Prepare yourself, baseball executives will be gathering this week in Nashville, Tennessee and over the next four days begin to discuss a wide variety of player movement, including potential signings, trades, and team needs.
Not only are there a significant amount of players still on the free agent market, including, but not limited to Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Doug Fister, Ian Kennedy, Johnny Cueto, and Scott Kazmir, but other players such as Aroldis Chapman are being actively shopped. Last season, there were twelve trades involving 44 players, and this year is shaping up to be no different. This is also a time where a lot of mid-season trades are born as executives begin to discuss player availability and team desires for the long term.
But where how did this annual tradition, complete with corporate logos begin?
Forty years ago this month, Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck and general manager Roland Hemond set up a table in the lobby of the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, with an “Open for Business Anytime” sign and made four trades in an hour that involved Mickey Lolich, Rusty Staub and Ralph Garr.That was baseball’s last winter meetings before free agency. The average salary was just under $45,000 a year and advanced analytics was batting average with runners in scoring position.