Often the baseball Winter Meetings in the past have been a nice kickoff to the offseason, a place where the GMs of the teams get to meet face to face and trade players over shrimp cocktail and Heinekens at the bar. (It is obvious this writer has never attended the meetings or the after meeting Happy Hour trade-fest, but this is what I picture).
The last few seasons the off-season action has been slow early on….whether that is due to trying to hold down salaries or just a bit of negotiating showmanship we do not know. But this uncertain off-season may well end up being glacial in comparison. The Winter Meetings are going to be virtual, which means that GMs will get together the same way they did last week or next week. Yes, they may concentrate a bit more on trying to establish relationships, but the ability to do that is Zoom and Face Time.
One would think that trades may happen a little faster than usual and that free agent signings may slide to the right as the teams and the player’s agents try to figure out what the “new normal” is with salaries these days. The teams are going to be looking for discounts and the players and agents want to just add a few percent to last off-seasons numbers. Older free agents may really struggle, even more than the last few seasons, to find a home.
It is pretty evident that the Astros have specific needs headed into 2021. An outfield with George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick becoming free agents, bullpen with Roberto Osuna, Brad Peacock and Chris Devenski gone and backup (or starting) catcher. They should pick up another potential starter, because though their five penciled in starters (Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr., Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier) look solid, there will be needs for more starters in 2021 and they probably won’t all be filled with youngsters off the farm.
So, will anything happen to fill any of these needs next week for the Astros? We may get to see a little bit of GM James Click’s modus operandi next week or he may be just doing behind the foundation of the scene laying for future moves.
What do you think will happen?
What would you like to see happen?