The baseball world will descend on San Diego next week with the 2022 Winter Meetings kicking off on Sunday.
Here’s a look at six of the most popular Winter Meetings – or “Winter Meetings adjacent” – trades that involved the top prospects at the time and which side won them.
December 6, 1989: Cleveland pulls Sandy Alomar, Carlos Baerga and Chris James off the Padres for Joe Carter
Callis: Sandy Alomar was Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year in 1989, but he was blocked by Benito Santiago and Baerga was considered a prospect, but he wasn’t your classic second base prospect. And then RBIs were king and Joe Carter was Mr. RBI. That was a blockbuster and Cleveland won that trade because they got years of cost control and quality play from Alomar and Baerga.
Mayonnaise: These days, no one would even blink with Baerga playing second base, especially with all the switching, but even without it. He could really hit, and Alomar and Baerga were the keys to that team achieving postseason success for years to come.
December 9, 2012: Rays get Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard from the Royals for James Shields and Wade Davis
Myers was the No. 3 overall prospect on the pipeline list, but this deal was also exciting because Montgomery was our No. 31 prospect in 2012 and Odorizzi was No. 47 that year.
Callis: I think the Rays have quite a package of talent, but I don’t think any of those individual guys lived up to what they thought they would be, and at that point (Royals GM) Dayton Moore was killed for this trade. James Shields helped the Royals win the 2014 AL pennant… and not only did they get “Big Game James”, they also got Wade Davis, who went on to become one of the top closers in baseball and play a key role in the World Series 2015 championship and two pennants.
Mayonnaise: I would also go for Royals. None of those guys were a huge impact player with the Rays, so I’ll give the Royals a head start on getting Big Game James.
December 9, 2015: Braves get Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte from the D-backs for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier
Callis: That was one that we were all surprised about at the time. But John Coppolella did a lot of good work in Atlanta, and I know it didn’t end well, but he did a good job in Atlanta, which resulted in a World Series championship.
December 6, 2016: White Sox get Yoán Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz from the Red Sox for Chris Sale
Moncada was the No. 1 in baseball at the time, and it was the first time in 25 years that the No. 1 male was involved in a trade. The flame-throwing Kopech was also a Top 100 candidate.
Callis: I don’t think Moncada and Kopech are really what the White Sox hoped for, except maybe in flashes. So I think it’s a clear Red Sox win with a chance to maybe get more even, but I think the Red Sox make that trade every time.
Mayonnaise: I think you could cold make an argument either way but the fact that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2018 and what Chris Sale has done for the Red Sox I would of course give the Red Sox the win even if Moncada and Kopech help the White Sox reach the postseason a few years later.
December 7, 2016: White Sox get Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Dane Dunning from the Nationals for Adam Eaton
Callis: At the time we had Giolito as the top pitching prospect in baseball and we kind of found out after that trade and into the next season that the industry had cooled on him… I don’t know if (Nationals GM) Mike Rizzo thought that would admit this now, but I think at the time the Nationals thought they were selling Lucas Giolito high.
Mayonnaise: Even though Lucas Giolito has been up and down a bit, he’s been a mainstay in the White Sox rotation, and Adam Eaton… I remember thinking at the time, ‘Wow! Do they have all that for Adam Eaton?’ And I still think, ‘Wow! Do they have all that for Adam Eaton?’
December 3, 2018: Mariners get Jarred Kelenic, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista from the Mets for Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz
Callis: It’s really turned around, isn’t it? At first we thought, what a bad trade for the Mets. And now it’s like, what’s up with Jarred Kelenic? Are the Mariners going to get anything out of this?
Mayonnaise: Justin Dunn has since moved on and say what you will about Robinson Canó, but Edwin Díaz has turned into Edwin Díaz, so tick for the Mets, unexpectedly. That’s why you can’t evaluate these things until much later, because you never know. Not that Edwin Díaz was a throw-in, but complementary pieces and not the big names end up being the best players in trades.