With high priced free agents still very much on the market, new general managers in place, and a new CBA in place, there are many reasons to believe the 2011 Winter Meetings could be highly eventful. Scout.com will be in Dallas throughout the week to bring you all the latest coverage. For now, let's take a look at some of the top story lines we'll be keeping an eye out for.
Watching The New General Managers
There are a number of teams that will be bring new general managers to the winter meetings, and as always it will be intriguing to see what their first moves are. Dan Duquette, Jerry DiPoto, Josh Byrnes, Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington all have some difficult tasks ahead of them and just how they handle it all will be something we'll be keeping a close eye on.
Also, keep a close eye on just how Dan Duquette builds his front office. He still has a lot of filling out to do on his staff, and his choices may say a lot about just where the Baltimore Orioles could be headed on his watch. He's already vowed to not necessarily follow the typical front office structure, and it will be interesting to see just how out of the box he plays it, if at all.
Houston's New Direction
The Houston Astros are on their way to Dallas without a new general manager. So, just how they handle their decision making in the very near future will be something to watch closely. We may hear more about their search for a new GM in Dallas, but it seems any decision on that will have to come afterwards. There shouldn't be any rush to a decision, however. Clearly their top choice is Andrew Friedman, but with that unlikely to happen, Astros' fans should be hoping for a thorough interview process with several promising up and coming executives under consideration.
The Yu Darvish Watch
There seems to be nothing but rumors when in comes to Japanese star, Yu Darvish. Just when there will be some sort of timeline regarding his posting appears to be in question and no one involved on his side looks to be doing anything to clear up the confusion. This will likely be something that's widely discussed in Dallas, and perhaps we'll find some answers there.
Clarity On The Free Agent Market
We're into December and still looking for clear cut favorites when it comes to landing the big name free agents still on the market. Many teams have been linked to Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and C.J. Wilson but we've yet to see the field for those players really get narrowed down.
It appears that the market for C.J. Wilson is narrowing just a bit, as the Washington Nationals have been identified recently as a potential front runner. But, for the most part we are still awaiting big news on the top free agents.
How Serious Are The Marlins?
The rumors around the Marlins have been consistently large in nature this off-season. They've been linked to just about every major free agent out there, and we've seen them come up in the rumor mill more than anytime in their history. They've already inked closer, Heath Bell, but just how serious are they when it comes to players like Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols, and C.J. Wilson? We'll likely get some answers on that topic this week in Dallas.