In classic Major League Baseball fashion, the league decided a perfect start date for Free Agency would be 2 days before arguably the wildest election this country has ever seen. They also decided that announcing all the Gold Glove winners at 6 PM on election day would be a good marketing strategy, but that’s besides the point. The market is open and ready for business, as teams have begun handing out qualifying offers and have been speaking with players behind closed doors. Currently, the hot stove is ice cold, with very few rumors at all surfacing on social media.
To be clear nothing is going to happen this week. With the election going on, and the amount of money the league has lost from COVID, a move this early is just unlikely. The only contracts that would probably be signed this week are players signing returning deals. With the amount of money lost there will be some discrepancies on contracts between players and owners, which may lead to guys holding out for the next few months. Some teams, especially smaller markets may be hesitant to shell any money out until the results of this election are in. With absentee ballots and mail-in votes being counted, it could be over a week till a winner is officially decided.
The biggest story to hit the baseball world this offseason besides the White Sox hiring a dinosaur for a manager, has been the emergence of billionaire Steve Cohen as the Mets’ owner. He has been the center of most baseball related conversations since the end of the World Series in October. Even with that, the league as a whole hasn’t really promoted the fact that Free Agency has started. Instead, it’s been the players who have been trying to engage fans in offseason talks via social media. Over the past few weeks free-agents like Marcus Stroman and Trevor Bauer have enjoyed trolling fans, through memes and puzzling tweets. Bauer, whom many consider the top free-agent this season, has even hinted that we may get some information today on his whereabouts.
Stroman decided he would mess with Mets fans, who already are not too keen on him.
Nonetheless, their trolling has been entertaining for fans who have been craving the feeling of a “real” offseason after feeling cheated this year with the 60 game slate. All factors however are pointing to an offseason that has a slow burn. With Owners being reluctant to spend and players wanting more than their value – it’s a recipe for a dragged out winter to occur. That being said over the course of the next two weeks at least fans have some baseball news to look forward too. Big awards like the MVP’s and Cy Youngs’ will be announced next week. Fransisco Lindor hypothetical trade rumors are never going to stop until he is dealt. Steve Cohen’s purchase will go through within the next five or so days. The baseball world, however, is going to have to wait for the likes of top guys such as Bauer, J.T. Realmuto and George Springer to sign.
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