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Baseball Free Agent List Released, Offseason Begins: A Fan’s Take
The official MLB free agent list is out and it includes a some really big names. It also officially begins the baseball offseason, allowing teams to start mapping out how improvements will get made.
While free agency has now begun, teams have until Thursday, Nov. 3 (12:01 a.m.) to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents, giving them a few extra days to try to get deals done. This means that the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers have a little more time to get Albert Pujols(notes) and Prince Fielder(notes) to agree to new deals. On Thursday, it is going to become chaos when teams looking to fill holes can start offering long-term deals to free agents.
There are more names that could still head into free agency, and those are the players which have either player or team options for 2012. For instance, the Chicago Cubs have a contract option to keep Aramis Ramirez(notes), but could decide to opt out of the deal and make him a free agent. There are some important decisions that will get made in the next few days, and it could decide which clubs have the resources to go after the biggest names on the market.
In addition to Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, some of the Type A free agents available are Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson(notes), San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell(notes), and Chicago Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena. The market will be an interesting one, because several teams have declined options on closers that will make it easy to acquire one this offseason. The Philadelphia Phillies decline the option for Brad Lidge(notes) , the Milwaukee Brewers declined Francisco Rodriguez, and the Minnesota Twins declined Joe Nathan(notes). Now all three players could get big deals from new clubs in the offseason.
Though there are a high number of good players on the market now, it is going to come down to four names this offseason. Pujols , Fielder, Wilson, and CC Sabathia(notes) will take hold of most MLB headlines until the 2012 season finally gets started. For baseball fans, the excitement in the offseason is about to begin, and for fans of teams that were out of playoff contention since July, baseball is about to become fun again.
*Ryan is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan who never misses an opportunity to attend a game at Safeco Field. He has been attending games since 1985, and has fond memories of The Kingdome, Edgar Martinez, and the historic 1995 team. Sodo Mojo!
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