Meetings wrap with Hot Stove still warming up
Top free agents Greinke, Hamilton, Bourn remain unsigned after annual gathering
That's a wrap on the 2012 Winter Meetings, and if this session told us anything, it's that the work is far from wrapped up for the winter.With Thursday's fourth and final day of the meetings in Nashville, Tenn., barely halfway over, the only moving and shaking going on seemed to be cabs moving to the airport and goodbye handshakes in the lobby at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center. The annual Rule 5 Draft was held in the morning, and that was about all that kept baseball's decision-makers in town. Some didn't even stay that long; after making one of several free-agent agreements this week in starter Dan Haren, the Nationals contingent left town Wednesday. Before heading out the door, the Twins and Phillies did get together Thursday morning on an interesting deal that sends center fielder Ben Revere to Philadelphia for pitchers Vance Worley and Minor Leaguer Trevor May. And the Phils might not be done trading, with the Rangers' Michael Young reported to be mulling whether he'll accept a deal to move to Philly to play third base. But as the meetings came to a close, Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke remain free agents and Justin Upton remains a member of the D-backs, with the first two certain to change their status in the coming days or weeks and the third a pretty good possibility to move elsewhere. This year's gathering of decision-makers and media in the suites and lobbies and bars certainly ended with less hoopla than last year, when the Angels swooped up Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, and then days later held a news conference/pep rally in front of Angel Stadium to announce the deals before thousands of fans. No offense to Joe Blanton and Sean Burnett, but that's not happening this year. "Sometimes, the smartest moves you can do is just make practical decisions," said Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto, not exactly making it sound like the Angels will be heard from in the Greinke sweepstakes. The Revere-Worley deal, meanwhile, was the Twins' second swap of a position player for pitching and fills the Phillies' need for a center fielder. With Revere just 24 and making $492,000 in 2012, GM Ruben Amaro believes the Phils met their needs at a serious discount over top-tier free agent Michael Bourn. "I think he's a similar type of player," Amaro said of Revere. Also on Thursday: With the Yankees searching for help at third base with Alex Rodriguez undergoing hip surgery, MLB.com first reported that New York has offered free agent Kevin Youkilis a one-year deal for $12 million. The Indians also are interested in Youkilis.
The Astros selected pitcher Josh Fields, a former No. 1 pick of the Mariners, who was with the Red Sox organization in 2012, with the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft. There were 15 selections in the Major League phase of the Draft, two of those players coming out of the Nats organization, and each of those 15 players will have a chance to make the Opening Day roster of their new team. If they don't, they'll be offered back to their old team or sent to the Minors. The Red Sox, who started off the week by agreeing with free agents Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino on twin $39 million contracts, came to terms with right-handed reliever Koji Uehara, formerly with the Rangers, on a one-year deal. Reed Johnson, the outfielder acquired from the Cubs last summer who played well down the stretch, re-signed with the Braves for one year and an option year. The Rays made it official with James Loney, announcing a one-year deal with the first baseman worth $2 million, with the possibility of another $1 million in incentives.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.