I’ve been in Orlando for a little over 12 hours and it has already been a busier and crazier Winter Meetings than last year’s fete in Indianapolis. For those of you who stay away from the web on the weekend, here’s what went down yesterday, with a taste of how the lobby (i.e. the hotel lobby full of drinky, chatty baseball executives, agents and press) was processing it all last night:
- The Nationals gave Jayson Werth a seven-year, $126 million deal. No one understands this. It’s too much money. It’s too long a deal. It’s to a guy past 30. This contract has the entire Winter Meetings crowd shocked. The fun game is for everyone to guess what, based on this deal to Werth, the younger, superior Carl Crawford can expect. The consensus: 112 years, 346 gajillion dollars;
- The Adrian Gonzalez-to-the-Red Sox deal fell through and then it got done again. While there was a bit of breathlessness to it all at first, most folks around here assumed it was going to happen anyway. Likewise, most folks around here suspect that the fact that the Sox and Gonzalez have not yet agreed on a contract extension — which was allegedly the reason it fell through — was just fine with the Red Sox, actually. Why? Because if Gonzalez doesn’t sign until later then his deal does not count against the Red Sox for luxury tax purposes until 2012.
- The A’s said thanks but no thanks to Adrian Beltre. Most agree that the A’s were right to do so. It’s one thing to have a free agent turn you down. It’s another thing to have him ignore you while still being able to hold your offer to him out to other teams with whom he’d rather engage and say “see, I’m a hot property.” The A’s don’t want to be used.
- The Brewers traded second base prospect Brett Lawrie to Toronto for Shawn Marcum. While Lawrie is technically the Brewers’ top prospect, some people I was talking to last night were less-than-impressed with him, believing him to be a head case and, frankly, not as good as some of the prospect-ranking types think he is.
And all of that was just the stuff that went down after I got off the plane. The Meetings officially start today. I’ll be posting from down here in Orlando all week, so like they used to say back when people listened to the radio: lock us in and rip off the dial.