The Winter Meetings begin on Sunday Night, and the action is expected to be wild. Trade rumors and signings are going to be prevalent as the Hot Stove explodes. Here are six predictions for what will happen at the Meetings:
1) The Washington Nationals acquire a White Sox starter, but it’s not Chris Sale
The Washington Nationals are in pretty much every bidding war you can think of, whether it be via trade or free agency. They’re in on Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (as mentioned on our offseason tracker), and reportedly they’re in on White Sox LHP Chris Sale. I believe that the Nats have a great chance of acquiring Sale, however, there’s another southpaw on the ChiSox that might not cost as much. I’m talking about Jose Quintana.
Quintana has the potential to be an ace, and what better situation for him to go to? He’ll get to go and play with a top offensive team that contains guys like OF Bryce Harper and 2B Daniel Murphy. The guys pitching in front of him in the rotation? NL Cy Young Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The rotation also contains two very solid starters in Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez. Dusty Baker is a pretty good manager, I hear.
2) The Chicago White Sox will sell off all of their veterans
I’m not exaggerating when I say this. The Chicago White Sox will sell EVERYONE. Quintana might be the first to go. Obviously, this is a a bit of a reach, but anything can happen when all 30 GMs are under one roof. Guys like Chris Sale are drawing a lot of interest and will have high price tags, but others like Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera could will be on their way out as well. They should be the most aggressive seller in all of the majors, but they won’t be the only seller on their division. More on that later.
3) The New York Mets trade both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce
One of our writers recently wrote about a reunion with the New York Yankees for Granderson, but I don’t see a reunion happening. Granderson will be dealt, but not before teammate Jay Bruce, who is being shopped by the Mets. Bruce is the power bat, and there’s a deep market for outfield power bats. I believe Bruce will stay in the NL, as he’ll be headed to the Philadelphia Phillies.
As for Granderson, I believe a team like the Texas Rangers could be in on him. Texas wants McCutchen, but I believe Washington will ultimately land him. Texas could get Granderson at a cheaper price.
4) The Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates sell off pieces
This looks to be a foregone conclusion, at least for the Tigers. They want to shed payroll and they’ve got a few pieces that they could *realistically* move. Guys like RHP Anibal Sanchez, LHP Justin Wilson, 2B Ian Kinsler, and OF J.D Martinez. Will all of their pieces move? I say no. Martinez and Kinsler are the most likely to move, but Wilson will also be on the move, I believe. The relief market is bustling, and Detroit can jump all over that.
As for Pittsburgh, we already know about the McCutchen talks, but there’s two other players on their roster that will also be on their way out: INF Josh Harrison and LHP Antonio Bastardo. The Bucs are willing to eat some of Bastardo’s 2017 salary to move him, which entice some teams. Harrison is a bit intriguing actually, but his versatility would draw some interest from multiple teams.
5) Two of the Big Three closers sign
Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon will sign at the Winter Meetings. Melancon could sign as soon as Sunday Night or Monday morning, but I think Jansen will come down to the wire. Jansen will sign late on Wednesday or early Thursday, but he’ll sign.
It’d be a dagger in the heart of Dodgers fans if San Francisco signs Jansen, and I see that happening. Melancon will re-sign with the Nationals, who should be beefed up with the aforementioned Quintana and McCutchen, who I both believe head to DC.
6) We’ll see more than three blockbuster trades
This year’s free agent market allows this to be a possibility. It’s really bad, and with the names out there on the trade market, is no wonder why we could see at least three blockbusters, if not more. McCutchen will be one, Quintana will be another. Then, it’s just a case of picking your poison.
Well, these are my predictions for the upcoming Winter Meetings. Let us know what you think!
Photo Credit: Sporting News