Sunday, November 27, 2016

2016 Baseball Winter Meetings Preview

Major League Baseball will conduct the annual MLB Winter Meetings just outside of Washington, D.C. this year. 
The formal location is National Harbor, Maryland, a waterfront development along the Potomac River.
The headquarters for this year’s meetings, which run from December 4-8, will be the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
There the folks from MLB Network will set up a broadcasting hub to bring all of the action to fans everywhere. 
Interviews with baseball executives, managers, general managers, player agents and others will highlight much of the activity.
The Winter Meetings have historically been a time and place for many of baseball’s biggest offseason deals to get done. 
In the years before the development of instantaneous communication such as the internet, these face-to-face meetings were the place that GMs would negotiate and consummate numerous trades.

LET’S MAKE A DEAL

It was at the Winter Meetings that Roger Maris went from Kansas City to the New York Yankees, Frank Robinson from Cincinnati to the Baltimore Orioles, Gary Carterfrom Montreal to the New York Mets, and Rickey Henderson from Oakland to the Yanks.
Blockbuster deals have become less common in more recent years. Still, deals do get done. Many more have the groundwork laid for later completion.
Miguel Cabrera moved from the Florida Marlins to the Detroit Tigers in 2007 for a package that included a young pitcher by the name of Andrew Miller. The Tigers struck again three years later, landing pitcher Max Scherzer as part of a three-team deal with Arizona and the Yankees.
There have been a number of high-profile free agent signings that have been finalized at the Winter Meetings as well.
A year ago, Ben Zobrist left the World Series champion Kansas City Royals to sign with the Chicago Cubs. He would go on to win the World Series MVP this season as the Cubs ended their 108-year title drought.

MORE THAN THE DEALS

The Winter Meetings are not just about the trade and free agent talk. They are also a networking and job-seeking opportunity. There will be a number of formal meetings workshops and industry presentations.
Other events held within the Winter Meetings include a formal Banquet, Awards Luncheon, Gala, and the Baseball Trade Show, among many others.
Over the next few days, I will be taking a look around baseball at some of the more high-profile organizations as the Winter Meetings draw closer.
Who might swing the big blockbuster this year? Who might sign on as a free agent with a new organization? Those are the questions that I will examine over these next few days. Stay tuned, the Hot Stove is about to really heat up!

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