GM Meetings End Early Due to Rampant Stomach Bug

Sounds like Scott Boras’s verbal diarrhea is contagious. Rumblings at the GM BM Meetings in Phoenix came from more than just rumors as dozens of MLB execs turned to their No. 2 options due to a stomach bug. Normally a hub of activity, the lobby bar was cleared out because of loose stools. What was originally feared to be food poisoning from getting a “full Belli” at Tuesday’s lunch buffet was actually identified as a virus after more people were laid low on Wednesday.

On a related note, Trevor Bauer’s representatives were meeting with teams in the hopes of landing him a new gig. Please do not suggest the Cubs should sign him.

As Stephanie Apstein reported for SI, the ailment struck more than 30 of the roughly 300 people in attendance. Plenty of shit got done despite the abbreviated nature of the summit, though the biggest deals are still going to take a while to digest. Not that anyone should have expected much more than a few solid quotes as teams wrangle for leverage early in the offseason.

Jed Hoyer was good for a soundbite or two, whether it was downplaying the Cubs’ free agency outlook or talking about Christopher Morel working at first base this winter. The common thread here, which gets a third strand from what Boras quipped, is that Cody Bellinger may be more than just a longshot. I’ll save you a regurgitation of all the logic since you’re probably already sick of it.

In any case, we may see a brief lull as front offices recover over the remainder of the week. Or maybe some groups left untouched by the bug will take advantage of their rivals’ illness and speed up certain negotiations. While most of those figure to involve mid-tier free agents and below, Japanese righty Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s posting window is expected to open soon.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweeted that it could happen within the next week, at which point teams would have 45 days to work with Yamamoto’s reps on a deal. As the top available starter on the market, at least in terms of projected cost, his courtship could serve to get the market moving in a big way.

One thing to keep in mind as we continue to inch along through the offseason is that Hoyer almost never telegraphs his moves. No one outside of the organization had a clue about the Craig Counsell hire and news didn’t even break until more than a day after an agreement was reached. That doesn’t mean the rumors about what the Cubs will or won’t do should be dismissed, only that Hoyer has a knack for pulling off the unexpected.

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