For the most part, the General Manager Meetings are a chance for Major League teams to announce their intentions on the trade market face-to-face, and give player agents a chance to sit down with multiple teams. There is an official agenda with the GM dinner tonight to announce the winner of the Executive of the Year award, but mostly it's a chance to get everyone in a room at once to get the Hot Stove sizzling. We'll see a lot of rumors coming in, maybe a signing or two, and a few one-year deals for arbitration-eligible players.
First, the deadline to formally accept or reject Qualifying Offers will occur today, Monday at 2 pm Pacific Time. It is expected every player that received a qualifying offer will reject it except perhaps Michael Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies. A team that signs such a player will give up their top unprotected selection in next year's amateur player draft. The top 11 picks are protected, up from the usual 10 because the Houston Astros received a compensatory pick for failing to sign Brady Aiken.
Looking back at 2013
The 2013 version of the GM Meetings ran November 11-14. Day 1 of those meetings in Orlando, Florida did not feature any major moves, though Justin Millar of MLB Daily Dish mentioned that the Tigers announced their interest in moving either Max Scherzer of Rick Porcello at that time. Both ultimately stayed with Detroit for 2014, but the Tigers ended up moving Doug Fister in early December to the Washington Nationals, announced in a scoop by some high school kid. On the first day, the Tigers also noted "mutual interest" in Joe Nathan, and that deal ultimately went down in early December.
The second day, Tuesday, saw the first mentions of possibly trading Brett Anderson. The Phillies signed Marlon Byrd in the first major free agent signing of the offseason. Carlos Ruiz received multiple offers (signing with the Phillies six days later). Other second day news:
- A trade rumor was floated for Ryan Hanigan of the Cincinnati Reds, and the next month he was part of a three-team deal with the Diamondbacks and Rays involving Heath Bell and other minor league players.
- The White Sox received calls on pitchers, including Hector Santiago. Santiago went to the Angels in a three-team deal that sent Mark Trumbo to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Adam Eaton to the White Sox, and Tyler Skaggs to the Angels during the December Winter Meetings.
On the third day, Wednesday, the Athletics signed Nick Punto. The A's also became a "surprise entrant" in the Nelson Cruz free agent market, who signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles coming off a 50-game performance enhancing drug suspension. The Angels were said to be reluctant to trade away Mark Trumbo, who as noted above became the price for Hector Santiago.
The final day was more rumors and the approval of funding for the replay review system being tested at the Arizona Fall League that year. This year there is expected to be a report on the pace-of-play measures the AFL is trying, which include pitch clocks, a limit on mound visits by coaches and catchers, and a no-pitch intentional walk rule.
Looking ahead to this week
The rumors will arrive fast and furious. The takes will be hot. One person will say something, another executive will deny it, and so on. Relish it! 101 days until pitchers and catchers report.
If you must have baseball, the Japan All-Star Series will be aired on MLB Network and to MLB.TV subscribers at 1 am. There are no Athletics on the club, but that does not mean they were not asked. Plenty of players are electing rest and recuperation instead of the seven games running from November 11 to November 20.