Greetings from the last day of the Winter Meetings

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Whew! Just woke up. So sad about it too because I was having a great dream. Dayton Moore signed — get this — Melky Cabrera. I know. Crazy!  Almost as crazy as someone actually reporting on someone’s death before knowing for sure that the person is dead. And that would never happen!

Oh well, back to the rational, sensible non-crazy world for me!

But before that, let’s talk about uber-eventful last night. Carl Crawford and Boston.  The news shot through the Winter Meetings like a bullet. When word hit the lobby of the Dolphin Resort, the scene was like the reporters running to the phone booths in “Airplane!”  A bunch of people flooded into the media room, which you may be surprised to know isn’t normally packed with people at midnight on the last night of the Winter Meetings.  But it’s not like everyone went in there. Some people quite obviously stayed in the lobby and filed their story from their Blackberry.

As for the Crawford signing, Drew and Matthew killed it last night with an initial report of the deal, the dominoes that will now fall as a result of it, the effect it will have on the Red Sox’ lineup, and a possible explanation of why the Angels lost out on Crawford when everyone thought he was theirs.  All I’ll add is this: the Winter Meetings have made one thing perfectly clear: until there’s a salary cap, teams like the Yankees just are not going to be able to compete.

Today is the last day of the Winter Meetings.  The only official thing of any note is the Rule 5 draft, which goes down at 9AM.  After that most of the team officials, agents and assembled media make a mad dash for the airport.  I’ll be loitering around later than that, but my day at the Winter Meetings will end a little after noon, I figure.  But don’t go anywhere, because HBT will continue to post frantically on everything going down here, there and everywhere.

The deadline is 8 PM ET Monday for Shohei Ohtani situation to be resolved

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Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.

Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.

Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.