Most are expecting an active winter meetings this year, so don’t be surprised if Dec. 5-8 lives up to those expectations. For seven general managers, this year will be unique. Most of them assuredly are veterans of the winter meetings, perhaps having attended in other various capacities. But this year they will be dealing with new teams and new roles at these winter meetings. Here's a description of each and what moves they could end up making.
Terry Ryan, Minnesota Twins
Quick profile: For Ryan, even though he’s technically a “new” GM, this will be old hat. It’s his second go-round as the Twins' GM, having replaced Bill Smith, who replaced him four years ago. Ryan is quiet, professional and scouting-oriented. He doesn’t like trading prospects and believes in building a club through scouting and player development. However, his first two moves were signing high-character players like infielder Jamey Carroll and catcher/1B Ryan Doumit. Both moves improve the bench and clubhouse.
Possible moves: Ryan has a lot of work to do, but he certainly was the right hire, as his prior track record speaks for itself. He will try to retain Michael Cuddyer and/or Jason Kubel, while searching for ways to improve the rotation, bullpen and middle infield defense. He might not have the luxury to wait for the farm system, which means he could have to be aggressive on the trade front. But it won’t all happen at the meetings.
Ben Cherington, Boston Red Sox
Quick profile: Cherington is well-prepared for this opportunity and boasts a good balance of scouting, statistical analysis and understanding of the importance of makeup and character. He’s smart, organized and calculated and surrounded by a strong staff, including former Royals GM Allard Baird. However, his cautious and meticulous nature, which is usually advantageous, has seemed to limit him thus far in the offseason. As a GM, he will learn he often must make faster decisions or they’ll miss out on an opportunity. At his first winter meetings as a GM, he might learn that lesson soon enough.