The Winter Meetings are most definitely under way. We've already had our first crazy rumor that lasted less than half a day before another team acquired the player in question. Bobby Cox held a press conference at 2pm today, and despite my hopes they did not show it on-line on the MLB channel. Luckily Bill Shanks is there and knows the value of live-tweeting such an event. Among his updates this one stands out:
Cox: clubs knocking on the door for Kelly Johnson
Bobby doesn't usually give up much in the way of trade or free agent info, so for him to say that must mean that regardless of what he says there's still tons of value on KJ. Suddenly the Braves have a ton of tradeable pieces. Here are some other highlights from Shanks' tweeting of the Cox presser:
Cox: we'll give Heywatd a chance
Cox: Braves not in on Bay
Cox: Wags the closer "no matter what"
Cox: Martin Prado could play anywhere
Some of that is very Bobby Coxian, in that it's just simple praise of his players, like the quotes about Martin Prado and Jason Heyward. Of course Billy Wagner will be the closer, he's the veteran and is a much better closer than Soriano or Saito. The price for Jason Bay seems to be going upwards quickly, so I can see why the Braves took themselves out of the running for him early on.
It was mentioned earlier, but until Rafael Soriano makes his decision, the Braves probably won't make any moves. So while there will still be rumors today, don't expect any moves. Soriano's agents arrived this morning and are expected to meet with all interested parties before conferring with Rafael about whether or not to accept arbitration. My guess is that they will receive enough interest to recommend he reject arbitration.