Jayson Stark of ESPN.com surveyed 17 prominent executives, agents and scouts about the biggest storylines that figure to dominate in Nashville, Tennessee. On average, those surveyed see Zack Greinke and Nick Swisher signing mid-month, Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn signing in the last week of December, and Rafael Soriano taking until mid-January to find a landing spot. Here's more from Stark..
- Most of the people surveyed see Hamilton winding back up with the Rangers when all is said and done. Outside of Texas, there were predictions for the Orioles, Red Sox, Brewers, and Phillies.
- Fifteen of the 17 surveyed weighed in on where they think Greinke will land and 14 predict that he will sign with the Dodgers. The one dissenter, an agent, sees the Angels avoiding a bidding war with the Dodgers only to top their offer in the end.
- Almost everyone sees Swisher signing in the next couple of weeks but there is no consensus when it comes to destination. The Red Sox, Orioles, and Mariners all got multiple votes.
- While there have been rumors about a James Shields trade for two years, one AL exec says that this will finally be the time for the Rays to pull the trigger. "Just look at the contract. He's got this year and next year left. So he's got more value now than he'll have a year from now. They're very analytical about everything they do. It just makes sense that now's the time," said the exec.
- No surprise here but the Dodgers were picked as the most likely team to outspend everyone and dominate the headlines.