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Open Thread: Winter Meetings - Day 1

And so it begins! For non-stop rosterbators such as myself and none-too-few others here at AN, today marks one of the most exciting weeks of the year: the Winter Meetings! The Tigers and Rangers got the trade market going last evening by swapping Gerald Laird for a couple of pitching prospects.

Several non-A's hot topics to keep abreast of today:

- CC Sabathia met with the Yankees yesterday and will likely meet with the Red Sox soon.

- K-Rod was wined and dined by the Mets last evening and they might present him a formal offer sometime soon. They are also exploring deals for Brian Fuentes and/or Kerry Wood.

- The Cardinals have reportedly thrown their hat into the A.J. Burnett sweepstakes.

- The Cubs are still interested in Jake Peavy, but want to cut some salary and sign a left-handed hitting outfielder before they acquire him.

As for the A's, the team stands at an somewhat murky impasse. By trading a couple of nice, young trade chips earlier this off-season to get Matt Holliday, the team basically embarked on a goal of contending in 2009. However, since that time Beane has been rebuffed in efforts to further reload the A's least at the position it most needs it (shortstop).

The team likely has plenty of cash to spend in the free agent market and several nice prospects that would pique the interest of other teams. So it seems like Beane has the resources to do almost anything here at these meetings, which is a very exciting confluence of events, considering that in the past he has been wildly unpredictable even without the benefit of payroll flexibility or a strong farm system...