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.
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There is a significant difference between players electing free agency, which they did last week to kick off the offseason, and actually being able to use that right. On Monday, free agents were officially able to sign with new teams, but it was also qualifying offer day, so everyone just kind of froze while they waited to get a sense of what the market was going to look like. Now, though, we know which 10 players received qualifying offers, so things can get moving. Players will start signing soon, as not everyone on the market, nor every team, has to wait to see which of the 10 qualifiers are accepted or rejected before making a move.
Now, for the disappointing part: This year’s free agent class isn’t that good. There are good players on it, sure, but you’re probably going to need context for most of the signings and the dollars attached to them this winter, as there just isn’t that much big-name, game-changing talent around. Grant Brisbee’s top free agent in his rankings, published Tuesday morning, is a closer. A closer! That’s not wrong, even if it seems off: It just shows you how weird this offseason’s available free agents are.
Expect a lot of trades this winter, as teams try to improve and upgrade without resorting to the free agent market. That means lots of prospects and cash moving around, so maybe we’ll see even more of a stark contrast between competing teams and rebuilding ones in 2017 than we did in what was already a pretty clearly delineated 2016. Or maybe we’ll end up with a weird standoff, with everyone going for it again and some of the rebuilding teams (Braves, Reds, Phillies) no longer interested in moving off every potential piece as they begin to eye 2018 and beyond. Regardless of which way things end up, this will be a busy offseason: You don’t need an endless supply of free agents to make it all work.
- Besides Mike Trout, we’ve got a whole lot of first-time finalists for the MVP awards.
- Both Cy Young races are muddled, but each has been narrowed down to three finalists.
- Corey Seager isn’t just one of the NL’s MVP finalists: He’s also the favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year. The AL race is going to be a bit tougher to choose, though, since there’s no one who dominated like Seager.
- You will not be shocked to find out that World Series managers Terry Francona and Joe Maddon are finalists for their leagues’ respective Manager of the Year awards.
- Edwin Encarnacion is the one Red Sox fans seem to be salivating over, but is Carlos Beltran the guy to replace David Ortiz as Boston’s DH?
- Tigers’ GM Al Avila has plenty of first-year mistakes to learn from in his second full season.
- According to this league-wide survey, baseball people are split on whether Chris Sale is going to be dealt this offseason, and they’re also unsure of just where he’d go.
- Bud Black is the new manager for the Rockies, but is he the right man for the job?
- This is how the Royals can reload for 2017, before their window is in danger of closing.
- Patrick Dubuque looked at the facts of 1984, and not in some proving-Orwell-wrong kind of way, either.
- Theo Epstein ate goat after the Cubs won the World Series, but really, he should have eaten it beforehand if he wanted to challenge the supposed curse. At least we know he doesn’t do everything right.