There is a very, very brief pause between the end of baseball’s postseason and the beginning of the offseason. This pause is a time for the World Series winners to celebrate, for players who did not go to the postseason to quietly spend time with their families, and for baseball journalists to take a long, deep breath.
Then, within less than a week of the final day of the World Series, madness sets in. Qualifying offers must be tendered. Free agency begins in ernest. The hot stove is ready and waiting to be attended to at all waking hours, and baseball writers and fans wait with bated breath to see how the rosters of their beloved teams will shape up for the coming season.
We have now begun this frenzied time, as Qualifying Offers — most of which will be declined — were made by teams on Sunday.
Final list of qualifying offers, per sources: Freddie Freeman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nick Castellanos, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander, Raisel Iglesias, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Belt, Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 7, 2021
There were also some interesting, though perhaps unsurprising names who were not extended offers.
Among those who did not receive qualifying offers: Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Rodon, Anthony DeSclafani and Jon Gray. The most surprising of the bunch might be Gray. Rockies didn’t deal him at the deadline, didn’t extend him and now won’t get any compensation at all if he leaves.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 7, 2021
Let’s jump in to the rest of this weekend’s links.
- First things first, let’s get some free agent chatter out of the way. ESPN gives us an updated tracker of free agents, trades, and more.
- Here’s a big list of every team’s free agents.
- Keith Law narrows it down a bit with the 50 best free agents of the offseason. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Anthony Castrovince makes some bold free agency predictions.
- Jeff Passan answers 20 burning offseason questions.
- MLB dot com wonders if Freddie Freeman’s free agency will mirror that of Albert Pujols.
- Another baseball curse ended? Emma Baccellieri says the Braves curse narrative is now the most recent to be put to bed.
- Ed Southern pens a missive wondering if it isn’t perhaps time for the Braves to make a name change after all.
- Ron Hunt’s daughter, Tracy, is trying to raise money for the ex-Met’s Parkinson’s treatment. Story by Ken Davidoff.
- Braves’ reliever Tyler Matzek was almost arrested during the team’s victory parade, shares Wilton Jackson.
- A fun little bit of numerology from the Braves season.
Would you believe in the year Hank Aaron passed away, the @braves won 44 games before the All-Star break, 44 games after the break, and won the World Series the 44th week of the year. Aaron, of course, wore #44. Maybe the Braves had a secret weapon after all.— Vin Scully (@TheVinScully) November 5, 2021
- AP reports that Trevor Bauer is one of several players to decline their contract opt-outs, which would effectively send them into free agency.
- The MLBPA appears to be saying “your move” to team ownership with their most recent economic proposal. Story by Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Could this finally be Buck O’Neil’s year? For the first time in 15 years he’ll be eligible for Hall of Fame induction. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Jim Allen looks at the new “Big Boss” Tsuyoshi Shinjo, who is now managing the NipponHam Fighters.
- Was Harry Styles good luck for the Braves? Joc Pederson sure thought so, enough to send the British singer a signed jersey after his Atlanta show banter predicted a Braves win. Story by Madeline Coleman.
- Coleman also shared a story about former San Francisco Giant Barry Zito sharing a touching tribute to the retiring Buster Posey.
- Clinton Yates suggests that this postseason was something of a redemption for Braves' first base coach Eric Young Sr.
- Newly extended, Ben Clemens gives us a managerial report card for Dusty Baker’s 2021 season. (Baker is extended, not Clemens. I don’t think FanGraphs is going to let Ben get away.)
- My favorite moment from the Braves celebration parade.
Freddie and Billye Aaron. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FVye9qpJxr— MLB (@MLB) November 5, 2021
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.