Our MLB editor files dispatches from this year's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas in Notes From Sin City.
What happened on the first day of the Winter Meetings? Not very much, though from what I understand that's pretty typical for the first day. The question, of course, is will that change? Yes and no.
Some big names will be on the move in the next few days, but probably not the big names you are thinking of, and it comes down to one man -- CC Sabathia. The market for the very top-tier names runs through the big man, and the sense you got in the Bellagio on Monday is that until Sabathia signs, everyone else is in wait-and-see mode.
It's simple really: Sabathia is arguably the top free agent on the market and certainly the Yankees' top priority this winter. While Sabathia takes his time and does his due diligence -- he's met twice with New York, likely once with Boston and even talked briefly with the Dodgers -- the Yankees are forced to wait. Scott Boras is the agent for most of the other top names available, all of whom will interest the Yankees to varying degrees once, and only once, they get a final answer from Sabathia.
Boras isn't about to send guys like Mark Teixeira, Derek Lowe, A.J. Burnett and Manny Ramirez somewhere without first gauging the interest of the team with the most money of all, but it's hard to get a real read on that, particularly with a guy like Teixeira, until Sabathia settles somewhere.
So what is going to happen? Well, Francisco Rodriguez is expected to sign with the Mets any minute, a move that could set off a run on closers, with Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood and Trevor Hoffman likely to find a home shortly after K-Rod sets the market.
In addition, the fate of Jake Peavy should be resolved before the week is out. GM Kevin Towers indicated to the media that if he didn't make significant progress toward a deal this week, the Padres would move forward with him as their Opening Day starter. It's all up to the GM Jim Hendry and the Cubs now, and there are reports from the Chicago press that they are closing in on a deal.
K-Rod and Peavy notwithstanding, the market for the rest of the upper echelon players being shopped here in Las Vegas is at a virtual standstill. Now that Sabathia has left town, it seems entirely possible it might stay that way. Of course, if there's one thing we know about the Winter Meetings, it's that things can change quickly. Just when things seem the quietest, the winds can shift abruptly.
Notes From Sin City: Setting the Stage for Day 2 of the Winter Meetings originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 09 Dec 2008 12:35:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.