I tried my best to keep up with all the talk from the Winter Meetings, I promise. But I had some other stuff to do today and spent about an hour not feverishly refreshing MetsBlog, MLB Trade Rumors and Twitter, and it got away from me.
At some point, something’s going to happen with R.A. Dickey. Or nothing will happen, and the Mets will have an awesome pitcher on an extremely favorable salary and the flexibility to try to trade him or re-sign him later in the season.
The Mets are also reportedly working on a trade for an outfielder that does not involve Dickey, which is good because the Mets don’t have many outfielders. Maybe the deal will be good or maybe it’ll be bad, but we’ll certainly find out all about it when it happens. That is assuming it happens. If it doesn’t happen, we may still hear about it or not, but it won’t really matter.
Which is all to say that I’ve come to the hour of my annual Winter Meetings fatigue, the moment when I give up on looking into the sausage factory and just start waiting for the sausage.
Here’s an exhaustive Winter Meetings rundown: Maybe the Mets trade Dickey, maybe they don’t. Maybe they trade Jon Niese, maybe they don’t. Maybe they trade someone else or maybe they make no trades at all. Maybe they sign Dickey to a contract extension. Maybe they sign a free agent or two. Maybe they don’t. That all could or might happen, and it’s certainly all stuff the Mets have considered.
And we’ll definitely know what they’ve done come April, when the Mets start playing games and a bunch of guys in blue and orange uniforms trot out to the field. Until then, there’s really no rush for the Mets or us.
This is nothing new, of course. And it’s not like I’m planning to stop tracking the rumors when they come. The frustrating part, I suppose, is merely how worked up so many of us allow ourselves to get over rumors that sometimes seem based on the most tenuous of information. Grant Brisbee said it well at Baseball Nation:
[T]his sequence makes you step back, slowly take off your sunglasses, and mutter, “My god. This is what just about every rumor is, isn’t it?” The explanation allowed for a peek behind the curtain. There’s no sliding scale of importance, no way to make a rumor directly from a GM’s mouth show up as a special green color in Twitter. Rumors come from agents looking to spread disinformation when it benefits their clients, teams looking to spread disinformation when it benefits their negotiations, and I’d wager that more than a few come from offhand comments from low-level people that make a rumormonger think, well, I gotta tweet something this hour.
This is all nonsense.
This makes me think of people sitting in a theater at the turn of the 20th century, excited to watch the moving pictures that everyone was talking about, and then freaking the hell out when they thought a train was going to come out of the screen and kill everyone in the theater. Except people got used to that technology. But the freakouts keep happening with Twitter. Over and over, at every trade deadline and every Winter Meetings.
Those of us following nonsense and linking to nonsense and retweeting nonsense are about as guilty as those dishing it out, since it is served for our benefit and we wolf it down. And every year it’s fun for a while, then every year it all turns into tiresome noise. Here we are.
Maybe the Mets sign R.A. Dickey to a contract extension. Maybe they trade him. Maybe they don’t. Same as last week.