Originally written on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 11/16/14

This morning at the winter meetings, the chatter was Pujols-Marlins, Pujols-Marlins, with occasional interruptions for Marlins-Pujols. This points out an aspect of the winter meetings that is a drag: this event used to be about trades, but now it's about negotiations. I am as curious as anyone to learn where one of the all-time great ballplayers will end up, but the process of his getting here is not too different, at least from an outsider perspective, than attending a real estate closing.

Trades give you so much more to think about than free agent signings because each side is getting something. Should the Marlins sign Pujols, the Cardinals get screwed, but they don't get a player. Conversely, where we ever to get a deal like the winter 1955 swap-splosion between the Yankees and Orioles (Gene Woodling and about ten fringy guys) for Bob Turley and about six fringy guys, one of whom was Don Larsen) we would have so much to consider the whole writers room would break out in bleeding noses.

It seems unlikely to happen. The swap of Segio Santos to the Blue Jays for prospect Nestor Molina is almost that level of interesting, as the White Sox gave up an established reliever with proven stuff for a prospective starter whose minors numbers are stunning, but are more about outstanding control than dominating stuff. Is it better to have stuff without control or control without stuff? Rationally, I know the answer is that a pitcher can learn to have command but he can't learn stuff. Still, Molina's 5.9 strikeout-walk ratio is so impressive as to be worth trying. On yet a third hand (which everyone has after the local radiation leaks), that the Blue Jays would give up this paragon of painting the corners for Sergio Santos, who ain't exactly special, says something about their perception of his value, and the industry's valuation of relievers as a whole—and insofar as the latter go, it's about flippin' time.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Kelly: There is no doubt Tom Brady cheated

Warriors hang on, edge Rockets in Game 2 thriller

Farrell 'not ruling anything out' as Red Sox's struggles persist

Gretzky: Connor McDavid could be the next Gretzky

Bucs' Clint McDonald: Jameis Winston already leading team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dana White: Rousey vs. Cyborg would break UFC PPV record

Report: Smith child abuse investigation 'sexual in nature'

DeGale: ‘At the end of the day I’m better’ than Dirrell

Belichick suspected Tom Brady wasn't being honest with him

Johnny Manziel to be a full participant in OTAs

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

Madison Bumgarner homered off of Clayton Kershaw

Would both Towns, Okafor prefer not being the No. 1 pick?

Spoiler Alert Central: Pitfalls in online viewing of live sports

NYPD officer takes photo with 'Eli's brother' at Letterman

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

NFL suspends Bills Marcell Dareus for violating substance abuse policy

Astros surprising, but can get better with prospects like Correa

JR Smith prefers taking contested shots to open shots

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

LBS: I was a contestant on Sports Jeopardy!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.