It’s Day Two of the MLB Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today’s events include press conferences with the managers, an introductory press conference with Nathan Eovaldi, the kick-off of the trade show, and much more.
6:00 PM EST
Harold Baines and Lee Smith have been officially introduced as Hall of Famers in front of a large crowd of media members in the media workroom at the Winter Meetings.
6:00 PM EST
A group of reporters just spoke with New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman. When asked about Bryce Harper, Cashman rattled of the list of his outfielders, saying Harper as a Yankees outfielder would not be an option. He also re-iterated that he would not sign Harper to be a first-baseman. It looks like Harper to the Yankees won’t happen.
5:40 PM EST
I just finished up a short conversation with World Series-winning Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He said Dustin Pedroia (knee) is feeling good and has a good shot at playing on Opening Day against the Mariners. He added that he made a promise to Pedroia, saying he would allow Pedroia to bat leadoff on Opening Day against Seattle if he was healthy.
5:00 PM EST
I just finished a long conversation with MLB’s Joe Torre. He talked about pace-of-play, saying the games are starting to get too long, and referenced the stat that there were more strikeouts than hits in 2018. He said a group of people will meet on Wednesday to discuss potential new pace-of-play rules. He also talked about the new class of Hall of Famers, saying that Harold Baines getting into the Hall opens the door for other great designated hitters; he said he thinks Edgar Martinez will be in the Hall soon, and is positive that David Ortiz is also Cooperstown-bound.
3:15 PM EST
I asked Nathan Eovaldi if his new contract with the Red Sox would come with more pressure to perform at a higher level, or if he would continue to simply go out and do his job. “I try not to put any pressure on myself. The contract is what it is and I know I have to go out there and perform well, but I feel like, with the group of guys that we have, everybody kind of takes pressure away from that. You go out there and it makes it easier to focus on your job. Go out there and attack hitters, and go out there and win games.”
I asked Nathan Eovaldi if his new contract with the Red Sox would give him more pressure to excel on the field: "I try not to put any pressure on myself. The contract is what it is and I know I have to go out there and perform well, but I feel like, with the..." #RedSox (1/2 ctd)— Andersen Pickard (@andersenreports) December 10, 2018
Nathan Eovaldi on pressure from new contract: (2/2 ctd) "...group of guys that we have, everybody kind of takes pressure away from that. You go out there and it makes it easier to focus on your job. Go out there and attack hitters, and go out there and win games." #RedSox— Andersen Pickard (@andersenreports) December 10, 2018
3:10 PM EST
I asked new Boston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi what he would have said back in June if someone told him he’d be signing a four-year, $68M contract with the Red Sox. Here is his response. “I wouldn’t have believed that at all. Especially from where I was at that point in June, not even being a part of the Red Sox yet. I definitely wouldn’t have thought that was possible.”
Nathan Eovaldi's full quote: "I wouldn't have believed that at all. Especially from where I was at that point in June, not even being a part of the Red Sox yet. I definitely wouldn't have thought that was possible." #RedSox— Andersen Pickard (@andersenreports) December 10, 2018
2:30 PM EST
New Boston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi said he received offers from several teams but the Red Sox came in with the best one. He added that a few teams wanted to use him as a closer, but he wants to remain a starter.
1:30 PM EST
Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly discussed J.T. Realmuto at his press conference, complimenting him and adding that J.T. understands his future with Miami and there is no reason to discuss it with him anymore.
12:30 PM EST
There was a lot that came out of Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash’s press conference. The biggest piece of news was that he intends to utilize an opener in 2019, balancing his use of an opener with his use of a length guy. He also said Tommy Pham is playing winter ball so he can tinker with his swing, which Pham believes needs minor improvement.
12:20 PM EST
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Billy Hamilton’s deal with the Kansas City Royals is worth $5.25M with an additional $1M in incentives.
#Royals close to agreement with OF Billy Hamilton just working through bonuses and pending physical— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) December 10, 2018
10:30 AM EST
According to the Associated Press, ESPN is set to announce at the Winter Meetings today that Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts will start around 7:00 PM EST next season, which is about one hour earlier than the previous 8:05 PM EST start time.
10:00 AM EST
There’s a growing sense among members of the baseball media that the Washington Nationals have not actually given up on trying to re-sign star outfielder Bryce Harper, even though team executives have told reporters that the Nats are basically giving up on re-signing him. A few people have even suggested that the Nationals and Harper are working on a deal behind the scenes that could be announced by Wednesday, but that seems unlikely given the circumstance.
9:30 AM EST
Day two of the Winter Meetings has kicked off. Although the lobby remains mostly quiet with the time in Vegas being just 6:30 AM, there is a hum throughout those who are awake in the building that marks the beginning of Day Two.