Ah, I do love the winter meetings. Aggressively mediocre players getting offers of more money than I will probably ever make in my lifetime. Pitchers with their arms kept in their sockets solely due to the wonders of duct tape getting multi-year contracts. Managers wearing hilariously poorly-chosen shirts. Scott Boras laughing himself to sleep every night on a bed of dead puppies and crushed dreams. It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year!
Really, it’s all about the rumors. Rumors are the lifeblood of the winter meetings. They keep the reporters occupied and the websites in a frothy mess of up-to-datedness (excepting of course this particular website… REAL writers don’t have to deal with FINALS and OH GOD HUGE PRESENTATIONS IN FRONT OF COMMITTEES OF PROFESSORS WHO POSSIBLY HATE YOU AND YOUR ARTWORK). They make managers feel like they’re on the cutting edge of hip-itude, or something, and they make players feel wanted, which is important when you’re working with a bunch of grown men who have the average maturity of an emo middle schooler.
Since the closest RotT can get to the winter meetings is Rotoworld (which I have, for the record, been reloading OBSESSIVELY of late), we have just kept our royal collective ear to the ground here in frigid ol’ Michigan for some of the latest and clearly greatest Tigers rumors out of the southern lands.
—Matt Stairs to the Blue Jays sounds like a done deal. I liked what the rotund little fellow brought to the field at the end of the year, but not enough to want to shell out more than a bare minimum to retain him. Basically he brought spirit, and since spirit is a great intangible, it has always been my general belief that it should be paid for with accordingly intangible amounts of money.
—Other teams think that Chris Shelton is a hot piece of man meat. Perhaps not in those exact terms, but other teams have been asking Mr. Dombrowski about him. You can just imagine the conversation. A general manager sidles up to Dombrowski in the lobby and pulls him aside. “Hey, Dave. You know that sexy little red-headed thang on your roster? Help a fella out and let me have that number, willya? I just have such a weakness for that shade of orangey red…”
—The Tigers want a left-handed reliever wicked bad. Jamie Walker was a pristine LOOGY last season, and good for him, parlaying that into a honkin’ big contract. I don’t necessarily think that he would’ve retained that same level of production, and even if he does, it’ll probably only be if he’s used the way Leyland (correctly) used him: as a LOOGY. So good luck to him, but now we need something like him in the ‘pen. I have no idea who we should get. Whoever it is will probably be worse than Walker06, but hopefully not too much worse.
—Craig Monroe is available for the right price. And that right price is: one moderately nice leather belt.
—We need to restock the system with catching prospects. Well, so does everyone else is baseball, but STILL. I know I’ve been harping on this and I’m going to keep right on harping on it until we clone Pudge and raise his freakish, pre-aged little clone babies in a sketchy lab somewhere in Lakeland.
—Jeremy Bonderman is not being traded. If you say otherwise, I will find you, and eat your spleen. It would be D-U-M dumb to trade Bondo now. Given his age and his current skill level, AND his potential skill level, you really would have to get back something fairly ridiculous to make it worthwhile. I believe what I said before was “Albert Pujols and the secret to the presence of dark matter in the cosmos.” I think that still stands.
—Mike Maroth is probably the most likely starter to be dealt. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be dealt. Here at RotT we haven’t detected any particular noise in that area, unless you count the ‘Mike Maroth and cruddy prospects for Brian McCann, Andruw Jones, and a pile of gold doubloons’ trade that exists only in my head. But if any of the starters end up on the block, I’d be least surprised to hear it was Maroth who went. I do kind of want him back; he’s been getting better and better every year, and was well on his way to another great year last season, but hey. It’s like I always say… if wishes were fishes, we’d all be feasting on cod.
—Roman Colon neck spasms REVEALED! Apparently he had a herniation in his neck. I assume that means a herniated disk? As is distressingly usual, the official site gives almost no medical information. Since a ‘hernia’ is technically any spot where some inner structure (tissue, organ wall, etc) protrudes through the wall normally around it, it could refer to a number of things… a bit of spine slipping out of place, a tendon or muscle doing something wonky, etc. He had surgery to correct it and will only just be starting to throw in March, so he’ll probably still be on the DL when April rolls around.
—Jim Leyland is the talk of the ladies at the winter meetings. Oh hellz yes.