Now that we have reached the winter meetings part of the offseason Major League Baseball calendar, it is time to break out the crystal ball and try and gaze ahead to next March and the start of the 2013 season.
After blowing some dust off, let’s see what is says.
“Why the San Francisco Giants should be very afraid of the Detroit Tigers.”
Oh, dear. I’m afraid that the ball is still a bit cracked from last year.
In any event, here are a few things that could happen between now and the first pitch of 2013.
Like the headline suggests, some things will be good, others bad and one or two are just bound to be ugly.
More importantly, maybe one or two could be right.
The Los Angeles Dodgers back up the armored truck and give Zach Greinke the biggest free-agent deal in MLB history.
In locking up the 29-year-old potential ace to a seven year deal north of $180 million, they also assure Clayton Kershaw that he should expect the same kind of deal, and the Dodgers will march into this decade with a starting pitching duo that attempts to match Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
The Dodgers seem to have unlimited money to spend are about to get a whole lot more money rolling in if they do indeed ink that reported $6-7 billion television deal with Fox.
Even with the extra scrutiny of the commissioner’s office and a highly-charged fan base, the Miami Marlins do indeed move their disgruntled slugger Giancarlo Stanton before pitchers and catchers report.
Like the monster trade that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for a boatload of prospects and most notably Yunel Escobar, they will be able to command another good haul of prospects and fully rebuild on the cheap.
With Stanton highly upset after the latest fire sale, moving him before the season makes sense as the Marlins must try and redo their image again after a disastrous 2012.
The one guarantee that would be certain in Miami is it would be awfully ugly. Ugly to the point that Bud Selig just might actually be forced to block it.
After really not getting the seven or eight years that he wants, Josh Hamilton settles for a three year deal worth $85 million by the Baltimore Orioles.
Watching the Blue Jays greatly improve themselves with the Marlins trade and Tampa Bay keep Evan Longoria happy for a long time, they decide that Hamilton is the poker chip to go all-in with.
The Orioles pony up the big money, but end up not committing to a super-long deal that has a very good chance of becoming an albatross at the end and impossible to move.
A seemingly good fit, it would allow Hamilton the big spotlight while playing under the stern hand of manager Buck Showalter.
While they have kept Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Mariano Rivera with new deals, the New York Yankees continue to actually adhere to staying on a budget and bring back the same tram to start 2013 that finished 2012.
Even with the seemingly growing rift between Alex Rodriguez and manager Joe Girardi after A-Rod’s numerous benchings in the playoffs, this team still won 95 games in 2012 and won the division.
Hopefully a fully healthy Pettite and Rivera and a potential full season from Ichiro Suzuki should leave them with mostly that same team.
Yankee fans may think this is bad, but this is still a very dangerous team.
The Baseball Writers Association of America will indeed finally elect the first two confirmed PED users into the baseball Hall of Fame this January.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be begrudgingly elected in their first year of eligibility for enshrinement, and create possibly the most awkward induction ceremony in the history of Cooperstown.
Barry and Roger did themselves no favors during their career with their attitude towards the very voters who will make judgment on them, but these voters will come to the realization that their careers were indeed worthy before Bonds and Clemens used steroids.
Those same voters will continue to draw a line in the sand and against other users—both admitted and alleged—and not vote for Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmerio or Sammy Sosa ever to be inducted.
In a move designed to bolster their future—and more importantly to thwart Tampa Bay—the Boston Red Sox send folk hero Jon Lester to the Kansas City Royals for All-Star-in-waiting right fielder Wil Myers.
While Kansas City fans will be enraged at giving up a prospect everyone seems to think is a sure thing, Red Sox Nation will be giddy about landing what could possibly be the cornerstone of the future.
If it does happen, the Royals better win now as this has the potential of being like the Red Sox trading Jeff Bagwell to the Houston Astros for reliever Larry Andersen.
If the Royals are indeed serious about playing for now and not the future, the Red Sox would be foolish not to do this.
In what might go down as a turning point for the New York Mets future, they are able to keep third baseman David Wright and National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey with the club with new contract extensions.
Despite not really having unlimited resources because of the continuing problems of the Wilpon family, the Mets decide to build around their cornerstones and start to put the pieces in place to compete for the NL East in the future.
Beloved in Queens, both Wright and Dickey see that by staying they can make a push for the second wild card spot in the future and, if you can get in, all bets are off.
After the last few years, the Mets could really use some stability and keeping Wright and Dickey will do just that.
LATE UPDATE: Wright will reportedly sign Friday making this prediction at least half right.