LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Aside from the Hall of Fame voting results, Day 1 of the winter meetings was a dud, no offense to the Miami Marlins adding Garrett Jones. Major League Baseball can do better. The best bets for action include free agent Shin-Soo Choo signing a contract and the Los Angeles Angeles trading slugger Mark Trumbo. The Tampa Bay Rays also continue to dangle left-hander David Price.
One event is certain: The New York Mets will introduce outfielder Curtis Granderson, whom they recently signed. As for the speculation:
• The Texas Rangers and Diamondbacks reportedly interested in Choo, who is hoping to command between $126-$153 million over seven years. That's the range between the salaries of Jayson Werth and Jacoby Ellsbury — two other clients of agent Scott Boras. The Tigers were reported to be interested, but with Rajai Davis rumored to be heading to Detroit, interest in Choo would dry up.
• Yahoo Sports' own Tim Brown says the Diamondbacks might be a trading partner with the Angels, with Tyler Skaggs or Trevor Cahill being the big return piece for Trumbo. Skaggs has been a top prospect, but is coming off a disappointing season. Cahill is a middle-of-the-rotation guy set to earn a combined $20 million the next two seasons, with two expensive team options (and cheap buyouts) to follow.
Price's price is even higher, and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times isn't certain the Dodgers are willing (or even able) to meet it:
The Rays traded James Shields to the Kansas City Royals last year under similar circumstances. The return included top outfield prospect Wil Myers, who hit .293 with 13 home runs and 53 runs batted in in 88 major league games and was voted the AL rookie of the year.
The Rays are presumably looking for a comparable return for Price.
But there is no Myers in the Dodgers' minor league system. The players with the highest ceilings might be a couple of teenagers: 19-year-old infielder Corey Seager and 17-year-old left-hander Julio Urias.
Furthermore, trading three or four prospects would go against the Dodgers' frequently stated ambition of rebuilding a farm system that was depleted under the McCourt ownership.
Hernandez speculates that the Dodgers could send someone like Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier to the Rays, as long as L.A. absorbs most of what's left on their contract, plus a prospect. But that's "a longshot."
- - - - - - -