Dan Schlossberg's Winter Log: Player dam will bust wide open • Latino Sports


Dan Schlossberg’s Winter Log: Player dam will bust wide open


SAN DIEGO –Those extra rounds of playoff games are taking the constipation  out of the winter trade market.

The Yankees might have a hard time replacing David Roberton

The Yankees might have a hard time replacing David Roberton

The David Robertson deal, plus a flood of other player moves, began here Monday as the 30 teams  jockey to improve their lots for next season and beyond.

Since one-third of the teams get to play beyond the 162-game schedule, everyone entered the holiday shopping season with an optimistic approach.

Even teams limited by payroll considerations or multi-year contracts know that one or two right moves in December can extend next season beyond September.

Jon Lester's decision could start a deluge

Jon Lester’s decision could start a deluge

Virtually every club needs pitching but are in a waiting game with Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, the top prizes remaining in the free-agent market. After they pick a team, attention will shift to James Shields, Ervin Santana, and other arms coming off solid seasons.

Erstwhile Yankees closer David Robertson, after serving just a single season as Mariano Rivera’s successor, stunned the baseball world late Monday by signing with the suddenly-active Chicago White Sox.

The Sox also were completing negotiations for Oakland ace Jeff Samardzija,

Adam LaRoche will give the Chisox lefty power. Bll Menzel photo

Adam LaRoche will give the Chisox lefty power. (Bill Menzel photo)



who left the other side of Chicago via deadline trade just a few short months ago. Chicago had already signed first baseman Adam LaRoche, a lefthanded slugger most recently with Washington.

With only Melky Cabrera available among free-agent hitters, there’s a big market brewing for Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and Yoenis Cespedes. With so many executives and agents ensconced in one place, there’s little doubt that uniforms will be exchanged.

The hometown San Diego Padres, always power-deficient, were said to be hot on the heels of Kemp, who had a strong second half for the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Cespedes seemed headed to Cincinnati for Mat Latos, a starting pitcher whose contract expires after 2015.

The Braves would like to unload both Uptons

The Braves would like to unload both Uptons

Where Upton will land is anyone’s guess, since the Braves much prefer to trade his older brother: overpaid, under-performing B.J. Upton. Atlanta could also part with Evan Gattis, a righthanded slugger of considerable prowess at the plate but a decided lack of skills in the field.

Philadelphia, crippled by old age and big contracts, hopes to unload ace lefty Cole Hamels, perhaps to the Dodgers, and first baseman Ryan Howard, coveted by the singles-hitting Royals, but has placed high price tags on both.

Hefty contracts continue to hamper player movement, with Oakland extracting only a minor-league second baseman from Cleveland for 2014 All-Star Brandon Moss, a lefthanded slugger who can play first base or the outfield.

Eric Young, Jr. may resurface soon after the New York Mets refused to tender him a 2015 contract. Young, 29, is a fleet lefthanded hitter who stole 68 bases in 191 games for the Mets over the last two seasons. His ability to play both second base and the outfield parallels Emilio Bonifacio’s.

Atlanta would love the speed and versatility of Eric Young, Jr.

Atlanta would love the speed and versatility of Eric Young, Jr.

Also at the winter meetings:

Among those milling around the lobby, bars, and restaurants of the Manchester Grand Hyatt were former managers Jim Leyland (Tigers), Jack McKeon (Marlins), Bobby Cox (Braves), Tommy Lasorda (Dodgers), and Charlie Manuel (Phillies) . . .

MLB Network is not only expanding its Secaucus, NJ studio facilities but planning a morning show for the first time . . .

The majors and minors may be meeting in the same city but are not in the same hotels, with MLB in the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the National Association in the Hilton Bayfront. In between are an enormous convention center, where the annual trade show is in full swing, and the Marriott Marquis.




Both New York teams, for example, are asking about shortstops.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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