Greetings from Orlando: GM Meetings kick off today

greetings-from-orlando-floridaHello from the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, the site of this year’s Major League Baseball General Managers’ meetings. Yankees GM Brian Cashman checked into the hotel late last night and didn’t have much to report, but the team will get a bit more clarity this evening, when free agents must issue a decision on any qualifying offers extended to them.

For the Yankees, that means they’ll be waiting on word from the representatives for Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda. Cano won’t be accepting the one-year, $14.1 million contract, not with the certainty of much bigger dollars out there. It’d be a surprise if Granderson did, though it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility after his injury-shortened 2013 season.

The qualifying offer actually comes close to satisfying Kuroda’s needs; he has shown a preference for operating on one-year contracts, and the money is close to the $15 million he earned last season. Still, if Kuroda has decided that he wants to pitch for the Yankees again in 2014, the team would probably just slip last year’s contract across the table rather than issue him a $900,000 pay cut.

If any of the three players issued qualifying offers sign with other clubs, the Yankees would receive a compensation round pick in next year’s Draft.

The GM Meetings take place Monday and Tuesday, with the Owners’ Meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. Hal Steinbrenner is expected to make the trip up from Tampa at some point late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

From a quick stroll around the hotel, you can already see meetings rooms being set up, fueled by bottomless pots of java. Cashman will spend the next two days chatting with his fellow GMs, setting the ground work for things that might pan out in the future. There are also conferences for assistant GMs, running the gamut of a variety of topics.

At night, you can see the Disney World fireworks being set off from a distance, which is kind of fun. There’s also a really nice golf course and a lazy river pool here, neither of which I plan on viewing from much closer than the window of my room. We’ll have updates for you as the week goes along.

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