By: Andrew “Fish” Fain
Starting on Sunday, General Managers, Team Presidents, Agents, job seekers and even certain free agents will descend on Nashville to start the 2015 Baseball Winter Meetings. It is a baseball fans dream as all sorts of trade scenarios are discussed, free agent contracts are signed and it all ends with the Rule V draft on Thursday (Before you turn your nose up at the Rule V draft, here are just a few names that were once selected in the draft: Darren O’Day, Joakim Soria, Dan Uggla, Josh Hamilton and Johan Santana).
We all know that there will be a ton of transactions equaling millions of dollars happening next week, but what moves may happen that we don’t expect? Well here is a list of xx transactions that may happen that you may not see coming:
OK, before I get to the list, the Diamondbacks signing Zack Grienke would count as a bold prediction, but it happened before the Winter Meetings even started. So what does that mean? Other than the fact that Arizona was willing to go 6 years and over $200 million, while both LA and SF only went 5 years, but an AAV of over $33 million.
Well, let’s start with the fact that now all three of the Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw), Giants (Madison Bumgarner) and Diamondbacks (Grienke) now have an ace and a bunch of questions marks in their rotations.
All three teams also have an offensive superstar (Paul Goldschmidt, Adrian Gonzalez, Buster Posey), an up & coming stud (AJ Pollock, Corey Seager, Joe Panik) and all have work to do in Nashville. But I will say this, it makes the NL West a hell of a lot more interesting.
So what other bold things may happen in Nashville:
- The Angels will make a splash by signing Jason Heyward to give them the best defensive outfield in the game with Kole Calhoun in Left, Mike Trout in Center and Jason Heyward in Right.
- The Dodgers will land at least TWO of the following: Shelby Miller, Carlos Carrasco, Aroldis Chapman, Chris Sale and Sonny Gray. In one of those deals, Yasiel Puig will be traded away as well. If they land Chapman, Todd Frazier will also be involved in the deal.
- The Giants will take the money earmarked for Zack Grienke and sign Mike Leake, Scott Kazmir and Alex Gordon. Combined it will turn out to be a much smarter move than just signing Grienke.
- The Mets will land Ben Zobrist, and while the price will be about right, they will have to go four years in order to land him and that will be one year more than most teams feel comfortable.
- The Tigers will make one more big splash in the free agent market, probably landing Yoenis Cespedes, but if not, it will be someone of that level.
- Jeff Samardzija will land at least a five year contract and he will also get at least $18 million per season.
- Two of these three players will not be with the Marlins on Opening Day, Jose Fernandez, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton.
- The St Louis Cardinals will be one of the biggest spenders at the Winter Meetings, landing Chris Davis, and at least two starters (Doug Fister, Yovani Gallardo, Ian Kennedy, Wei-Yen Chen).
- Johnny Cueto will leave Nashville without a contract.
- The Indians will surprise everyone by signing Justin Upton
There you have it, 10 Bold Predictions from the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Do I honestly think all 10 things are going to happen? No. Would it shock me if I got at least 50% right? Not at all.
Even if I am wrong on all of these predictions, the one prediction I will get right is that the Winter Meetings will be a very busy week.