December 7th, 2015

Calm So Far

Good morning from The Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville. Believe me, this place is all dressed up and ready for Christmas. Beautiful decorations all over the place. This is hotel is so big you can check in on Sunday and not find your room until some time on Monday.

The Winter Meetings have been here several times, so we really know our way around. But-there is so much to see and do that my fitbit might blow up. It’s not used to me walking so many steps.

In case you missed my Top Ten Prospects for 2016 as posted at MLBPipeline.com, here they are:

No. 10- Steven Matz-Mets

No. 9- Orlando Arcia- Brewers

No. 8- Tyler Glasnow- Pirates

No. 7- J P Crawford- Phillies

No. 6- Joey Gallo- Rangers

No. 5- Lucas Giolito- Nationals

No. 4- Yoan Moncada- Red Sox

No. 3- Julio Urias- Dodgers

No. 2- Byron Buxton- Twins

No. 1- Corey Seager- Dodgers

Like you, I was blown away when the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke. I have a couple thoughts about the deal: First and foremost, Chase Field, like Coors Field in Denver is a very tough place to pitch. However, Greinke fits for a couple reasons. He can keep the ball down in the zone and keep the hitter off balance. He has struck out 200 men a season more than once. Remember-he has pitched in hitter-friendly Miller Park. Chase Field is difficult, but he’s a cut above. A six year deal may be two years too long, but the buzz and the immediate improvement to contending status makes the deal more than viable for the Dbacks-who just signed a huge, huge TV contract worth lots of $.

Yes, the Dodgers lost Greinke and have more than one hole in the rotation. But getting Aroldis Chapman allows them to shorten the game for all their pitchers-including Clayton Kershaw. I think they’ll get at least one more starter. But it won’t be an ace like Greinke or Price, we know that.

The Giants have to re-tool their pitching staff. Age has crept up on them. I see them getting two starters some way, some how. And Justin Upton would really help their offense and outfield needs.

Take Mike Pelfrey out of Minnesota and put him in Detroit and he is…still Mike Pelfrey.
I like his stuff, but the results have been…meh.

David Price to the Red Sox. The ace they need. But they have to have the rest of their rotation improve for them to keep up with Toronto, etc. They have other questions as well in December—Hanley to 1B, Sandoval’s weight, etc. ??

David Dombrowski never really replaced Joe Nathan as a closer and suffered for it. It’s ironic that his first major move for Boston was getting a closer.

The Indians have to sign one from among (in order of my preference): Pedro Alvarez, Chris Carter or….Yikes…Ike Davis. Doing so will bring some much, much needed power without yielding a starting pitcher.

If they do have to yield a starter to get a hitter, they better get a power hitter with some RBIs in his bat. I clearly wouldn’t trade Kluber or Carrasco. That leaves Salazar, or Bauer. One of those may be worth a healthy sum of RBIs IMO.

I’m really happy Peter Bourjos has signed a contract with the Phillies. He’s a good guy, a great defender and he can run. But he has to hit more and get on base. He’ll help the Phillies pitchers.

I like Nori Aoki in the Seattle outfield. He can slap the ball around that big outfield, get on base and score. But they really need lots of offensive production from their entire lineup, top to bottom.

My miss of the year? Will Middlebrooks. Wow, was I wrong. In Spring Training he did a fine job with the bat. But his bat is slow and he may well be a 4-A player. I admit when I’m wrong, and I thought he would hit.

Collin Cowgill can help the Indians outfield defense late in games.

Watch this space for Winter Meetings blogs once or twice a day until Wednesday afternoon.

Thanks for reading my columns at MLB.com and for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff.

That’s it-I’m done for this first blog from Nashville.