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The Winter Meetings opened with … a resounding silence. As the baseball world descended on Orlando, the action was limited to dinner. Jenn Sterger and I dined near Theo Epstein, but I seemed no closer to signing Daisuke Matsuzaka than he did. The steak, however, was great. Outside in the lobby, the action was .. again, nonexistent. If you can read anything into anything, GMs greeted each other and found quiet corners away from the bars to talk. Brian Cashman and Walt Jocketty may well be talking bass fishing. Kevin Towers and Steve Phillips might have been talking about transitioning to media or the relative value of the Doors versus the Stones — you’d have needed to see the T-shirts, trust me — but it’s enough to start rumors.

Where there’s smoke in Orlando, or any winter meetings, there’s usually just more smoke. J.D. Drew might or might not have been a Red Sock by Monday if you listened to most, though Scott Boras and his entourage picked up their luggage late Sunday night like everyone else. Ted Lilly‘s asking price was higher — up to $11 million per year instead of ten — but no one could really say why.

The first night of the Winter Meetings was the opening round of a fight, or maybe a first date. The dance began, slowly, towards what might be action or might be nothing. We don’t know yet. But we’ll be watching. Joe and Kevin hit the ground early Monday, so expect more news soon on all fronts.

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