The GM's Office: winter meetings

Lessons from the offseason thus far 

December, 9, 2013
Dave DombrowskiAP Photo/Paul SancyaDave Dombrowski has made some odd moves, but they will likely work out.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The hot stove season typically doesn’t get white-hot until the winter meetings, but general managers decided to break the rules this year and we’ve seen tons of action already, with the Robinson Cano contract and Prince Fielder-Ian Kinsler trade being the most notable.

As we head into the winter meetings, I thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and reflect on what has happened thus far. Here are three key takeaways from everything we’ve seen leading up to the winter meetings.

Lesson No. 1: The Tigers improved despite being on the wrong end of two big trades

Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is no stranger to blockbuster trades, and he made a pair of surprising deals this winter that left many in the industry puzzled.

First, he sent Fielder and $30 million in cash to Texas for Kinsler. Fielder is younger and a much more potent hitter, and despite a down year, he hasn’t shown the same kind of decline Kinsler has over the last couple of seasons.

The other deal was sending right-hander Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for lefty reliever Ian Krol, utilityman Stephen Lombardozzi and lefty pitching prospect Robbie Ray. Again, a light return even if you think Ray is a solid prospect, which he is.

To make matters worse, this was the worst time to trade Fister.

Trade candidates for all 30 teams 

December, 2, 2012
Not every team will make a trade at this week’s winter meetings in Nashville, but every team could. With that in mind, let’s take a look at one player (or more) who could be on the trade block this week from each of the 30 teams.

American League

Baltimore Orioles
Player: Brian Matusz, LHP
Reason: There are several teams that believe what Matusz did in relief for the Orioles down the stretch he can also do in the starting rotation if given another opportunity. The Orioles want a corner guy/DH, and they might have to use Matusz to fill that hole.
Possible trade partners: Mets, Padres, Indians, Cubs

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Winter meetings: Inside the GM suite 

December, 4, 2011
Billy BeaneAP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackBilly Beane has used the winter meetings to get deals done or start dialogues for deals.

During baseball’s offseason, there’s no better place to get face time with a potential trade partner than the winter meetings.

Major League Baseball’s winter meetings have evolved considerably since the days when teams used the meetings solely as way for team personnel to gather with their counterparts on other teams and exchange ideas and feedback. Media relations people, traveling secretaries, trainers and, of course, baseball operations personnel all used the winter meetings to discuss the industry with little fanfare.

These days, those same people still meet, but the winter meetings have become a major event.

Inside the Hotel Anatole in Dallas, each team is settting up its general manager's suite as the nerve center of information and interaction. It is every team's war room to perhaps begin talks with teams or agents or to pull off a deal. On average, each club will have about 20 baseball operations personnel ranging from the team president and owner, general manager and assistant general manager, scouting director, farm director, AL and NL scouts, traveling secretary, media relations and medical staff.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider