The annual Baseball Winter Meetings got into full swing Monday in Lake Buena Vista, FL. While the Cubs made a number of roster moves last week, speculation was that there wouldn' be too many moves made this week, And there weren't. This then begs the question, are the Baseball Winter Meetings even relevant anymore?
According to an article in the Tribune by Paul Sullivan, these meetings are not that relevant anymore. In the article, Sullivan cites both Hoyer and Chicago White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn as saying that in this day and age of modern technology, information is passed via text and email, which is much quicker than phone calls or waiting to talk in person, which may explain the flurry of activity last week, leading up to the winter meetings.
The Winter Meetings traditionally have been the time when general managers could get together and discuss players and potential trades in person. And while there’s still somewhat of a need for face-to-face communication, it appears it is less important than when the Winter Meetings began, thanks mostly to modern electronics.
In fact, as the winter meetings wrap up today, the Cubs so far have made one deal, and that was not announced until this morning. The Cubs traded Brian Bogusevic to the Miami Marlins for Justin Ruggiano. Both men are outfielders. It is said that not only has Ruggiano played all three outfield positions, but he also hits better on the road, or outside the Marlins home park.
There is still speculation on online forums that Jeff Samardzija will be traded, though when asked Epstein told reporters that there was "no trade imminent" and that Samardzija had been given three options, sign an extension, be traded or stay for now. At this point, Epstein has said that Samardzija will be the Opening Day pitcher.
In one other bit of news from the Winter Meetings, The Major League Baseball Rules Committee has ruled to ban collisions at home plate, forcing players to slide instead of run over the opponent’s catcher. This is in response to fears of concussions and major injuries like those suffered a couple of years ago by San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. The Players Union is expected to approve the ruling.