New approach could speed Hot Stove
GMs put cards on the table at General Managers Meetings
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Word that Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera and left-hander Dontrelle Willis were available for the right price spread quickly through the General Managers Meetings here this week.That's not surprising, since the GMs took advantage of a new system to survey the player landscape at this year's gathering at the Grand Cypress Resort. The new wrinkle could accelerate player movement in the coming weeks as some of the leg work has been circumvented. A brainstorm of Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, the GMs cut right to the chase this year. "I thought the GMs did something that was really well conceived and very helpful and that is in their meeting the 30 of them stood up individually and identified what their goals and their targets were and what kind of deals they would consider," Astros president of baseball operations Tal Smith said. "The same kind of conversation you used to be sending people around the convention floor, you'd send your scout to talk to a scout from that club to find out 'What are you guys looking for?' and 'What do you intend to do?' and so on and so forth, and that was sort of a cumbersome process. "To my knowledge, this has not been done before. This just saves some time. You see people in the lobby at midnight, generally pro scouts and assistant GMs trying to get [the information] from their counterparts. Why not get it from the GMs themselves?" Right off the bat, the GMs got a clearer picture of where each club stood and which clubs might make the best fit for potential trades. Each GM talked for less than two minutes. In less than an hour each GM had a clearer picture of who was available and what teams' needs are. "Typically, what you normally do is run around trying to gauge each club about what they want, and one thing Larry and Theo thought that would be beneficial was get all 30 GMs in a room together and each stand up and say what are you looking for and what are you trying to move," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. "Sometimes I'd leave a meeting and there were still three or four clubs I hadn't gotten to yet." Angels GM Tony Reagins called the new system "outstanding."
"This being my first General Managers Meeting in this role, I thought it was great because you get an idea of who the players are, what they're looking for, what's available to you and what you might be able to give," Reagins said. "I think the openness and forthrightness was impressive to me because I wasn't expecting it."Cashman and Reagins weren't sure if the new process would add kindling to the Hot Stove market, but they said it wouldn't surprise them if that proved to be the case. Some were surprised at some of the information heard during the session. "A couple of things caught me off guard that I wasn't expecting," Reagins said. "It was good to be able to dialogue about them."
|"Getting the information from the horse's mouth, to me, it was one of those 'Why didn't we think of this sooner?' ideas."|
|-- Astros GM Ed Wade|
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.