For the third year, SB Nation's baseball blogs are running a Winter Meetings simulation. The difference between the real Winter Meetings and our Winter Meetings, other than the fact that ours aren't real, is that our Winter Meetings encompass the entire off-season. We make decisions on options and non-tenders, we submit free agent offers to an independent arbiter who negotiates on that players' behalf to all interested parties, and we engage in trade talks with representatives of other organizations.
Suffice it to say, it's pretty intense. A lot of pieces are thrown up in the air, almost at once, and they don't really come down until the exercise ends late in the week.
I've had mixed results over the last two years. Yes, there have been some decisions I've been happy with (signing Ervin Santana for two years and $16 million, two years ago, looks great, as does trading Ryan Doumit for Melky Cabrera last year), but there have been decisions made in the heat of the moment (signing Scott Baker to a three-year deal two years ago, or Dan Haren to a four-year deal last year) and some decisions that were made from a lack of information (signing Kevin Youkilis two years ago). The goal is to do better than I did the previous year, and to achieve my goals for the upcoming year.
With a maximum payroll of roughly $94 million (each team's max payroll is a percentage increase over the previous year's, unless documentation can be shown to prove otherwise), how much of a change can I make? Will I end up signing Ervin Santana for the third year in a row? We'll find out.
If you have suggestions for free agents or trade targets, put them in the comments below. I have my own intentions, but these things never go entirely as planned and I'll be happy to have you folks doing a little scouting for me.