It's only been a few days, but the World Series and the 2017 season as a whole is officially in the rear view. We're already in Hot Stove season in baseball, and while we still have some time to wait for most big moves, some teams have already begun to make splashes. The Angels, for example, locked up Justin Upton through 2022 rather than letting him excercise his opt-out. With free agency still a week or so away, that's what we have to look forward to for this weekend. Teams and players have option decisons to make, and they need to be made soon. To be fair, most of these are easy. For example, no one doubted that the Astros would excercise Jose Altuve's option, and the same goes for the Red Sox and Chris Sale. These are no-brainers. Still, there are some really interesting decisions to be made.
A few of those interesting ones were already made on Friday. By far the most interesting decision, though, was made by a player and not a team. That belonged to Masahiro Tanaka, who had to choose between hitting the open market or sticking around in New York for the next three years. He had an up-and-down season, but he's been largely tremendous in pinstripes over his career and finished the year strongly. All of that seemed to make it likely that he'd try to test the open market, or at least look for more money from the Yankees a la Upton and Los Angeles. Instead, he declined to utilize his opt-out and will play out the rest of his contract.
Another one the most interesting decisions was made by the Indians, who triggered Michael Brantley's $11.5 million option for 2018. Just a couple years ago, this would have seemed like a no-brainer, but Brantley has missed significant time in each of the last two years and it's unclear what type of player he is at this point. Cleveland is betting on him being something close to his old self. In other news, Matt Wieters opted into his $10.5 million salary for 2018, the Marlins declined Ichiro's option and Mike Minor decided to hit free agency. As of this writing, the last major decision to be made will be that of Johnny Cueto, who has to decide between staying in San Francisco for four more years or hitting the open market.
- Here's a look at the best World Series pitching performances of all time. Surprisingly, no pitchers from 2017's slugfest are included.
- Seriously, what the hell is this???
- Before the offseason really gets started, there are a lot of procedural events that need to take place. Don't worry, Bless You Boys has you covered on what it all means.
- One of the things we can learn from this postseason is the value of going all in and not being afraid of the big move to put yourself over the top at the deadline.
- Another lesson to be learned from the last few champions is one that the White Sox can take to heart. Specifically, stick to the plan.
- If he does indeed decide to come over from Japan, Shohei Otani is going to be the story of the offseason. Lookout Landing would like him to consider Seattle as a destination.
- MLB Trade Rumors released their predictions for the offseason, and they foresee an active winter from an unlikely team.
- The Cubs are looking for a new closer, and Addison Reed could be just what the doctor ordered.
- One of the stories hanging over the upcoming offseason is the investigation into the Braves front office. That is still ongoing.
- Miguel Sano came back from his injury at the end of the year, but apparently it was bad enough that he'll be undergoing surgery this month.
- There have been a lot of big contracts given out to first basemen that have gone awry, which is just another reason Joey Votto is amazing.