Mancuso: Yanks Won Winter Meetings, the Mets?

The exodus to get out of town was early for a majority of baseball officials Thursday morning at the Baseball Winter meetings so the Disney resort in Lake Buena Vista Florida quickly went back to normal. This exodus is common because the meetings are more about business than making those transactions that can change the complexions of teams and where they are headed.

New York baseball? There was change in the Bronx as the Yankees were the headline and the name Giancarlo Stanton can do that.  Chase Headley is back in San Diego and the Yankees set the tone for more before the commencement of spring training in about nine weeks, as GM Brian Cashman looks to re-sign CC Sabathia and possibly add another arm to the rotation.

With Stanton on the Yankees roster, baseball executives were saying they are the overwhelming favorite to win it all in 2018, then there is that key component of pitching and they say that wins ballgames. That is why Cashman and company will seek to assure the rotation is solid, one that is expected to supplement the many runs the Yankees are expected to score.

“They won the lottery,” said one longtime executive. But, he added again, “pitching is so much an important part of the game and wins ballgames.”  So the Yankees were the talk of these meetings and set their foundation to do more in the next few weeks, and because they always get what they want you can expect more to come.

However these meetings are more of a social gathering of baseball executives who bunker up in their suites four days and eventually make a cameo appearance.

Manny Machado is also the huge story with the Yankees and Cardinals, and some more teams looking in. But the Yankees, with a ton of prospects, do have enough for the Orioles to consider moving their all-star third baseman, who has told Baltimore’s front office that he would like to move back to shortstop.

Rule 5 draft that closes the meetings, and still difficult to comprehend, saw the Yankees lose four minor league prospects, most from any team and the obvious indication as to how deep their minor league system is.

So who cares what the other executives talked about, or planned for a foundation before the first pitch is thrown in late March? The Yankees once again dominated the meetings and that’s all you need to know.

And where was Mets GM Sandy Alderson? Upstairs in his bunker and  daily briefings with the beat writers, with no definitive answers and as always the second baseball team in New York left the meetings without making a splash.

And there is nothing to report about setting a foundation. The Mets need to fill various holes, the owner Jeff Wilpon was seen leaving the premises early and  headed back to New York instead  of remaining  in that bunker with hs GM.  

Ian Kinsler? Looked like a deal was close, but the Mets quickly left the table and perhaps that was another tactic to quiet a fan base calling for their team to make the proper moves.

Matt Harvey? Another false alarm and all rumor because the manager Mickey Callaway and his pitching coach Dave Eiland believe Harvey can turn it around. Of course, as expected, the Mets were never going to make a splash with Giancarlo and were never one of those teams mentioned as a possible destination for Machado.

Then again, wasn’t that expected for this New York Mets hierarchy that seems to forget how in two years they went from a World Series to a team in turmoil?

Oh they made one splash that fortified their bullpen with the acquisition of reliever Anthony Swarzak to a two-year $14 million contract. It’s a start, or maybe not, but as they say pitching does win ballgames.

But the Mets left these meetings with no apparent foundation. And for their fans, expected or not, something they did not want to hear and with minimal trust in Sandy they don’t trust.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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