NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – Maybe payroll flexibility does mean something for both New York baseball teams at the annual convention of minds also otherwise known as the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings. Two days complete, two more to go and nothing to finalize in rumorville.
Well ,nothing set in concrete for the Mets and Yankees with potential trades of outfielders on the block and getting that all important entity known as pitching. With exception of the Dodgers re-signing lefthander Rick Hill to three-year deal and the NL wild card Giants inking Mark Melancon, an elite closer to a four year deal, it’s all about rumors.
Then again, the past few years this annual meeting of minds has become a convention of journalists hanging by walls, cell phones in their hands and baseball executives huddled in their suites reviewing the contracts and contemplating moves.
The WAR statistic, or is that “Wins above Replacement” or something else, becomes a factor with baseball economics before a potential trade is made. And everyone awaits the next 48 hours and where are the final destinations for coveted free agents, Aroldis Chapman, Edward Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.
Wait a moment, the Yankees were seeking to re-sign Chapman as their closer. There is also a Bronx watch for Encarnacion and Bautista, two former Blue Jays’ sluggers who can change the complexion of any lineup.
But, conspicuous by his absence is Yankees manager Joe Girardi. GM Brian Cashman, survived his yearly escapade dressed as the Christmas elf and propelled himself down the side of a skyscraper in the town of Stamford Connecticut.
So the Yankees are quiet as of now, that is until Cashman made his debut late Monday afternoon in a lobby on the second floor, an elaborate setting at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor Maryland. The manager, Joe Girardi not by his side and reportedly won’t be here.
Cashman did say, the Yankees want to make a move to upgrade their pitching, though more likely to come within the organization. So the complicated questions and speculation will continue for the Yankees over the next few days.
The Mets and MLB were conducting a proper public relations move and held a morning briefing that will raise funds from a silent auction to renovate a field in Little Ferry New Jersey in the name of Shannon Ford, the admired and brave Mets’ public relations executive who passed away last year after a battle with breast cancer.
Reviewing the free agents available remains on the Mets agenda. GM Sandy Alderson would not comment to names on the list, but the Orioles and Mets are in discussion about the outfield needs for Baltimore and the pitching needs for New York.
Brandon Bach, the 30-year old righthander, 10-5, 2.05 ERA in 71 games last season, for either Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce? Not a cost factor for the Mets but Bruce has $13 million coming and Granderson $15 million.
Stay tuned. This could be a prelude or the warm up before the first pitch in the suites and lobbies in a luxurious setting known as the 2016 Winter Meetings.
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