Stark: How to sum baseball’s busy winter

From SABR member Jayson Stark at on February 17, 2015:

Well, today’s the day: The day the results of my annual survey on the best and worst of the offseason appears on this site. And I’m betting that Max Scherzer, Hanley Ramirez and Michael Cuddyer (among others) won’t believe how this one turned out.

But there’s one category in my survey that didn’t make it into the main piece. I asked the 35 executives who responded to nominate an event or story that they thought summed up the baseball winter. Those results are always highly entertaining. So I thought you’d enjoy seeing some of the responses:

TRANSACTION FEVER -– A half-dozen execs weighed in on the insane, almost exhausting pace of activity this winter, especially all the major trades involving names as prominent as Josh Donaldson, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, Ben Zobrist, Jeff Samardzija and many more. “It appears that the entire industry, with the exception of maybe three to five teams, is in a definitive win-now mode,” said one exec.

THE PADRES –- You might have noticed that the San Diego Padres had a few things on their plate. And it wasn’t just what they did. It was all the stuff they tried to do. One exec’s summation of what most amused him this winter: “The Padres pursuing every player on the planet.”

DAN DUQUETTE -– Last we checked, Duquette was still running the Baltimore Orioles’ baseball-operations department. But for two months this winter, that wasn’t such a sure thing -– since the Toronto Blue Jays were openly trying to hire him as their team president (a job that Paul Beeston wasn’t aware was vacant, by the way) and Orioles owner Peter Angelos was openly trying to make that as difficult as possible. Has there ever been a tug o’ war over any executive that went that public and dragged on that long -– between teams in the same division no less? It’s tough to remember one.

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Originally published: February 17, 2015. Last Updated: February 17, 2015.