5 Craziest Rumors Floated During the 2012 MLB Winter Meetings
There was several crazy trade rumors floated about last week at the 2012 MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville.
One hot topic batted around the rumor mill was potential landing spot for free-agent prize Josh Hamilton.
There were several rumors involving Hamilton being courted by perennial big-spenders such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Also, there was another hot rumor that Ryan Dempster could be looking for a return to the North Side of Chicago.
Those rumors have yet to be substantiated.
Here are five of the craziest rumors floated during the 2012 MLB Winter Meetings.
5. Josh Hamilton to the New York Yankees
It would be hard to imagine Yankees GM Brian Cashman pulling the trigger on a deal to land Josh Hamilton. The Yankees have made it clear on their intention to keep their team salary under the $189 million luxury tax threshold for the 2014 season.
A report by Bob Nightengale of USA Today said Saturday that the Yankees were “performing diligence” to see whether or not Hamilton could fit into their long-term fiscal plans. Nightengale believes the Yankees could work out an agreement with Hamilton if they decided to front-load the deal with a higher salary for 2013.
The odds of the Yankees signing Hamilton are slim because doing so would go against their plan of reducing payroll. In addition, Hamilton’s well-publicized problems in the past with substance abuse could factor against the Yankees choosing to commence contract negotiations.
The Hamilton to the Yankees rumor could be considered a crazy notion at this point in time. It just doesn’t seem a likely landing spot for the slugger.
4. Yankees Trade Hughes, Nova, Granderson
One highly-inconceivable trade possibility floated about during the Winter Meetings was the New York Yankees trading Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Curtis Granderson.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN NewYork said the Yankees could be entertaining the possibility of trading one, two or all three of these players.
I can honestly see the Yankees trading one of these players to help shore up their weakness at third base. Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to miss half of the 2013 season due to hip surgery. However, trading pitching is always a risky proposition. Craig Calcaterra with NBC Sports agrees with my point that trading both Hughes and Nova would leave the Yankees very thin in their starting rotation.
Unless the Yankees have some sort of master plan to replace the offense of Granderson and the innings-eating ability of Hughes and Nova—this trade possibility doesn’t seem to have any legs to stand on.
3. Josh Hamilton signing with the Red Sox
Josh Hamilton to the Boston Red Sox?
The notion of the left-handed slugger coming to Fenway seems a bit out of this world. But, that rumor was one of the headlines floated during the Winter Meetings last week.
Alex Speier of WEEI radio said that the Red Sox have been continuing discussions with Hamilton.
Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen confirmed this fact on WEEI’s Red Sox Hot Stove show where he discussed the negotiations.
"We’re staying engaged with Josh and all the other free agents, and we’ll see where it goes,” said Hazen to WEEI. “You don’t know how these markets are going to develop. Sometimes you have a clear understanding of what they’re looking for and sometimes you don’t. We just stay engaged in all of those things, and as the market moves and it presents itself, you have a choice. You have your choice to get in or get out.”
The Red Sox made two significant moves during the meetings bringing in Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli. It’s hard to imagine the Red Sox bringing in any more salary as they are trying to keep team salary at a reasonable level.
Don’t expect Hamilton to be patrolling the Fenway outfield anytime soon.
2. R.A. Dickey to the New York Yankees
If you were to believe some of the R.A. Dickey rumors coming out of the Winter Meetings, that inconceivable trade possibility with the Yankees could have some validity.
According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the Yankees have shown some interest in acquiring the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner from their crosstown rivals. Martino also said via Twitter that the talks stalled because the Yankees “did not have the pieces” to acquire him.
It’s very hard to imagine the Mets making any substantial trade with the Yankees. Both fanbases have long standing animosity towards each other. A Dickey trade from the Mets to the Yankees would undoubtedly infuriate die-hard Mets fans.
1. A Wrigley Return for Ryan Dempster
One of the hot rumors during the Winter Meetings last week was a possible reunion between Ryan Dempster and the Chicago Cubs.
According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, the Cubs had discussions with Dempster’s agent to see if they could work out a deal for his return. Dempster went 12-8 with a 3.38 ERA in 2012 with the Cubs and the Texas Rangers.
Don’t get your hopes up Cubs fans because according to the Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer, a reunion seems highly implausible.
It looks like the Cubs are heading in a different direction. The Cubs have already signed starters Scott Feldman and Scott Baker this offseason. Dempster’s insistence on having a no-trade clause in any future contract would seem to go against what the Cubs are looking to do. Unless Dempster decides to sign a contract void of a no-trade clause I don’t see a new deal happening anytime soon between the veteran right-hander and the Cubs.