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.
While Cardinals think Furcal will be OK, they'd ideally like to find someone who could play either 2B or SS.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 3, 2012
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.
#Yankees already knew they needed additional help at SS and 3B. FA options include Scutaro, Keppinger. Latter coming off broken right fibula— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 3, 2012
Then, at 11: 18 p.m., Knobler reported that the Cardinals had met with Scutaro's agent.
Scutaro would be good fit for Cardinals, who met with his agent tonight. They want to get infielder, trade Schumaker— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 3, 2012
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.
Holliday sez hello! RT @dknobler: Scutaro would be good fit for Cardinals, who met with his agent tonight. Want to get IF, trade Schumaker— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) December 4, 2012
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.
Bidding on Marco Scutaro said to have reached something in the range of 3 years, $24 million; SF viewed as frontrunner by source involved.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 4, 2012
At 5:16 p.m., CSN's Baggarly tweets that the Cardinals may appeal to Scutaro because they are not on the west coast.
Cardinals might have strong pull on Scutaro, who lives in Miami and could spend spring training in Florida.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) December 4, 2012
At 5:53 p.m., Olney tweets that Giants manager Bruce Bochy has addressed the Scutaro negotiations.
Bruce Bochy says on Baseball Tonight that Giants are hoping that Marco Scutaro accepts SF offer tonight. SF met with his reps today.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 4, 2012
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.
Mozeliak: "As far as getting any closer to anything, it's really hard to tell. A lot of things in the air."— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) December 5, 2012
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.
Mozeliak on middle infield: "We’re not spending as much time as people think in this market. Our focus has been on other areas."— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) December 5, 2012
At 6:20 p.m., Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com tweets the same.
#STLCards GM John Mozeliak on pursuit of middle infield upgrades: "We’re not spending as much time as people think in this market."— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) December 5, 2012
Rains then tweets another Mozeliak quote at 6:26 p.m. that is fitting, given the reports that follow.
Mozeliak: "I’m not going to start getting involved in every tweet out there, but what’s being written is maybe not 100 percent accurate."— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) December 5, 2012
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.
Source involved in talks thinks it's 50-50 Scutaro goes back to SF. Cardinals thought to be most likely alternative to SF. Decision close.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2012
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.
Giants offer Scutaro two years plus vesting option: Marco Scutaro, the 2012 NLCS MVP, is weighing an offer on th... bit.ly/TNt9c2— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) December 5, 2012
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.
Mozeliak: "Hopefully we'll bring something to conclusion in the near future." The latest from Nashville: foxsportsmidwest.com/12/04/12/Cardi…— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) December 5, 2012
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.
Source: Scutaro in agreement with #SFGiants, $20 million for three years.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 5, 2012
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.
Confirming @ken_rosenthal report: Scutaro gets $20 million over three years.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) December 5, 2012
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch chimes in.
#Cardinals have been "kicking the tires" on middle infielders, per Mozeliak. Apparently, they've set off a few alarms in the process.— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) December 5, 2012
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.
Cardinals never went to three years for Scutaro but 2 year offer had much higher AAV. In $8 million range. So Giants guaranteed third year.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) December 5, 2012
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.