Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
* * *
Happy qualifying offer day! Well, the first of two. Monday is the deadline to submit a qualifying offer to a free agent, so the ball is in the team’s court. One week from then, on Nov. 14, any player who has received a qualifying offer has to decide to accept or reject it. Accepting the qualifying offer is a rarity, but that’s a step up from this time a year ago, when every single one had been declined. The pool of players who are eligible to receive the $17.2 million qualifying offer, which is for a one-year deal that grants the player’s former team draft pick compensation should the free agent sign elsewhere, is a little diluted this offseason thanks to in-season trades. Still, though, there are plenty of hitters to pay attention to. Pitchers? Not so much.
The Blue Jays will submit qualifying offers to Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Now that Dexter Fowler declined his half of a mutual option with the Cubs, he’ll be given the qualifying offer, as well. Ian Desmond seems like a lock to get one for the second year in a row. Yoenis Cespedes opting-out means he’ll get one, even if it’s the only offer the Mets make on him this winter. Mark Trumbo is sure to get one after leading the league in homers, Justin Turner for his last three years hitting for the Dodgers, and Neil Walker thanks to a strong 2016 with the Mets. Kenley Jansen might be the only obvious choice among pitchers, though, there’s an argument to be made about Jeremy Hellickson for his strong (and surprising) 2016.
Teams have until 5 p.m. ET on Monday to officially submit qualifiers to the above, and maybe a few more players. Once we know who has a qualifying offer, we’ll know who will require draft pick compensation to sign, and that will help the market sort itself out as dollars and surrendered draft picks combine to gauge a free agent’s value to potential new teams. Of course, we’ll still have to wait another week to see who is just going to accept the offer, and who will actually enter free agency.
- Saturday Night Live turned Cubs players into strippers for a dead grandma. You know, in case you want to see Dexter Fowler and David Ross cracking jokes while wearing short shorts.
- The Braves aren’t afraid of making another huge deal with a young player if the opportunity presents itself. After the Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons, and Shelby Miller trades, it’s hard to argue with this.
- The Tigers picked the right time to trade Cameron Maybin, even if the return isn’t as impressive as you might have hoped.
- The Fowler move and Rizzo’s SNL twerking weren’t the only Cubs moves of the weekend, as they also declined Jason Hammel’s option.
- The Red Sox will be one of four teams checking out a Greg Holland showcase as they seek a new setup man in what is likely a post-Junichi Tazawa era.
- Scott Kazmir declined to opt-out of his Dodgers deal, which, given his weak 2016, is not a surprise.
- The Dodgers reportedly traded Carlos Ruiz to the Mariners for Vidal Nuno in the middle of the night.
- Cleveland’s season was fun, but that doesn’t mean its ending was easy to take.
- The Rockies will name Bud Black their manager, giving them a new face in the dugout while also giving Black something to do in the game after the Nationals changed their minds a year ago.