So, the MLB's 2012 Winter Meetings were ... four days of ... meetings. In winter. And to listen to our embedded BYB denizen Allison, rather boring and in a rather hideous setting.
The Tigers came into the Winter Meetings essentially set. That isn't to say the team is complete and it cannot find places to make improvements before the season begins. It's just that the team didn't have to do the kind of wheeling and dealing you tend to associate with December's annual baseball swap meet.
Then again, those kinds of moves really didn't happen, either. Zack Greinke is still a free agent. Josh Hamilton is still looking for a team. So is Rafael Soriano, even with agent Scott Boras' hard sell job. Before the "lesser" dominoes could begin to fall -- including Anibal Sanchez -- the big ones had to be knocked over to begin the game.
That didn't happen, so it was a quiet week.
Tigers CEO and GM Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com:
"I think when you come here, you're always eager to do something. You'd like to do things, because everybody's around. And there's been groundwork set for things. But the reality is, we really weren't looking to do that much. When we signed [Torii] Hunter and you get [Victor] Martinez back, we're pretty well set. We talked about the bullpen scenario, so there's really not a lot jumping out there.
As for what might realistically have been done by the Tigers, the only possible move of consequence you could see was a trade of shortstop Jhonny Peralta. That, in itself, always seemed like a long shot. If it weren't for so many stories floating around the Internet, I would not even have thought the Tigers likely to trade Peralta. His cost isn't that bad. His defense was serviceable. (Ultimate Zone Rating would say it's even good. I would not dare go that far.) Actually, I'm still not sure I see the Tigers trading him. But there are stories. On the Internet! So, never say never.
Beyond that, their shopping list never really coincided with the occasion. They could possibly use a few additions to the bullpen. A veteran closer sounds good, but really, paying $10M or more for one is a waste of money. Other bullpen pieces can be picked up just as easy in January, or even February. The thing with relievers, as you know, is that they're just so hard to predict. Bring a few in. See what happens. No need for Soriano.
There's been talk of a platoon player for the outfield. That's fine, and some have argued not entirely necessary, which might well be true. But again, you don't head to the Winter Meetings with the idea you're going to pick up a hitter who struggles against half the pitchers he sees. One of those will certainly be available.
So the Winter Meetings were quiet. There were moves. Pitcher Andy Oliver has been sent to
Siberia ia the Pirates. The next Don Kelly has been added via the Rule 5 draft. Newspaper editors -- and local intrepid baseball bloggers -- may be a bit disappointed in losing out on bonus readership, but it's hard to see the past four days as anything but a success for the Tigers.
They didn't do anything they'll regret They didn't make any mistakes that mess up their future. They didn't lose out on any "must haves." They're still the favorites to win the division and Vegas likes them to go to the World Series. They'll certainly fill the existing holes before April arrives.
So, Winter Meetings 2012: Boring, yes, but ultimately success for the Detroit Tigers.