Winter Meetings Twitter Tick Tock: The St. Louis Cardinals & the Bidding on Free Agent Marco Scutaro

Christian Petersen

Twitter allows us to keep track of the Winter Meetings in real time. Here is a timeline of the tweets on the courting and signing of free agent infielder Marco Scutaro.

Over at Sports on Earth, Will Leitch wrote a piece entitled "Baseball's Winter Meetings Are Made For Twitter." Leitch hit the nail on the head. I don't have to wait and tune in for SportsCenter to get the latest scoop or surf ESPN.com, SI.com, and various other websites for the latest posts by Peter Gammons and Ken Rosenthal. I thought MLB Trade Rumors was the pinnacle of Hot Stove rumor-gathering; after all, they curate the rumors for you and sort them by team. Now, there is no middle man. There is Twitter.

I simply beam up (to use my mom's phraseology) the Twitter app on my phone and go to my "MLB Gossip" list. Every rumor and rumbling that media members have come across is there. Some are confined to 140 characters. Others are tweets of links to longer blog posts. It's never been easier to stay caught up on everything that is going on at the Winter Meetings. And, at night, one can keep up with developments in real time.

Leitch's article and this revelation gave me the idea of doing a Twitter timeline of a rumored free agent or trade, if a good opportunity to do presented itself. I think the bidding on free agent middle infielder Marco Scutaro has done just that. Without further ado, here is the Twitter Tick Tock of the bidding on Scutaro at the Winter Meetings.

MONDAY - DECEMBER 3, 2012

On Monday night, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports got the the Scutaro rumor mill fired up. Fittingly for our purposes, he did so by linking the St. Louis Cardinals to the free agent.

At 8:13 p.m., on December 3, 2012, Knobler tweeted about the Cardinals' goal of bolstering their middle infield.

At 8:57 p.m., FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees might have interest in Scutaro due to Alex Rodriguez's forthcoming hip surgery and rehabilitation.

Then, at 11: 18 p.m., Knobler reported that the Cardinals had met with Scutaro's agent.

Shortly after the toll of midnight, Andrew Baggarly of Comcast Sports Network chimed in with the requisite Matt Holliday joke that many other baseball works were thinking but didn't tweet.

LOLOL.

TUESDAY - DECEMBER 4, 2012

ESPN's Buster Olney breaks fresh Scutaro news at 2:06 p.m. in the afternoon. His former team has emerged as the frontrunner, having made a contract offer three years in length and worth $24 million.

At 5:16 p.m., CSN's Baggarly tweets that the Cardinals may appeal to Scutaro because they are not on the west coast.

At 5:53 p.m., Olney tweets that Giants manager Bruce Bochy has addressed the Scutaro negotiations.

The official Major League Baseball Twitter feed tweets a Bochy quote and picture.

Shortly after Bochy addresses the media, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak makes himself available to the press and answers questions. At 6:06 p.m., BJ Rains of FOX Sports Midwest tweets the first Mozeliak comment, one that is enticingly cryptic.

At 6:16 p.m., Rains then tweets a Mozeliak quote that could be characterized as misleading, given what we now know was going on around this time.

At 6:20 p.m., Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com tweets the same.

Rains then tweets another Mozeliak quote at 6:26 p.m. that is fitting, given the reports that follow.

At 6:52 p.m., Olney chimes in on the Scutaro situation, reporting that the the bidding is very competitive between the Cardinals and Giants.

At 7:20 p.m., CNS's Baggarly tweets that the Giants' current offer to Scutaro is two years plus a vesting option. The article linked to names the Cardinals as San Francisco's strongest competitor in the bidding for the free agent.

At 8:42 p.m., Langosch tweets her story on the Cardinals' second day at the Winter Meetings, describing it as "quiet."

At 9:59 p.m., Rains tweets an intriguing Mozeliak quote.

Finally, at 10:21 p.m., Rosenthal tweets that Scutaro has made his decision and is signing with the Giants on a three-year contract worth slightly less than earlier rumors.

At 10:25 p.m., Rains offers his assessment of the signing.

Rains offers another tweet at 10:30 p.m.

Baggarly confirms the Rosenthal report at 10:31 p.m.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch chimes in.

At 11:03 p.m., USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Cardinals were not in on Scutaro.

At 11:10 p.m., Baggarly reports that the Cardinals did make a competitive offer to the free agent.

At 10:47 p.m., the official MLB Twitter feed announces the Giants have signed Scutaro.

WEDNESDAY - DECEMBER 5, 2012

Goold tweets a link to an article he wrote on the Cardinals seeking middle-infield help, including Stephen Drew.

NOTE: For some reason, the date on the Twitter time stamp is from when I embedded the tweet (after midnight) and not the date the tweet was actually posted. The proper dates for the tweets is found in bold.

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