How to spice up the winter meetings after a dull week in Vegas

The only significant free-agent signings during the three days in Vegas were the Philadelphia Phillies with Andrew McCutchen, the Tampa Bay Rays with Charlie Morton and the Texas Rangers with Lance Lynn — and none of those deals is official until the players pass their physicals. The two biggest trades were Tanner Roark going from the Washington Nationals to the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates trading Ivan Nova to the Chicago White nike nfl jerseys from china

None of this is necessarily a problem except in the context that the meetings are billed as a newsmaking event. Important stuff is going to happen. That’s why everyone is here. It’s supposed to be baseball’s time to lead the sports news cycle.

The winter meetings used to be a place of action instead of a place of text messages, like the epic 1992 meetings in Louisville when there were more than 30 free agents signed, including Barry Bonds and Greg Maddux. At the 2000 meetings, Manny Ramirez signed an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Red Sox, only to see that topped by Alex Rodriguez’s audacious 10-year, $252 million deal with the Rangers. One of the biggest challenge trades in MLB history occurred during the 1990 meetings, when the Blue Jays traded Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the Padres for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in a monumental exchange of four All-Stars that would help the Blue Jays win two World Series. In 1984, the Oakland A’s traded Rickey Henderson to the Yankees, and the Expos traded Gary Carter to the Mets. Even as recently as 2011, the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson after the Marlins had a temporary moment of insanity and signed Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell.11

Now the name of the game is caution. There are numbers to crunch and options to explore.

“They used to be old school back in the day,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told MLB Network, recalling his days as a baseball operations assistant in the late ’80s. “We’d all be down at the local bar doing stuff on napkins, and I remember, late night, waking up in the morning, [Lou] Piniella might be on the couch and Kevin Towers, one of my best friends in the game who’s no longer with us. Just GMs, managers and scouts all staying out all night trying to figure stuff out. Now you’re sequestered in a suite and you hardly see anybody, nfl nike jerseys cheap china maybe a text until they drag us out here to the media circuit.”

Technology has changed the offseason, of course. Texting is a 24/7 operation, and face-to-face meetings are unnecessary. Mostly, however, front offices don’t feel any urgency to make deals. Nobody wants to make that mistake that haunts a franchise. Here’s an example of what I mean. There were 40 players in 2018 who made at least $20 million. The worst 20 players on the list combined for just 5.4 WAR and over $470 million in salary. That’s a lot of money flushed down the toilet.