Blogger Peter Hjort at Capitol Avenue Club yesterday tweeted what many baseball fans have been feeling: “My opinion of the hot stove season thus far: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…” Indeed, the activity on the MLB transaction wire has so far consisted mostly of outrightings and DL activations, with only two trades and a handful of minor signings.
So is the 2009 offseason destined to be lame, or have we simply not waited long enough? Let’s look at the free-agent signings and players traded since 2000 to see where the spikes in activity have historically been (courtesy of Retrosheet).
Happily for fans, the best is yet to be. The hot stove league is due to heat up soon, if the recent past is any indication. Come next Monday, December 7 — the last day for free agents offered salary arbitration to accept the offers — expect the bell to ring and action on the trading floor to commence. That day has traditionally been the day with the most bustle. And although the Winter Meetings may not be what they used to be, business still gets done during that week or the week after. The next burst of transactions occurs the week before Christmas, so make sure to send your wish list to Jolly John Mozeliak in time. We’ll likely see one more flash of activity in mid-January, then slowly decline toward that most pleasant of baseball holidays, Pitchers and Catchers Report Day.