‘Hot Stove League’ Overheats, Melts

Baseball’s Winter Meetings start on Monday, but they might be very quiet this year in terms of player moves. That is because the new trend appears to be to get the jump on other teams by making moves early.

Yesterday was one of the biggest days for off-season transactions I have ever seen. It was like the July trade deadline day of past years – it seemed like every fifteen minutes, another deal was announced or confirmed by MLB reporters.

In terms of actual results, the Mariners were quiet yesterday. However, one of the biggest stories was a report out of New York saying the M’s are prepared to offer huge dollars to second baseman Robinson Cano. That story is linked below.

If the Mariners were to sign Cano – a premise that many, including Keith Olbermann, find preposterous – that would block second base from guys like Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley. At least one would certainly be traded.

I know many Mariners fans were hoping that the team would sign free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. That’s not happening – the Oregon native signed a seven-year deal with the Yankees. It’s hard to say how hard – if at all – the Mariners tried to get him.

There are still impact moves the Mariners can make. Shin-Soo Choo is still available, David Price is reportedly on the trading block, and they may be heavy players for star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka once that process gets sorted out.

But sitting back and waiting does not appear to be the proper move this winter – teams are making their moves early.

Links:

  • Teams in the AL West have been very active, making moves leading up to next week’s Winter Meetings. Ryan Divish has a recap of the latest.
  • Here is the report out of New York City that the Mariners have had conversations with free agent star Robinson Cano.
  • For all of the moves yesterday – and there were many – try this post from ESPN’s Dave Schoenfield.
  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tried to make sense of all of the moves right here.
  • The Mariners weren’t totally silent yesterday. They named Dan Wilson roving catching instructor. He’s been doing that job on a very part-time basis for the last few years; now he’ll dive into it full-time. John Stearns held the job last year until he was named Rainiers interim manager, and then Mariners third base coach.
  • Triple-A baseball’s most prolific home run hitter will play in 2014. Mike Hessman signed a minor league deal with Detroit – and assuming he returns to Toledo, he’ll need just 11 home runs to become the eighth player to ever hit 400 career minor league homers.
  • Some manager news from the PCL: Wally Backman returns to the helm of the Las Vegas 51s, and Pat Murphy has the honor of being the first manager in El Paso Chihuahuas history. Murphy will be joined by some new coaches: hitting coach Jacque Jones and pitching coach Mike Cather.
  • They are one vote away from a new ballpark in Nashville. Go, Nashville, go!

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