Okay, the first day of the winter meetings was pretty fun, but it’s mostly posturing and feeling each other out. Day Two is when some of the big names ought to start coming off the board, and not a single one is going to go without the Dodgers reportedly being interested – whether it’s true or not. Everyone’s terrified of this team, and I can’t lie: it’s really, really fun to be a fan of this team right now.
While we wait for some real news, a few notes about other players..
* Here’s a fun one: the Indians reportedly came close to trading shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to an unnamed team for one major league pitcher and a few prospects before it fell through, with the acquiring team planning to move Cabrera off his position. That could honestly fit half the teams in the sport so it’s difficult to speculate, though my best guess is the Yankees, who could have parted with Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova and used Cabrera to replace Alex Rodriguez at third base. I’m a fan of Cabrera, given his youth and his quality bat from a middle infield position, and obviously the Dodgers have major league pitching to give. Then again, part of me hopes it isn’t the Dodgers; if this report is accurate, it’d mean Hanley Ramirez would remain the shortstop. Still, you know I’m completely against the idea of entering the season with Ramirez at short and Luis Cruz at third, so something has to be done.
* Speaking of which, the Marlins are reportedly trying to move Yunel Escobar, which makes total sense. I looked at him back in October as a potential solution, even though he’s got some pretty obvious warts. As we discussed back then, he’s coming off a poor year and some clear off-field problems, but he’s talented, cheap, and the Dodgers need another left-side alternative.
* The ninja move: We’ve all heard more about Dodger interest in Zack Greinke & James Shields than we can stand, but I still think they’ll pull off at least one move that comes out of nowhere and surprises us all. This is total speculation on my part, but my best guess on that is lefty Washington reliever Sean Burnett, who is drawing a lot of interest yet hasn’t been publicly linked to the Dodgers so far. With Scott Elbert coming off of arm surgery & Paco Rodriguez very raw, the club could use another lefty reliever and the 30-year-old Burnett, who had a 57/12 K/BB in 56.1 IP last season, is far superior to Randy Choate. Again, this is only my speculation, though if not Burnett, I think they’ll make at least one move that surprises us.
I will say this: everyone talks to everyone at this time of the year. I’d go so far as to wager that every Dodger except for Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Carl Crawford, & Adrian Gonzalez has at least had their name brought up in conversations. It’s actually probably better that most of these conversations are not public, because most of them are just that – brief, exploratory conversations, potentially over a quick beer in the hotel bar. Yet if one of these popped up on Twitter – let’s just say, making this up, “Andre Ethier to Tampa for a pitcher!” – the social media world would implode. It’s kind of like with the R.A. Dickey business yesterday, you know?
Anyway, Day Two is always the most fun. I’m guessing by this time tomorrow, the Dodger roster looks a little different.