And so, with crashing thunder and flickering lights (or so I imagine), the Winter Meetings ended in dramatic fashion yesterday. Not only did Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson sign with the Angles (check out Cameron's take on the move here), but they both supposedly didn't choose the highest offer on the table to go there. It was a fascinating end to a week that had mostly been rather boring; there were always plenty of rumors bouncing around, but there was less action during the meetings than expected.
I believe this is the first Winter Meetings in a number of year (four, maybe?) where the Rays haven't made any moves; they didn't even select any players in the Rule 5 draft. The biggest action from yesterday was that they lost two minor leaguers in the Rule 5: Gerardo Oliveras and Matt Sweeney. Holy cow, stop the presses!
The good news is that the Rays don't have to do much this offseason, and they didn't have to make any moves at the Winter Meetings. If you remember back to last year, the Winter Meetings were exciting almost solely because of the players the Rays lost at that time. Friedman makes his trades late in the offseason, and no team was going to be willing to deal for a starting pitcher until C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle were off the market. Now that the other options available are less attractive, though, teams might be taking a second look at Niemann, Davis, and Cobb.
The focal point of the offseason has now passed, so we're looking at a blank slate of nothingness for the next two months. But while there may not be much on the calendar until Spring Training kicks off, the offseason is only just getting started for the Rays. Josh Willingham hasn't signed anywhere yet, and the Rays are planning on scouting Joel Zumaya and maybe offering him some sort of deal. There are also still plenty of teams out there that need to upgrade their starting rotation, so these last couple months of the offseason could have some exciting action.
And so, we wait.