ORLANDO — The GM Meetings used to be little more than a precursor to the real action of the winter. Not this year.
The Marlins traded Dan Uggla to the Braves, John Buck agreed to terms with the Marlins, and now it looks like Joaquin Benoit is about to agree to a three-year deal with the Tigers.
This deal could help to set the market for set-up relievers. If a 32-year-old who has had basically two good seasons out of eight gets three years, you can bet that's what Scott Downs and the rest of those free agents will expect.
Agents are moving quickly with their free-agent clients. Nobody wants to be the guy in January still looking for a job and hearing that teams only have $2 million left to spend. This probably will not cause the top-tier players to panic, but it almost certainly will lead to quicker decisions by other players.
Once the arbitration offers are extended (or not) on Monday and teams know what their compensation costs will be, you can expect signings to really pick up.