It's a Monday morning in the middle of November, and there is no pins-and-needles wait for news out of Venezuela, no piano wire-tight drama about what might happen to Wilson Ramos. We're just back to regular old hot stove news, and it's refreshing.
Anyway, the general manager's meetings begin today in Milwaukee, and the Nationals can return to their offseason pursuits knowing Ramos is safe and sound. The GM meetings typically aren't as active as the Winter Meetings, which will be held next month in Dallas, but we could see the finalization of a new collective bargaining agreement, which might have some effect on the draft process in the future, among other things.
The Marlins' deal for Jose Reyes isn't final yet, according to reports, but it seems like things are headed in that direction. If the Marlins are going to beef up their payroll with the opening of their new ballpark, that could be a game-changer; it remains to be seen whether South Florida will pack a viable ballpark night after night, but Miami is sure to be an attractive destination for Latin American players, and the team has enough young talent that a few big additions could make the Marlins a force next year.
As for the Nationals? Expect them to continue their twin pursuits of a pitcher and a leadoff hitter this week, though nothing may get done for a while, especially if they have to make a trade for the leadoff hitter they want. But they'll have a chance to lay some groundwork this week in Milwaukee which could pay off later this winter.
I'll wrap up this post by throwing out a question: It was posited to me on Twitter this weekend that the Marlins' aggressiveness in Year One of a new ballpark is what the Nationals should have done before the 2008 season when Nationals Park was opening. I'm not sure I completely agree with that - the Marlins have a far better infrastructure of young talent in place than the Nationals did at that point, and we can see now just how bereft of prospects the minor league system was - but I'm curious to hear what you thought the team could have done to capitalize on a new ballpark, if anything. Let me know.