Winter Meetings primer: How will AL East clubs approach offseason’s biggest event?

Next week will be a whirlwind for every MLB club. What should fans expect from the Red Sox and their rivals?

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Baseball fans are waiting for dominoes to fall amidst a historic free agency period. While some moves have already been made, the biggest names (including two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani) are still available.

That all could change in a matter of days, though. Baseball’s Winter Meetings represent an opportunity for major transactions.

At the Winter Meetings, executives hammer out trades at the bar, agents negotiate deals deep into the nighttime, and the media spends several sleepless days chasing stories. If we’re lucky, we may even see super-agent Scott Boras addressing hundreds of reporters in front of an enormous Christmas tree again. (Yes, this happened. It was 2018 and it was surreal.)

The events that transpire during the Winter Meetings are difficult to predict, but we can read between the lines and prepare for chaos. Here’s what we’ll be monitoring from the five AL East clubs when this year’s meetings convene on Dec. 4 in Nashville, TN.

MLB Winter Meetings: Toronto Blue Jays

Just this week, we learned that the Blue Jays have been fielding calls on Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Naturally, that will be the biggest storyline that follows this team into the Winter Meetings. However, it doesn’t mean we should expect either player to be traded. Even though teams are calling Toronto about its superstars, that doesn’t mean the club has any interest in dealing them.

Rather than paying too much attention to a Bichette or Guerrero trade, we should focus on the Blue Jays’ plans to add at least one bat-first outfielder. Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, and Jung-hoo Lee are all options for Toronto. They might also need to make a splash at third base if Matt Chapman departs via free agency.

Rumors of an Alek Manoah trade have also surfaced. If the Blue Jays still picture him as the Cy Young finalist he once was, they might have trouble agreeing to a deal with another team less confident after a disastrous 2023 campaign.