"It seems like when people leave the winter meetings, there's a bit of a quiet period," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. "People kind of get out of the frenzy, maybe take a step back and realize that maybe something they were talking about isn't such a good idea. Sometimes things get close and never end up happening."
For all the talk, the Dodgers have made only one big move since the end of the season, re-signing closer Brandon League. But they've been quite busy over 2012. After they were bought in May for $2 billion by a group headed by Mark Walter and Stan Kasten, Los Angeles added stars Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett. The Dodgers face a Sunday deadline to reach a deal with South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin, whose rights they gained for a $25.7 million bid.
Quite different from the days under the previous owner, Frank McCourt.
"You couldn't get an agent to return a phone call," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "Now you've got them lined out the door."
Texas GM Jon Daniels was popular, too, given his interest in Hamilton and Greinke, and talks involving Upton and a possible a multi-team trade.
"It just makes it tougher, more than two clubs," he said, adding he had a variety of trade and free-agent options. "There are a couple of big decisions that are going to impact the direction. We've narrowed it down, but there's still a couple ways we can go. Some of that is up to us, and some of that is up to the guys on the other side of the table."
After exploring trades involving Dickey, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it was possible the team could keep the knuckleballer without a deal for beyond 2013.
"I don't think it's necessarily the optimum result, but it's a possible result," he said.
Some teams worry about overpaying this early in the offseason. Other clubs conclude they must.
"You run into people, like, 'Man, I didn't want to do that, but I had no choice,'" Cashman said. "So they're getting a problem solved, but they're not happy with their solution and what they had to do to solve it. I don't want to be in that position. I'd rather feel good about what I'm doing."
NOTES: The winter meetings will return to Nashville in 2015, the governing body of the minor leagues announced. Next year's meetings are in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and the 2014 session is in San Diego.