The 2021 Winter Meetings, scheduled for next week, was already slated to be a trimmed-back affair because of COVID-19–no trade show, no job fair, and anyone outside of team employees were discouraged from showing up. And the 2021 Winter Meetings were already slated to be a two-track affair, with MLB types meeting at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the MiLB folks meeting at the Swan & Dolphin, and very few meetings slated between the two sides–no affiliate receptions were ever on the agenda, for example.
So while it was newsworthy when MLB announced its portion of the Winter Meetings was canceled, the actual impact of that decision was minimal. It’s been years and years since actual deals were made at the Winter Meetings, as the real offseason work is done at separate owners and GM meetings. That’s where the action is.
And, to be totally honest, we don’t expect a whole lot of business being done in Orlando on the MiLB side, either. With no trade show, no job fair and a schedule filled with divisional meetings and seminars, the meetings are shaping up to be more a social event than a business-packed event.
Which is cool. As a result of the scaled-back nature of the event, we won’t be hosting a reception to honor our 2021 Ballpark Digest Award winners. But we’ll be at the meetings Monday and Tuesday, with meetings lined up. Like many in the industry, we’ll be viewing this as a social situation and a chance to catch up with old friends and see new ones. If you’re interested in catching up, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org–we’re looking forward to Orlando.