December 9, 2019: The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

The MLB Winter Meetings should be in full swing, and you know what that means!

...probably that everyone is just standing around and drinking coffee or something. They've definitely lost their oomph over the years.

30 thoughts on “December 9, 2019: The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”

    1. The only thing I took from this list is that I'm getting old because I remember like half that list from their playing days.

  1. RIP, Carrol Spinney. Age often brings familiarity with the human failings of the people involved in creating things that were touchstones of one’s childhood. Carrol Spinney was one of those people who seemed to live life in a way that was worthy of adults’ admiration.

  2. My great-nephew, Talon Ping, rides in the final round of the Junior National Finals Rodeo today. He's in the bareback riding. He was second after the first two rounds, but as I understand it, everyone starts from zero in the final round. I'll let you know how he does.

  3. Bumgarner's price has gone up after the Wheeler deal.

    Gleeman suggested the Twins like Ryu more. I bet he'll be cheaper.

    1. The odds of Bumgarner’s performance being worth the cost to claim rights to it seem pretty unfavorable. I’m all for guys getting paid — though I’d rather they be paid when they’re performing at their best, rather than for past accomplishment — but I also want the team I root for to make sensible decisions. At this point, I’d feel better about giving Cole $250 million over 7 years than Bumgarner $125 million over 5 years.

      1. I'm still waiting for ZiPS, but Steamer says 2.1 WAR next year. That's around $16 million using similar $/WAR as Wheeler. Assuming zero aging, that's a six-year deal to reach $100 million. I think so team will get pushed to that.

      2. I’m all for guys getting paid — though I’d rather they be paid when they’re performing at their best, rather than for past accomplishment

        The current system would have to be drastically overhauled to allow for that. I’d really love to see a simulation of how it would work to have a 4-year max length on contracts plus a soft cap with a stiff luxury tax (like 50% on the first 15M and 100% on the next 15M, going up from there.) Maybe even go as far as no distinction between minor league service time and major league service time, and pay teams something like training solidarity payments in soccer when they lose a free agent—say if you draft a player and keep him for X years you get Y% of his next contract, as a way to incentivize teams to develop players rather than just rely on free agency. Abolish the draft and count all minor league spending against the cap.

        Even under the current system what I hate most is the contract lengths. It just doesn’t seem right for the fans that a GM has the opportunity to saddle a team with a bad contract that will long outlast his tenure as GM.

        1. My #1 goal for the next CBA is for teams to not have an incentive to leave guys in the minors too long. If my team is bad, at least let me watch some prospects.

          1. I just generally hate disincentives for winning. The more teams have exploited tanking for draft picks, the more I hate the entire draft system. Hard caps—or soft with a steep tax—plus no draft would mean at worst to get better you try to clear some cap space for new contracts.

            Like right now the Yankees essentially have a loophole where they can spend a ton on veterans AND stock their farm system, even if it isn’t top 10 picks, 1st-3rd rounders have value. If going over the cap into the tax meant they were even less able to do that, it would even the field more for teams who are just good at evaluating and developing talent without a huge budget.

            1. I'm surprised that one of the league hasn't figured out an auction would be way more entertaining than a draft.

    1. Same deal the Yankees reportedly offered to Cole. I wonder if the two will get the same contract.

    2. Wow! There are some heavy risks in that signing. Couple that with Bumgarner's expectations and I don't think the Twins are going to see an "impact" starting pitcher signed this offseason. I have to think with the number of buyers still in the market, we are not going to outbid the field. Focus now needs to go to the trade market. I was hopeful that the Twins would be able to pick up someone good this off season, but I am quickly transitioning to a "debbie downer" mentality. Barring a trade, I worry our next move will be an Alex Wood type of middling starter.

      I guess starting the season with Berrios, Odorizzi, middling free agent, Pineda, and young guns isn't the end of the world, as we could still make a playoff run. We could also be in a position to pick up a #1 or #2 at the trade deadline, but geez, this has been an uninspiring start to the off season. Hopefully, we make a move to bolster our lineup/defense yet and maybe a quality reliever or two. It's going to be a rough go with the fan base if the Twins don't make any impact moves at all. I still hold out some hope that Falvey and Levine will pull a rabbit or two out of their hats, and I am by no means upset that they did not outspend the Phillies and Nats on Wheeler and Strasburg. Just reading the market and feeling like we will be the last club left standing without an impact signing.

      1. I think the rabbit-out-of-a-hat move will be to sign someone like Gausman and turn him into a better pitcher.

        1. That’s practically the only way to really get ahead—unfortunately it’s really hard to do, but unless you are a mega-rich club, it seems like a better game to play than spend-and-pray on these huge contracts to guys on the decline.

          I can’t really blame the Nats, but this seems like a double dose of winner’s curse.

      1. If you signed two starters, I assume one of them would end up in the bullpen at some point.

  4. Danmark culinary disasters

    So I'm in the train station shopping area not far from my hotel, and I figured I'd get something simple for lunch: bread, sausage, cheese, butter, and red wine.

    I see these little, butter shaped packages, and think it's butter. So I buy some.

    So back at the hotel, spreading out my lunch towel and tearing into some fresh Danish bread, I fashioned a butter knife from my traveling kit and opened the little beasty. It's greenish-gray, and tastes disgusting - not butter. Later this evening I asked the waitperson at the restaurant about what the heck it is and she said - don't eat that - it's yeast! Har.

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