Baseball’s biggest offseason event, the Winter Meetings, starts in Nashville on December 3. It’s not unusual for teams to sign a big-name free agent and announce it at the meeting. In 2011, Arte Moreno flew to Dallas and opened his checkbook to pay a ridiculous sum to Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson, and Jeffrey Loria went crazy signing players he’d trade a year later.
The free-agent market is pretty thin this year, so we’ll likely see an uptick in trades. Trades were once a feature of the Winter Meeting, but that’s slowed considerably in the last decade as teams became more reluctant to make early deals and hoped for leverage later in the postseason.
Lotteries and Drafts
The 2023 Winter Meetings conclude with the Rule 4 draft lottery on December 5 and the Rule 5 Draft on December 6. This is the second year of the draft lottery, which created more noise than usual around the Rule 4 Draft in July and shuffled the deck for the clubs in need of help.
It’s too early to know if it’s successful in its goal of preventing a team from tanking; it didn’t stop Oakland, but they’re a special case in pathetic ownership.
The Rule 5 draft marks the end of the meetings, and the end of the 2023 international signing period on December 15 is the last tick on the 2023 calendar. The new signing period starts on January 15.
That’s a Wrap
Atlanta Braves President of Baseball Ops Alex Anthopoulos keeps everything close to his vest, so It’s impossible to say what he’ll do with any certainty.
The Atlanta Braves need at least one starting pitcher, and the right-handed power bat that eluded AA at the deadline is likely on the agenda. He’ll want his pitching settled by the time Pitchers and catcher report on February 13, but we’ve seen him make moves throughout Spring Training in the past, so all I can guarantee is that on March 28, the Atlanta Braves will have a 28-man roster ready to open the season.