The General Manager Meetings open up today in Chicago and finish up Wednesday.
Free agents cannot negotiate with other teams until Nov. 20, so agents will not be as active this week as they will be at the Winter Meetings in December. But when you talk to different people around the game, you do get a sense that the trade market will be active in the days and weeks ahead. We've already seen Jeremy Hermida, J.J. Hardy and Mark Teahen traded.
Two names sure to be tied to the Sox:
Adrian Gonzalez (Padres): The idea is that the Sox would trade for Gonzalez, move Kevin Youkilis to 3B and trade Mike Lowell. That all sounds good. But ...
• Lowell will be 36 in February, has a bad hip, will make $12 million next season and has no-trade rights. Trading him would not be easy. Trading him for anybody worthwhile might be impossible.
• The Padres have a relatively new owner in Jeff Moorad and a brand new GM in Jed Hoyer. Do they want to alienate their fan base by trading the franchise's most popular player? Will Venable and Chase Headley aren't going to sell many tickets. Gonzalez is from San Diego. He is San Diego.
Roy Halladay (Blue Jays): The Blue Jays and former GM J.P. Ricciardi mishandled this situation last season, announcing Halladay was available, stoking the fires and then not dealing him. Everybody, the player included, came away disappointed. New GM Alex Anthopoulos would be well-served to deal Halladay now and get on with the business of rebuilding a franchise that is quickly headed to the bottom of the AL East.
Start with Clay Buchholz and build from there. It'll take a lot, but not as much as you might think because only a handful of teams could afford the $15.75 million Halladay will make in 2010 and the contract extension he would require to waive his no-trade rights.
Keep in mind, the Red Sox made one of their big moves for 2010 when they traded for Victor Martinez. This is not a team in need of a major overhaul. The Sox won 95 games despite the David Ortiz controversy, not really having a shortstop until Alex Gonzalez came back and the travails of Daisuke Matsuzaka.
We shall see what happens. For now, we'll post updates from Chicago the next three days as the Hot Stove heats up.