The baseball world will descend on San Diego next week as the 2022 Winter Meetings kick off on Sunday.
Here’s a look at six of the most popular winter meetings — or “adjacent winter meetings” — involving the top prospects at the time and who won them.
December 6, 1989: Cleveland obtains Sandy Alomar, Carlos Baerga and Chris James from the Padres for Joe Carter
Calis: Sandy Alomar was Baseball America’s 1989 Minor League Player of the Year, but he was blocked by Benito Santiago, and Baerga was considered a prospect, but he wasn’t your classic second base prospect. And back then, the RBIs were kings and Joe Carter was Mr. RBI. It was a blockbuster and Cleveland won that trade because they got several years of cost control and quality play from Alomar and Baerga.
Mayo: No one would even bat an eye these days with Baerga playing second base, especially with all the changes, but even without it. He could really hit, and Alomar and Baerga were keys to this team that saw playoff success for years to come.
December 9, 2012: The Rays get Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard from the Royals for James Shields and Wade Davis
Myers was No. 3 overall on the Pipeline list, but this deal was also exciting because Montgomery was our No. 31 in 2012 and Odorizzi was No. 47 that year.
Calis: I think the Rays have a decent set of talent, but I don’t think any of those individual guys lived up to what they thought they would be, and at the time (Royals GM) Dayton Moore was killed for this trade. James Shields helped the Royals win the 2014 AL pennant…and they didn’t just get “Big Game James,” they also got Wade Davis, who ended up being one of baseball’s best closers and played a key role in the 2015 World Series championship and two pennants.
Mayo: I would also go to Royals. Neither of those guys were high impact players with the Rays, so I’m going to give the Royals the lead to get Big Game James.
December 9, 2015: Braves get Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte D-backs for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier
Calis: It was the one that intrigued us all at the time. But John Coppolella did a lot of good work in Atlanta, and I know it didn’t end well, but he did a good job in Atlanta that ended up with a World Series championship.
December 6, 2016: The White Sox receive Yoán Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz from the Red Sox for Chris Sale
Moncada was baseball’s No. 1 prospect at the time, and it was the first time in 25 years that the No. 1 guy had been included in a trade. Flamethrower Kopech was also a Top 100 prospect.
Calis: I don’t think Moncada and Kopech were really what the White Sox were hoping for, except maybe in flashes. So I think it’s a clear Red Sox win with a chance to maybe be more evenly matched, but I think the Red Sox make that trade every time.
Mayo: I think you’re cold both ways, but the fact that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2018 and what Chris Sale did for the Red Sox, obviously I would give the Red Sox the win even if Moncada and Kopech help the White Sox reach the playoffs a few years later.
Dec. 10-July 7, 2016: White Sox acquire Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning from Nationals for Adam Eaton
Calis: At the time, we had Giolito as the best pitching prospect in baseball and we kind of found out after that trade and the next season that the industry had cooled off on him… I don’t know if (Nationals GM) Mike Rizzo would Admit it now, but I think the Nationals thought they were selling high on Lucas Giolito at the time.
Mayo: Even though Lucas Giolito had his ups and downs, he was a mainstay in the White Sox rotation, and Adam Eaton…I remember thinking at the time, ‘Wow! They got all this for Adam Eaton? And I always think, ‘Wow! They got all this for Adam Eaton?
Dec. 3, 2018: Sailors get Jarred Kelenic, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista from the Mets for Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz
Calis: It’s really flipped, isn’t it? At first, you think, what a bad trade for the Mets. And now it’s like, what’s going on with Jarred Kelenic? Will the Mariners get anything out of it?
Mayo: Justin Dunn has since moved on and say what you want about Robinson Canó, but Edwin Díaz has become Edwin Díaz, so tick the box for the Mets, unexpectedly. That’s why you can’t really assess this stuff until much later, because you never know. Not that Edwin Díaz was a throw-in, but complementary pieces and not the big names end up being the best players in the trades.
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