Hamilton, Greinke remain on market after meetings

A quiet winter meetings figures to lead to a busy rest of

December, given how few moves actually got finished at sprawling

Opryland hotel.

As teams headed home Thursday, the biggest free agents were

still on the market. The availability of slugger Josh Hamilton and

pitcher Zack Greinke held up decisions on other signings and

possible trades involving Rangers infielder Michael Young and Mets

Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.

The Yankees, quiet thus far, were pursuing former Boston star

Kevin Youkilis and also met with the agent for Mark Reynolds.

With most clubs already packed up, Philadelphia acquired

outfielder Ben Revere from Minnesota for right-handers Vance Worley

and Trevor May.

Hamilton could remain with Texas, and Seattle seemed to be

interested. Greinke’s options include staying with the Los Angeles

Angels, moving up the coast to the Dodgers or signing with the

Rangers.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said that after taking

in information from other clubs and agents, it was time to return

home and ”cool your jets.”

”There can be a domino effect,” he said. ”I think when clubs

are focusing on a certain position, a certain need, there’s options

out there. And once one option goes away, then that changes the

landscape of what a club would want to do. Everybody’s got their

ducks lined up in a row, and it’s just a matter of how things fall.

And there’s timing involved.”

The annual meeting wasn’t much of a swap session. The

Phillies-Twins deal was just the fourth trade over the four

days.

Atlanta announced a one-year deal with outfielder Reed Johnson

on Thursday, and Texas said reliever Koji Uehara had reached an

agreement with Boston. Minnesota agreed with reliever Jared Burton

on a $5.5 million, two-year contract that includes a club option

for 2015, and third baseman Ian Stewart said he is re-signing with

the Chicago Cubs, confirming the move on Twitter.

But the 25-foot wide dais with a podium backed by MLB logos was

used just three times: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman

discussed Alex Rodriguez’s hip injury; Major League Baseball

announced an auction benefiting Stand Up to Cancer; and the Mets

talked about David Wright’s $138 million, eight-year contract,

which had been agreed to last week.

The Yankees have been quiet, watching as catcher Russell Martin

agreed with Pittsburgh last week and backup third baseman Eric

Chavez went to Arizona during the meetings. Wanting to get under

the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014, the Yankees are

being cautious. Still, Cashman maintained it hasn’t been a rough

week for him.

”Because I don’t read the papers as much as I used to,” he

said. ”This year’s marketplace, it might be strong in terms of the

dollars being thrown around, but I don’t think it’s a strong market

in terms of the available talent.”

As the meetings ended, Cashman had made a $12 million offer to

Youkilis, who would play third base while A-Rod recovers. The

Phillies were trying to obtain Young, the infielder who has been

with the Rangers for his entire 13-season career and would have to

approve a trade. Arizona was listening to offers for outfielder

Justin Upton.

”It seems like when people leave the winter meetings, there’s a

bit of a quiet period,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. ”People

kind of get out of the frenzy, maybe take a step back and realize

that maybe something they were talking about isn’t such a good

idea. Sometimes things get close and never end up happening.”

For all the talk, the Dodgers have made only one big move since

the end of the season, re-signing closer Brandon League. But

they’ve been quite busy over 2012. After they were bought in May

for $2 billion by a group headed by Mark Walter and Stan Kasten,

Los Angeles added stars Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl

Crawford and Josh Beckett. The Dodgers face a Sunday deadline to

reach a deal with South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin, whose rights

they gained for a $25.7 million bid.

Quite different from the days under the previous owner, Frank

McCourt.

”You couldn’t get an agent to return a phone call,” Dodgers

general manager Ned Colletti said. ”Now you’ve got them lined out

the door.”

Texas GM Jon Daniels was popular, too, given his interest in

Hamilton and Greinke, and talks involving Upton and a possible a

multi-team trade.

”It just makes it tougher, more than two clubs,” he said,

adding he had a variety of trade and free-agent options. ”There

are a couple of big decisions that are going to impact the

direction. We’ve narrowed it down, but there’s still a couple ways

we can go. Some of that is up to us, and some of that is up to the

guys on the other side of the table.”

After exploring trades involving Dickey, Mets GM Sandy Alderson

said it was possible the team could keep the knuckleballer without

a deal for beyond 2013.

”I don’t think it’s necessarily the optimum result, but it’s a

possible result,” he said.

Some teams worry about overpaying this early in the offseason.

Other clubs conclude they must.

”You run into people, like, `Man, I didn’t want to do that, but

I had no choice,”’ Cashman said. ”So they’re getting a problem

solved, but they’re not happy with their solution and what they had

to do to solve it. I don’t want to be in that position. I’d rather

feel good about what I’m doing.”

NOTES: The winter meetings will return to Nashville in 2015, the

governing body of the minor leagues announced. Next year’s meetings

are in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and the 2014 session is in San

Diego.