The baseball world will descend on San Diego next week with the 2022 Winter Meetings kicking off on Sunday.
Here’s a look at six of the most notorious winter meetings – or ‘neighborhood winter meetings’ – deals involving the top prospects of the time and which side won them.
December 6, 1989: Cleveland acquires Sandy Alomar, Carlos Berga and Chris James from the Padres for Joe Carter
Callis: Sandy Alomar was the 1989 MLB Player of the Year, but was blocked by Benito Santiago, and Berga was considered a prospect, but he wasn’t your classic second base prospect. And at that time RBIs were king and Joe Carter was Mr. RBI. This was a huge success and Cleveland won that deal because they had several years of cost control and quality play from Alomar and Baerga.
mayo: Nowadays, no one would even blink with Baerga playing second base, especially with all the shifting, but even without it. He could really hit, and Alomar and Baerga were key to the team achieving post-season success in the years to come.
Dec. 9, 2012: Rays acquires Will Myers, Jake O’Dorizi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard from the Royals for James Shields and Wade Davis
Myers was the No. 3 finisher for the pipeline, but that deal was also interesting because Montgomery was No. 31 in 2012 and Odorizzi was No. 47 that year.
Callis: I think the Rays got a good pool of talent, but I don’t think any of those individuals lived up to what he thought they were going to be, and at that time Dayton Moore (Royals GM) got killed by that trade. James Shields helped the Royals win the 2014 AL title…and not only did they get “Big Game James,” they got Wade Davis, who ended up being one of the best catchers in baseball and playing a key role in the 2015 World Series championship and two flags.
mayo: I’m going to the royal family too. None of these players have been a big impact with the Rays, so I’ll give the Royals the advantage of having Big Game James.
Dec. 9, 2015: Braves acquire Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte from Defenders D along with Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier
Callis: This was something we were all very confused about 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 some good work in Atlanta that ended up being a World Series.
Dec. 6, 2016: The White Sox host Yon Moncada, Michael Kubis, Luis Alexander Pasabi and Victor Diaz from the Red Sox for Chris Sale.
Moncada was the No. 1 prospect in baseball at the time, and it was the first time in 25 years that a No. 1 prospect had been included in the trade. The flame-throwing Kopech was also a top 100 prospect.
Callis: I don’t think Moncada and Kopech were really what the White Sox hoped they were, except in flashes. So, I think it’s a clear win for the Red Sox with a chance of maybe getting more, but I think the Red Sox make that trade every time.
mayo: I think you’re having an argument either way, but the fact that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2018, and what Chris Sale did for the Red Sox, obviously I’d give the Red Sox the win even if Moncada and Kopech helped the White Sox get to the post season a few years later.
December 7, 2016: White Sox draft Lucas Giolito, Reinaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals in favor of Adam Eaton
Callis: Back then we had Giolito as the MVP in baseball and we kind of figured out after that trade and the next season that the industry missed him… I don’t know if (Nationals general manager) Mike Rizzo would admit that now, but I think the Nationals thought they They were selling at a high price in Lucas Giolito at the time.
mayo: Even if Lucas Giolito was a bit sloppy, he was a mainstay in the White Sox rotation, and Adam Eaton… I remember thinking at the time, “Wow! Did they get all that for Adam Eaton?” And I keep thinking, “Wow! Did they get all that for Adam Eaton?
Dec. 3, 2018: Returns Mariners Jared Killink, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista from the Mets for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz
Callis: You really flipped, right? At first we’re like, what a bad trade for the Mets. Now, what’s going on with Jared Kilinick? Will the sailors get any of this?
mayo: Since then, Justin Dunn has moved on, say what you will about Robinson Cano, but Edwin Diaz morphed into Edwin Diaz, so he marked the Mets unexpectedly. Which is why you can’t evaluate such things until later because you never know. Not that Edwin Diaz was a throw-in, but the bits and not the big names end up being the best players in the trades.