What to expect from this week’s GM Meetings in Phoenix – CBSSports.com

Posted: Monday, November 10, 2014

Giants GM Brian Sabean and his colleagues are already working on their 2015 teams.
Giants GM Brian Sabean and his colleagues are already working on their 2015 teams. (USATSI)

Free agency officially opened a week ago, and so far there have only been three notable transactions completed around the league. The Blue Jays traded Adam Lind to the Brewers, the Angels traded Hank Conger to the Astros, and the Yankees re-signed outfielder Chris Young. That’s about it.

The hot stove will soon heat up though. This week, baseball’s 30 general managers will all be in one place for the annual GM meetings. They’re taking place in Phoenix and our own Jon Heyman is on site to bring you the latest. You should definitely check out his blog and follow him on Twitter.

Unlike the annual winter meetings in December, when a rash of signings and trades will be made, the GM meetings are a bit more low key. They exist as a way to handle some official league business, first and foremost. Paul Hagen of MLB.com has some details:

The official agenda of the Meetings is confidential, but it’s known that there will be a standard umpiring report and reviews of both the inaugural season of expanded instant replay and a experimental Rule 7.13 governing home-plate collisions.

The Playing Rules Committee is expected to have a brief meeting to prepare for its report at the Winter Meetings in San Diego beginning Dec. 7. Among the topics that will be discussed are the new pace of game initiatives with a focus on the effect of changes that were implemented in the Arizona Fall League.

In addition, clubs are given the opportunity to discuss any issues they choose to raise. Recommendations may be made that can be considered at the Owners Meetings the following week in Kansas City.

The deadline for players to accept or reject the qualifying offer is 5 p.m. ET on Monday — here are the 12 players who received the offer — and once teams know which free agents will cost a draft pick and which take themselves off the market by accepting, they spring into action.

The GM meetings are often the place where the first serious conversations about trades and free-agent signings happen, and they’re face-to-face. Most notably, the ground work was laid for the three-team trade that sent Max Scherzer and Austin Jackson to the Tigers, Curtis Granderson to the Yankees and Ian Kennedy to the Diamondbacks at the 2009 GM meetings. Torii Hunter signed in November the past two times he was a free agent, with serious conversations starting at the GM meetings.

Last offseason, most of the top free agents signed before the winter meetings in December. Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Robinson Cano and Carlos Beltran were all off the board before the winter meetings. That was very unusal but it also may be the start of the trend. With talent so hard to come by in free agency these days, clubs may be more aggressive and try to sign players early. If so, these GM meetings become even more important.

So, expect a lot of chatter and rumors from the GM meetings this week. History says there won’t be many (if any) notable transactions, but instead there will be productive conversations that lead to deals later in the offseason. When all 30 general managers get together with a bunch of agents in one place, they will invariably discuss trades and signings. It will likely be another few weeks before any moves are finalized, however.

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