(AP)NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Juice has taken a short break from its offseason hibernation, and Big League Stew's David Brown is on the scene of baseball's winter meetings. Thanks for visiting and see you again next spring.
Do something! (Or don't): Sadly, the biggest deals don't always happen at the winter meetings. It would be nice, considering everyone got dressed up to come to the Grand Ol' Opry and all, but there's no rule that says Zack Greinke must sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Texas Rangers while in Nashville, or that Josh Hamilton has to pick a team Dec. 5. But from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, we have a sliver of hope for the theater of absurd, possibly involving Justin Upton and Asdrubal Cabrera:
One proposed deal, according to sources, would send Upton to Texas and Cabrera to Arizona, with Cleveland likely receiving a package of young talent, possibly including Texas infielder Mike Olt
Other versions involve James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays, who could use a new Upton. (Wasn't it the dream of each Upton brother to play in the same city as the other, but at a different time in their careers?) It's also possible the Rays might hold on to Shields for now, considering they've added a starting shortstop (Yunel Escobar) and first baseman (James Loney) without having to give up much in the way of talent or salary.
About Greinke: It probably comes down to the Dodgers or Rangers for Greinke, who reportedly wants $160 million to pitch baseballs. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated notes that Greinke wouldn't be the best pitcher on the Dodgers if he signs with them, and Clayton Kershaw's extension talks eventually would see to Greinke not even being the highest-paid pitcher on the team. That's a lot of bucks, Magic.
You're Joshin': Josh Hamilton created a bit of a stir Tuesday by tweeting a photo of him and his wife, Katie, as they left Nashville, where they had been meeting with potential suitors (but not necessarily the Rangers). Texas still makes the most sense for Hamilton, as Yahoo! Sports' own Jeff Passan writes. Even if Greinke signs with the Rangers, Hamilton could conceivably stay. It's just a lot to sort out. And it might not be sorted out in the next 24 hours.
Consequences of Shane Victorino in Boston: They might include the Red Sox trading Jacoby Ellsbury, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald:
But the Red Sox could think bigger by dangling Ellsbury, who may net a more significant return. It's a plausible scenario. Victorino has the arm to play right field, but he's a three-time Gold Glove center fielder. And a few viable outfield options remain on the free agent market, including Cody Ross.
Lauber goes on to list a number of factors as to why a deal might not be in the offing — from the depression of Ellsbury's value because he had a down season, to his impending free agency in 2014, to his agent being Scott Boras — which means he probably won't want to discuss a contract extension. Ah, Boras. There's a name we haven't heard enough at the winter meetings.