In my first winter writing for TCB, the three main writers waited with baited breath all week of the Winter Meetings, checking Twitter constantly to see if a deal had been made. What did we get? Three years for Brandon Freaking Lyon.
It was a bit of a letdown.
Things just don't end up as you'd expect every year at this time. Things change in these four days of the Winter Meetings. Wait, what? You don't know what the Winter Meetings are? You haven't been obsessively tracking them for the past five years?
Let me elucidate. The Winter Meetings is a four-day collection of the entire baseball world. Everyone descends on one place, this year in Orlando, Florida, for meetings, job fairs and late-night drinking sessions with writers. And trades. And free agent signings. Collecting the entire baseball world in one place means deals can get hammered out and news can break at any time. It's a lot of fun.
But, that's not the official reason for the meetings. What's actually happening this week?
The Job Fair - Every year, baseball has its biggest job fair here. Job seekers from across the country come to the Meetings in the hopes of landing a job in baseball. Alyson Footer talked about how she was one of those people once upon a time and got a job in the minor leagues out of it.
The PBEO Job Fair provides registrants a look at the business of professional baseball, as well as an excellent opportunity to find employment. On average, 450-550 jobs are posted annually at the Job Fair.
MOST OF THESE JOBS ARE INTERNSHIPS AND ENTRY-LEVEL POSITIONS
However, some positions are for those with prior baseball experience or a related background looking for the next challenge. Most Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball teams will be hiring for positions beginning in January 2014. Therefore, it is preferable for attendees to be on track to graduate college by December 2013.
This is a competitive, competitive place, but it's also a great way to network. Sometimes, job seekers can catch GMs and other club officials in the halls of the event and build a relationship that way.
The BBWAA Meeting - Each year, baseball's writers meet to discuss different things. This is when they can vote on rule changes, etc. But, it's also where they decide which Internet writers can be admitted into the organization. Remember, Rob Neyer has been unjustly kept out of the BBWAA for the past few years, even though he was a member when he was with ESPN. The only two Internet organizations with consistent membership are FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus.
Really, this is just a time for all of you to rail at how backward the organization is. Come on. I can take it. Do your worst.
The Rule 5 Draft - This is the one time we know Houston will add a player. Maybe. Every year on Thursday, the teams gather for the Rule 5 draft, where players left off a team's 40-man roster can be drafted by another team, as long as the new team keeps the player on its own 25-man for the entire season. There are more rules than just that and later Monday, we'll break them down for you with a preview of the players Houston might take.
For a third straight season, Houston has the No. 1 pick in the draft and figure to use that pick on one player. There's also been some speculation that the player to be named in the Dexter Fowler deal could be Colorado's pick in this draft (possibly J.D. Martinez?).
Rule changes - The commissioner will also meet with the media and teams during the week. Rule changes are also discussed and this year, it appears that the topic will be home plate collisions. Smart money is on these getting regulated out of the game, though I'm not sure how they'll do it.
And that's it. Expect a ton of rumors to fly from writers all week. Check back with TCB regularly, as we'll have you covered with content all week as soon as news breaks.
This should be a lot of fun. Unless they sign Brandon Lyon again.