The most unexciting three days in baseball wrapped in Dana Point, Calif., on Thursday with no deals made at the general managers meetings. That wasn't entirely unexpected, but Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he left the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach with a better idea of how the off-season might proceed until the Winter Meetings next month in Las Vegas.
"It was a productive week from the standpoint of understanding what may be realistic and what we can focus our energies on," Daniels said. "I'd expect activity will pick up between now and Vegas."
Trading one of the four catchers seems likely. Where there's smoke, there is often fire. When four catchers are linked to as many as seven teams, it seems like something will happen. Boston and Florida look to be favorites, with Detroit and Houston lacking the necessary young pitching depth to make a deal happen. Milwaukee, Cincinnati and the Yankees could also be players.
Expect the Rangers to announce Friday that they have picked up the $6.2 million club option on Hank Blalock. That's a formality. What happens after that, though, is up in the air. Blalock could be dealt to a team in need of a left-handed bat, or he could find himself at first base or DH for the Rangers in 2009. The assumption is that his days as a third baseman are over because of a bad shoulder, but maybe an off-season of strengthening could make a difference.
-- Jeff Wilson