Agents and general managers talked a lot but did little yesterday on the third day of baseball's winter meetings. There was just one trade, with Toronto sending catcher Kevin Cash...
ANAHEIM, Calif. Agents and general managers talked a lot but did little yesterday on the third day of baseball’s winter meetings.
There was just one trade, with Toronto sending catcher Kevin Cash to Tampa Bay for right-hander Chad Gaudin, and no free-agent signings. With the meetings wrapping up today, teams appeared more concerned about setting up the groundwork for future deals than actually finalizing swaps and contracts.
Carlos Beltran’s agent discussed the All-Star center fielder with the Yankees, who also met with the agent for Pedro Martinez. While New York general manager Brian Cashman said he hadn’t made an offer to Beltran, he refused to say whether he offered a contract to the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
Oakland discussed trading Tim Hudson to Los Angeles, and Toronto talked about signing third baseman Corey Koskie. Boston and St. Louis both went after shortstop Edgar Renteria, and Anaheim attempted to reel in pitcher Matt Clement.
“There’s really no movement forward but none backward since (Saturday),” Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said, describing his team’s situation in words that could be applied to the whole industry.
Since the meetings opened Friday, just three trades and three signings have been announced. Arizona reached a preliminary agreement yesterday on a one-year deal with shortstop Royce Clayton worth about $1.3 million, and Cleveland moved close to a one-year agreement with second baseman Jose Hernandez.
Cashman thought agent Scott Boras would take a while to work out a deal for Beltran, likely to get the largest contract of the winter.
“We’re a player with Carlos Beltran,” Cashman said. “Whether that takes us anywhere, I don’t know.”
The key date in the Beltran talks might be Jan. 8 the last day he can re-sign with the Houston Astros.
“That’s one of the considerations,” Boras said.
New York Mets GM Omar Minaya has been trying to sign Martinez and another starter, perhaps Odalis Perez, and also a first baseman.
“The fact that we’re in dialogue means that we’re still alive,” he said of Martinez. “It gets to the point where you need some type of answer.”
Boston general manager Theo Epstein wouldn’t give direct answers to questions about specific players.
“It’s been another very busy day,” he said. “There are a lot of hurdles left to climb, but there are a lot of good opportunities out there.”
Anaheim appeared confident of adding pitching.
“We’re going to get something done,” Stoneman said. “We just don’t have it done. You have to be patient.”
Oakland manager Ken Macha was prepared to lose Hudson, who with Mark Mulder and Barry Zito combined to form a rotation that kept the Athletics in contention.
“I realize you’re trading a pitcher with a .700 win percentage if it’s Hudson. I don’t see where this situation is any different than moving Jason Giambi or Miguel Tejada,” he said.
“We rely on our farm system. It seems like every year there’s somebody going out. We’ve been able to survive in every situation quite well.”
Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta said Oakland hadn’t agreed to a deal with him.
“My understanding is they’re still dealing with a lot of teams. They’re exploring their options,” he said.
Red Sox DH David Ortiz will go to Boston this week to have his sore right shoulder checked by doctors. He injured his shoulder Aug. 29 sliding head-first into home plate against Detroit. He missed a game that week but finished the year with appearances in 150 games, plus 14 more in the playoffs.
He also went on a postseason tour in Japan.
“He played through it on the Japan trip,” Epstein said. “Rest will probably take care of it, but we want to make sure.”
San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou wasn’t bothered when a meeting between the commissioner’s office and a sponsor to discuss marketing Barry Bonds‘ pursuit of Hank Aaron’s home-run record was called off following a report of the slugger’s grand jury testimony on steroids.
“Major League Baseball is a very powerful organization. But as long as nobody’s able to put Barry’s swing on hold except for the pitchers that walk him I don’t care about that,” Alou said yesterday.