The baseball winter meetings, which anachronistically take place in the season we call autumn, are just getting underway in sunny Orlando, Florida and so far the biggest news that I've seen emerge from the hotel lobbies, bars, and guest rooms is that Maury Brown's roommate needs some Breathe Right strips. Just kidding! Two yooge deals have already been struck with another on the brink of getting done:
- The Nationals signed free agent outfielder Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract, an enormous amount of scratch for a bearded old man and bizarrely similar to that of superagent Scott Boras' other overpaid clients, Barry Zito and Vernon Wells. Yes, it's too much to pay now, but let's not start throwing our waste at Nats GM Mike Rizzo quite yet: perhaps the dollar will collapse in 2012 and the estimated $18 million per annum will only equal about seventeen Hungarian forint.
- The Milwaukee Brewers traded their hot Canuck prospect, second baseman Brett Lawrie, back to his beaver-pelt-loving homeland. The Blue Jays will enjoy re-indoctrinating the lad back to the Great Northern Ways again even though it means they had to give up their 2009 Opening Day starter, Mr. Shaun Marcum. Instant analysis: good pickup for the Brewers who desperately needed to shore up their starting rotation. One down, four to go, amirite?
- The Red Sox traded for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and then they didn't, and then they did again. This deal, which will send a handful of top prospects to San Diego and zero MLB-ready folk, caused enough sturm und drang among Padres fans and Red Sox fans alike. Seems that there were some faux deadlines imagined and contract terms agreed to then disagreed to and then put off until the next tax year; most casual fans, though, just want to know who to boo. Here's a hint: boo the folk who speculate on (and therefore profit from) rumours.
Also, the Yankees resigned Derek Jeter to a reasonable enough contract, the A's turned down the pricey Adrian Beltre, and Brian Cashman chased a Grinch down a building dressed as an elf before jetting off to Orlando to arrive in time for the Monday brunch with Mickey. Only half of that last item is fabricated from my imagination. Winter/Fall Meetings, everybody!
UPDATE: I hadn't realized exactly how active the World Series champions are expected to be. Intrigue!