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Wednesday, November 7, 2012
GM meetings: Who'll be this year's Pineda?

By Wallace Matthews

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- As baseball's 30 GMs converge here for two days of meetings, a lot of names are swirling around as possible, probable and just wishful future Yankees: Torii Hunter. B.J. Upton. Joakim Soria. Kyle Lohse.

But history tells us that while the Yankees are likely to make some significant addition this winter, either through a trade or free agency, it is also likely to involve some player whose name hasn't even entered the conversation yet.

Case(s) in point: Rafael Soriano two years ago. Ichiro Suzuki at last year's trading deadline.

And, last January, the trade that brought Michael Pineda from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Jesus Montero, a deal that caught everyone in baseball by surprise.

As I have repeatedly written and as I strongly believe, nothing of consequence will get done here over the next two days. The Yankees simply have not operated that way in the five years or so since Brian Cashman took control of the reins from a fading George Steinbrenner. In fact, they've already made three (minor) moves this week, adding inventory in the form of backup catcher Eli Whiteside and two relief pitchers, and if I were a betting man my money says that will be about it.

But at some point this winter, the Yankees are going to have to address needs and, to a lesser extent, mollify the desire of their disappointed fan base to "DO SOMETHING, DAMMIT!"

So the Question of the Day is not meant to ask, "Who will be the next high-profile bust the Yankees will trade for?" but rather, who will be the player that they acquire between now and spring training that has us all scratching our heads and muttering, "Never saw that one coming."

Last year, it was Pineda. At the time the trade was made, it looked like a steal for the Yankees. Now, of course, it looks like something else again. Who will it be this year? Show your acumen as a budding GM by letting us know in the comments section.

Coming soon: Updates from the GM meetings throughout the day. Just a guideline: The GMs generally break for lunch around noon here -- 3 p.m. New York time -- and finish up for the day at about 5 p.m. (8 p.m. ET). So there will most likely be reports around those times. And, whatever I can pick up along the way, so check in often. and as always, thanks for reading.