Winter Meetings Rumor Thread

There were a lot of little tidbits that punched out of this week’s Winter Meetings chatter. It’ll take a lot of work to get through it all, and it will feel dumb to dedicate a full post to any one because they’re rumors.

Also, roundtables are a good way to mitigate all of us lacking the desire to write on our own.

The Mets Are Interested in Alexei Ramirez

Matt: This is an interesting one. On the one hand, they have pitching that might be considered desirable. On the other, what the hell would the White Sox do with a gaping hole in the middle of the infield?

James: Throw Sanchez, Semien, Johnson, Bionic Saladino at it and hope something happens. Also, perhaps they don’t care because trading Ramirez is revealing about their actual view of 2015. It always seemed too KW to really think they’d be ready by 2015.

Matt: If they’re willing to use the year as another “wait and see” rather than a “maybe?” it starts to make more sense. I feel like I have to throw positional scarcity out there and also TINSTAAPP.

James: Doesn’t TINSTAAPP more specifically refer to lower-level arms? If you blow away guys in Triple-A, you can problably throw in the majors; the question is in what form.

Matt: I thought it was more your pitching prospect’s arm is going to fall off and he’s not going to be a prospect anymore.


That’s part of it, but also, dominance below Double-A doesn’t have to be indicative of very much. Zach Stewart blew away High-A hitters. Like, overpowered them. Not guile, not pitch-to-contact to a low ERA. Eviscerated fools.

I think this situation is particularly interesting because it kind of tests how far each team is willing to drift from our perception of their situation. We think of the Mets as clutching onto their crop of arms and looking a couple years out, but clearly they’d like to sneak into the Wild Card picture a bit. The Sox would like to compete in the short-term but are definitely trying to build their infrastructure more than they have in these situations in the past, but how much are they willing to draw away from the immediate oncoming season?

The White Sox Like Jason Castro

Matt: I mean, do they? I feel like that’s made up. What’s the point?

James: It’s a curious situation. Rosenthal acknowledged that the Sox have looked into Castro and Grandal in the past, which makes sense, because Castro was an All-Star in 2013 and Flowers was ATROCIOUS. But Levine followed that up with YEAH JUST LIKE ROSENTHAL SAID, SOX LOVE CASTRO. These are confusing times.

Matt: As far as the whole breaking stories, gathering intel thing goes, I think Levine isn’t so great at his job.

James: He’s great at keeping the convo going in the scrum. I tend to have something complicated I want to work in after they’ve gotten going for a while, but someone needs to start things off with “So...the game?”

Hahn: Yea, I got money

Collin: I feel like Castro won’t outperform Tyler Flowers a ton in the hitting department (I know that’s crazy, but I feel like 2013 was a bit of an outlier). But doesn’t Castro rank really highly in the pitch-framing department?

Collin: The Cubs are trying to trade for Jordan Zimmermann and sign Justin Masterson. I WANT THOSE GUYS. (Well, maybe Z is unrealistic, but I’m all about getting Masterson for cheap).

James: I’d be good with Masterson but surely there are several make-good zombies walking the Earth.

Collin: Masterson seems as good of a bet to bounce back as anyone on the market. Sounds like he’s willing to take a one-year deal to rebuild his value. I’d give him $10 million in a second. But then again, I don’t have $10 million.

Matt: I’m on board with a Masterson dice roll.

James: The Cubs are reportedly signing every existing free agent, so really the Sox need to be sitting on the waiver wire come March when 300 guys report to Cubs camp and they realize what they’ve done.

Collin: Also, why are the Nats even shopping Zimmermann? Since when have they cried poor when it comes to keeping stars? Also, am I crazy to be more willing to invest in Z long-term than Strasburg?

James: Do they need to keep Zimmerman? Do they have more arms coming in? How much does it benefit them to raid the Cubs’ cabinet?

Bowden Projections

James: We’re all geeked because Bowden loves Han-Ram for the Sox at 4/76, but he also ponders if the White Sox will give Victor Martinez 5/100 so I kind of want to pretend this article doesn’t exist.


Have you noticed I’m really good at avoiding using “we” to reference the Sox until I get the slightest bit emotional?

Matt: We, the White Sox, have noticed.

Collin: I never said I was geeked. Don’t put words in my mouth.

Matt: I have a good amount of confidence in Hahn. More, I have a good amount of confidence that Hahn is not an absolute moron. Unless Martinez decides he doesn’t need a whole bunch of years, I have no fear that Hahn will let him sign elsewhere without a fight.

Collin: If Victor Martinez wants a fight, I’m sure Chris Sale will oblige.

James: I’m full of dread. I’m going to make a draft of the video where Ned Flanders freaks out and have it cued it up for when they sign Vic. “They meant well diddly fidddly diddly try not to lose it diddlly diddly”

Matt: I thought you meant when Flanders went up to the bell tower and started shooting everybody. “That’s Homer Simpson.” “That’s also Homer.”

Maybe we should just address all of these rumors with various Ned Flanders reactions.

James: I mean when they build him a house that immediately falls down. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I mean when I think Victor Martinez. Bowden also has the Sox as pretty likely for Rickie Weeks, and the No. 2 option for Headley after the Yankees.

Collin: I like Weeks if it’s for really cheap. Can he play third?

James: In the past few years, Sox have had Conor, and the death throes of Kevin Youkilis and Orlando Hudson. Before that was ‘Brent Morel with a broken spine.’ Will we be able to tell?

Matt: I spent a long time expecting each year from Rickie Weeks to be some sort of huge breakout. On the White Sox he could bring me nothing but grief.

Collin: I’m just gonna throw this out there: When talking trades for guys like Jedd Gyorko, has anyone mentioned including Erik Johnson? The dude has fallen off the planet. There has to be a team that thinks they can rejuvenate him, right? That’s assuming, of course, that the White Sox are ready to move on from him. I don’t know. Would at least consider offering him if there’s interest.

Matt: I’ve heard Hahn mention him a couple times and talk about the last year like it’s no big deal and it smacks of posturing to me. If forced to guess I would think that he’s looking to move Johnson specifically.

Collin: Johnson would be a good starting point for Gyorko, no? Am I crazy to think the Astros might take him straight-up for Castro?

James: Johnson has like, no sustained success at any point in the majors, though.

Collin: Fits right in with Houston.

Matt: SD is constantly like this dumping point for White Sox pitchers.

Mostly unrelated to this thread, Twitter just gave me this:

Collin: OH MY GOD.

James: As much I love to hear the tale of the violent jerkface making good in Hollywood, I think you guys are out of this world on Johnson. No one is giving value for a guy who got obliterated in Triple-A and looked hurt all year.

Collin: He’s a year removed from being a Top 100 prospect. Just need one GM to say “we can fix him.”

James: What team finally gave Dr. Andrews the big job?

Collin: So you think Johnson is cooked, James? Or you just think nobody going to give up anything worth a damn since he hasn’t proven he can be successful and is healthy?

James: I think we’re too close to this, and for the most part, his prospect hype was barely a blip around the league. And now he’s fully trashed it. If the Sox gave up value to take a flier like this I’d flip out.

Collin: OK, I’m not saying he’s a centerpiece of a trade (although I guess I kind of already said that re: Castro), but he could certainly be used in a package if you’re trading for some legit, big-league ready talent. He still has SOME value as a potentially talented, albeit unproven arm.

James: To clumsily work my way back to the ‘Hahn’s got money’ point, I thought his comments today clearly indicated they’re leaning toward being aggressive. They will of course listen to Alexei, but don’t seem headed toward an offseason of acquiring assets and not extending out from their long-term goals.
Well, I guess the Zimmerman trade was a smokescreen. That was a fun two hours.