Hamilton, Greinke remain on market after meetings
By RONALD BLUM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) A quiet winter meetings figures to lead to a busy rest of December, given how few moves actually got finished at sprawling Opryland hotel.
As teams headed home Thursday, the biggest free agents were still on the market. The availability of slugger Josh Hamilton and pitcher Zack Greinke held up decisions on other signings and possible trades involving Rangers infielder Michael Young and Mets Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.
The Yankees, quiet thus far, were pursuing former Boston star Kevin Youkilis and also met with the agent for Mark Reynolds.
Hamilton could remain with Texas, and Seattle seemed to be interested. Greinke's options include staying with the Los Angeles Angels, moving up the coast to the Dodgers or signing with the Rangers.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said that after taking in information from other clubs and agents, it was time to return home and "cool your jets."
"There can be a domino effect," he said. "I think when clubs are focusing on a certain position, a certain need, there's options out there. And once one option goes away, then that changes the landscape of what a club would want to do. Everybody's got their ducks lined up in a row, and it's just a matter of how things fall. And there's timing involved."
The annual meeting wasn't much of a swap session. The Phillies-Twins deal was just the fourth trade over the four days.
Atlanta announced a one-year deal with outfielder Reed Johnson on Thursday, and Texas said reliever Koji Uehara had reached an agreement with Boston. Minnesota agreed with reliever Jared Burton on a $5.5 million, two-year contract that includes a club option for 2015, and third baseman Ian Stewart said he is re-signing with the Chicago Cubs, confirming the move on Twitter.
But the 25-foot wide dais with a podium backed by MLB logos was used just three times: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman discussed Alex Rodriguez's hip injury; Major League Baseball announced an auction benefiting Stand Up to Cancer; and the Mets talked about David Wright's $138 million, eight-year contract, which had been agreed to last week.
The Yankees have been quiet, watching as catcher Russell Martin agreed with Pittsburgh last week and backup third baseman Eric Chavez went to Arizona during the meetings. Wanting to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014, the Yankees are being cautious. Still, Cashman maintained it hasn't been a rough week for him.
"Because I don't read the papers as much as I used to," he said. "This year's marketplace, it might be strong in terms of the dollars being thrown around, but I don't think it's a strong market in terms of the available talent."
As the meetings ended, Cashman had made a $12 million offer to Youkilis, who would play third base while A-Rod recovers. The Phillies were trying to obtain Young, the infielder who has been with the Rangers for his entire 13-season career and would have to approve a trade. Arizona was listening to offers for outfielder Justin Upton.
"It seems like when people leave the winter meetings, there's a bit of a quiet period," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. "People kind of get out of the frenzy, maybe take a step back and realize that maybe something they were talking about isn't such a good idea. Sometimes things get close and never end up happening."
For all the talk, the Dodgers have made only one big move since the end of the season, re-signing closer Brandon League. But they've been quite busy over 2012. After they were bought in May for $2 billion by a group headed by Mark Walter and Stan Kasten, Los Angeles added stars Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett. The Dodgers face a Sunday deadline to reach a deal with South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin, whose rights they gained for a $25.7 million bid.
Quite different from the days under the previous owner, Frank McCourt.
"You couldn't get an agent to return a phone call," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "Now you've got them lined out the door."
Texas GM Jon Daniels was popular, too, given his interest in Hamilton and Greinke, and talks involving Upton and a possible a multi-team trade.
"It just makes it tougher, more than two clubs," he said, adding he had a variety of trade and free-agent options. "There are a couple of big decisions that are going to impact the direction. We've narrowed it down, but there's still a couple ways we can go. Some of that is up to us, and some of that is up to the guys on the other side of the table."
After exploring trades involving Dickey, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it was possible the team could keep the knuckleballer without a deal for beyond 2013.
"I don't think it's necessarily the optimum result, but it's a possible result," he said.
Some teams worry about overpaying this early in the offseason. Other clubs conclude they must.
"You run into people, like, `Man, I didn't want to do that, but I had no choice,'" Cashman said. "So they're getting a problem solved, but they're not happy with their solution and what they had to do to solve it. I don't want to be in that position. I'd rather feel good about what I'm doing."
NOTES: The winter meetings will return to Nashville in 2015, the governing body of the minor leagues announced. Next year's meetings are in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and the 2014 session is in San Diego.
Updated December 7, 2012
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Joe Castiglione talked with John Lackey after he picked up the W against the Twins. Lackey threw seven innings, and retired the 1st twelve batters of the game.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Dale and DJ roll on with their puck talk and chat some more about the goalie matchup in this series, as well as the lack of a quality power play for both of these teams. In fact, DJ says the Rangers are even worse on the PP than the B’s! The guys also get into the resurgence of Milan Lucic and his deceptive speed and grit. Dale and DJ talk about the similar styles of play for these teams and look forward to Game 2.
Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
WEEI.com's DJ Bean joins Dale in studio for Sports Sunday to discuss the Bruins playoff run. Game 2 is later today and the guys discuss the results of the first game of the series. They get into the construction of the lines for the B's and if they would make any changes. DJ has a few ideas for the lines today. The boys also discuss the two goalies - Tuukka vs Henrik Lundqvist and wonder why people automatically think the Rangers have the edge at goalie. Finally, they get into the legacy and the decisions of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
Jeff Bauman, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, joined the show to give the guys an update of his condition and a first-hand account of that terrible day. Jeff told the guys how he wrote the description of the bomber as soon as he could. Mr. Bauman added that he is aided every day with the knowledge that he is alive and the terrorist that detonated the bomb is dead.More from this show
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.More from this show
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.More from this show