Hot stove burning questions

Originally Published: December 13, 2004
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The 2004 winter meetings began as a scramble for the podium and ended as an exercise in navel gazing. You knew things were slow when a member of one club's traveling party showed up in the lobby of the Anaheim Marriott and revealed that the rest of the team brass was upstairs engrossed in the big event of the day -- watching the NFL on television.

Of course, a lack of news should never be confused with a shortage of rumors, speculation and effort. On Saturday night, a buzz swept through the hotel that a trade of Tim Hudson from Oakland to Los Angeles was imminent. Then Billy Beane found it's not easy getting equal value for a 29-year-old starter with a 92-39 career record, and Hudson turned into a weapon of mass stagnation.

During the long, idle hours between Russ Ortiz's introductory press conference with Arizona and a sudden flurry of Pedro Martinez and Edgar Renteria speculation, Baseball Insider trolled the hotel lobby and polled 12 executives and scouts on five pressing issues of the winter. The results:

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer