Good Afternoon from the Music City: Nashville, Tennessee.
I'm writing this from the media room at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, the host of the MLB Winter Meetings, surrounded by other members of the media exchanging pleasantries, and one writer who is guilty of the cardinal sin of working near others: Thou shall not peck at the keys so loud that it disturbs everyone.
It's still early on Monday, but the Red Sox have a new first baseman-catcher-designated-hitter-back-up in Mike Napoli and the Rays have upgraded from Carlos Pena to James Loney (which is a very small incremental improvement). There's rumors swirling everywhere and Ken Rosenthal has been in the hallway eating granola bars and talking on his cellphone since 8am, so hopefully there will be more concrete news, rather than just rumors, soon.
There are several things happening simultaneously here at the Opryland, including the PBEO® Job Fair, which is a mix of organizational representatives and 400+ eager job seekers looking for their chance to break into the industry, The Baseball Trade ShowTM, which will feature over 250 exhibitors, and the Bob Freitas Business Seminar for industry experts. It's interesting to be in a place where you can eavesdrop on any number of baseball conversations, all of them different, but interesting. Last night I met a minor league owner at a bar who was more than willing to tell me the shortcomings of his organization over bourbon-so thus far, I'd consider the trip a success.
SB Nation will have coverage all week from the Opryland Hotel, pending we don't get lost in this maze palace. For those of you who have never been here, picture the most elaborate casino resort you can think of, subtract the gambling, substitute country music, and you've got the Opryland. It's basically three smaller hotels connected with atriums that wind and bend and contain a variety of horticulture species not native to Tennessee. Given the season, everything is intricately festooned with Christmas-so basically M.C. Escher and the architects of Alcatraz built a hotel, then asked Clark Griswold to decorate. Perhaps such a grandiose location will encourage general managers to open their wallets and spend big on free agents. Until then, I'm going to go follow Harold Reynolds around the lobby and keep my eyes peeled for Zack Greinke.
But for now, we wait until the next big thing (and I daydream about an $18 dollar salad, because this place is expensive).
As things happen, we'll keep you updated on everything from trade rumors to free agent signings to which players we've seen taking a spin on the delta boats (did I mention this place has boats....indoors?). We'll have some blogging and photos here, but you can also follow us on Twitter for updates for the next four days-- @CeeAngi, @Robneyer, @GoStevenGoldman, and @AmyKNelson. For the latest trade happenings and rumors, make sure to follow @MLBDailyDish.