A lazy Sunday afternoon didn't produce any fireworks around the Hot Stove, but groundwork is surely being laid for Major League maneuvering in the weeks to come.
In fact, some deals could be struck on Monday, when the General Managers Meetings get under way in Orlando, Fla., and club executives can break bread together and talk some shop. And more will be known around the league by Monday at 5 p.m. ET, by which time 13 players must accept or decline qualifying offers that were put forth by teams a week ago.
Big-name free agents Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and more are being discussed every day. We'll see how serious it gets this week.
• Joel Sherman of the New York Post pointed out that recent reports tying the Boston Red Sox to Beltran might be jumping the gun on one issue: that Beltran's aging legs might force him to be a designated hitter, and the Red Sox already have that slot covered ably by David Ortiz.
• Meanwhile, Braves beat reporter David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweeted on Sunday that John Lackey could be an alternative to free agent starter Tim Hudson, although the Braves would have to orchestrate a trade for Lackey.
• The Yankees are looking to get younger, as Barry Federovitch of the Newark Star-Ledger wrote Sunday. What to do? "Put a big package together and get the likes of an Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar from Texas or Asdrubal Cabrera from Cleveland," Federovitch wrote. "Kick the tires on free agents like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is only 28 and might have five good seasons ahead of him, not just one or two."
• Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo is headed for the GM Meetings and speculates that the Red Sox might try to swing a deal with the Angels for Mark Trumbo if they don't re-up with Mike Napoli. Cafardo suggests that the Angels could go for third baseman Will Middlebrooks and starter Felix Doubront in a potential Trumbo deal.
• Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com speculated on the Phillies' need for corner outfielders to round out the team's depth and mentioned two intriguing names: Rajai Davis and Chris Young. Both have speed and would give manager Ryne Sandberg versatility late in games, according to Seidman.
• Cafardo wrote in Sunday's column that it's never wise to believe a GM when he says a player is untouchable, and that despite what the Marlins are saying about Giancarlo Stanton, every player has a price.
• Jim Bowden of SiriusXM radio had Cardinals GM John Mozeliak on his radio show and tweeted that "Mozeliak made it clear to us this morning that he'd like to trade a young "starting pitcher" for a "young, controllable shortstop."
• Cafardo says watch out for Cubs president Theo Epstein, who just might be ready to pounce on one of the high-profile free agents in this market.
• If you're wondering where the high-priced, hard-throwing relievers on the open market might end up, Troy Renck of the Denver Post said it might just be at Coors Field. Renck wrote on Sunday that the team is considering "every hard thrower on the board, from Brian Wilson and Grant Balfour to Joe Smith and LaTroy Hawkins."