Chatter, and some talks
So far the scene at winter meetings is pretty relaxed - baseball officials checking in the Dolphin and Swan resorts on the Disney property, having friendly conversations and sharing a few laughs and cold drinks around the lobby.
Things will get a little more serious on Monday as the rest of the teams - including the Devil Rays - arrive, as will some of the big-name agents, as well as Scott Boras, who represents many of the top free agents.
The Rays continued the courting of Japanese infielder Akinori Iwamura Sunday night over dinner with executive vice president Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon, who flew in from California. Friedman said talks with agent Alan Nero went well and progress was made.
"Nothing is imminent, but we will continue to have dialogue this week and we're optimistic about getting a deal done well in advance of our (Dec. 15) deadline,'' Friedman said.
The Rays bid $4.5-million for the rights to Iwamura, and he is reportedly seeking a deal for around $5-million over two years with an option. The sides have until Dec. 15 to work something out.