A lot of different storylines and reports came out of the GM Meetings, which ended Wednesday in Boca Raton, Florida. Lets skip the formalities and jump right into it...
Hanley Ramirez Meets With Dombrowski
At first glance, one would have to be blind to not see the silver lining through all of this: Hanley Ramirez is as good as gone. While Han Ram lives in Miami and could just be meeting to have a couple brews (light, of course, he's watching his weight) with the new President of Baseball Ops, we all know that the #1 goal for this offseason is to dump Hanley Ramirez. Dombrowski said that they were meeting to discuss Ramirez's willingness to play first base and drops a few pounds.
Does anyone really believe this?
Dombrowski was meeting with Ramirez to talk about the different teams/cities that he would be interested in play for. Perfect segway to the next point...
Dombrowski Apparently Has A Deal Done On The 1st Day
At the end of the first day, Dombrowski stated that they had a deal in place, but the other team "cooled off" before it was completed. My guess is they had a deal done that would have shipped Ramirez away, but the other team realized just how big of a mistake it would have been. It will be very interesting to see the Hanley Ramirez saga unfold and if Ramirez is here Opening Day. My guess is no.
Aroldis Chapman Rumors Surface
At first, it seemed like Chapman was just a pipe dream for all Red Sox fans to salivate over. However, according to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox have grown increasingly interested in the lefty's services. They are now doing background checks on him and gauging what it would take to get him. In my opinion, it isn't going to be as much people have thought. If the Red Sox package Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mid-level prospect they will be able to get Chapman. The Red Sox need to make sure they can re-sign Chapman, as he has only one year left on his contract. Nevertheless, the Red Sox have made it clear that this is the guy they want to build around in the bullpen. With rumors saying that he will be traded by the end of the weekend, the Red Sox could make a move quick here to start the offseason.
Jackie Bradley Jr. Trade Rumors
Not surprisingly, teams are starting to voice their interest towards some of the talented prospects in the Red Sox system. The Cubs, Royals, and Mariners, among others, have been rumored to be interested in JBJ's services. As we all know, Bradley was called up last year with the suck-fest that is Hanley Ramirez going down and flourished in his role. For the first time in his career, the talented outfielder was able to hit consistently at the big league level. With the Red Sox said to be in the mix for Alex Gordon and Chris Young, there is a good chance that JBJ is traded to a team in a package deal for pitching. Dombrowski said that they were probably going to make a "painful" move. Could this be it?
To be honest, I don't really understand this one. The Red Sox have been said to be in on the Mets starting pitching staff dating back a few years. Originally, the asking price was Xander Bogaerts, but after his stellar season last year, that possibility seems nonexistent. While losing Mookie Betts wouldn't be the end of the world, and Matt Harvey is a great pitcher, I wouldn't make this deal. Mookie Betts is one of the better young players in baseball right now, and, personally, I think that Matt Harvey is a loose cannon. We saw how he acted like a spoiled little brat in the postseason when Terry Collins wanted to take him out. The Red Sox don't need that type of negative attention and attitude in an already frail clubhouse. Furthermore, I think the Red Sox can get a better pitcher for Mookie if they decided to trade him. Guys like Sonny Gray and Chris Sale seem more likely to me. It would be cool to say we have the Dark Knight though....
Its been a fascinating offseason, and it hasn't really even started yet.
By Pete Packowski