direction and flow of the Winter Meetings. It seems as though once LHP Jon Lester decides from among his many suitors, the most highly regarded remaining starting pitchers will fall in line. Where does Lester pitch next year? And for how many years thereafter? We shall see. I don’t hear as much about the Cubs being the frontrunners anymore. The buzz here still points to Boston and the Giants. But the Dodgers loom. And the story changes depending upon the source of the information. Red Sox manager John Farrell is confident Lester will return to Boston. Could be. I have no idea. I thought his relationship with Cubs front office personnel could tip the scales in the direction of Chicago. I think we’ll know tomorrow morning. And then…other pitchers should fall into slots. But maybe not Max Scherzer. Perhaps we won’t know about him until Spring Training. But Lester could go to the Cubs or the…or the…or the. Frustrating. Powerful.
While our MLB.com personnel were in a meeting this morning, the Indians got a big left-handed bat in the name of Brandon Moss to play in the outfield, first base or as their designated hitter. He should help the Tribe…if his hip allows. Moss had a tough second half last year and had hip surgery following the season. He is currently in physical therapy and feels he will be two weeks behind other players in Spring Training. I think that may be optimistic. A hip injury for a hitter is a major concern. Hips do so much of the work in swing mechanics. I hope Moss doesn’t return until he is fully healthy.
Just a hunch, but I think the odd man out in the Indians equation could be David Murphy-also a left-handed hitter. Also an outfielder. Not much power. Decline in his 2014 season. Too many redundant position players. Someone probably goes.
Joey Wendle has a chance to be a good hitting second baseman. Some consider him more a utility player than a starter. I’m not one of them. I think he can play full-time for a team like the Athletics that isn’t deep in middle infielders. But he’s a year away from prime time. If the A’s don’t improve that role with a Major League ready guy by the end of Spring Training, Wendle may be rushed. I just don’t see that happening
The Diamondbacks formally announced the signing of Yasmany Tomas. He allegedly has a difference making bat. It could be very exciting for Dbacks fans.
The environment for these meetings is fabulous. The weather in San Diego could not be nicer. We are located adjacent to shops and restaurants right at the harbor. The hotel overlooks beautiful views of the water and downtown San Diego. Meeting rooms, the press room and the hotel sleeping rooms are all a short walk from each other.
Yesterday outside the hotel at Seaport Village we had a guy that trains exotic birds and makes money permitting tourists to take pictures. We had a guy that eats fire performing in the middle of the courtyard. We had Santa Claus greeting little kids, a ballon artist and a guy who thinks he’s Frank Sinatra singing non-stop for hours. Something for everyone. Like a circus. So far I’ve had one great lunch, one good lunch and one lousy dinner. Two out three isn’t bad.
Without a doubt, when we are at dinner tonight some major, huge amazing story will break. Isn’t that what always happens? Our MLB.com team is working hard to uncover every lead and leave no stone unturned to bring our readers the most up to date and current information. Every shred of a lead is followed. I work with amazing reporters who are the best in the business. I learn from them every day. But we can’t make chicken soup if we don’t have the chickens. Does that make sense to you? You know what I mean, right? We don’t start rumors. But I still have a feeling this is going to be a huge week. Trades. Signings. Why do I think that? There are teams with too many outfielders and teams without enough. There are teams with middle infield surpluses and teams with few middle infielders. Any everyone needs pitching.
The Rule 5 Draft is Thursday. I’ll get more into that in subsequent blogs.
So here we are. We wait. It’s like slow ketchup. Once the drips start, it pours easier and faster. I’m willing to wait. So are you, right? The wait is worth it if you like what your team has done. But you want your team to do something. Something good. You wait for word about your club. But don’t get excited about rumors. Get excited when you read that it’s official. Then you can slot the guy into the lineup in your head or in the rotation in your mind. I know. I’m chronologically advanced and I’ve spent years and years and years pounding that ketchup bottle in December. Sometimes it never pours. Sometimes it does. For your sake, I hope you get what you want. Let me know at my twitter account @BerniePleskoff. What are you wishing and hoping for? Keep pounding that bottle.
I have a scouting profile of Joey Wendle up today on MLBPipeline.com. Hope you check it out. And thanks for following me and reading my work. I’ll be back tomorrow with the Tuesday edition of my Winter Meetings blog. For now, let it flow. Please.
That’s it. I’m done. Breaking news will be posted @BerniePleskoff