Correa and Arenado Go Platinum

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Before we officially turn the page to 2022, award season brings us one more chance to celebrate the year that was. After Silver Slugger awards were handed out on Thursday, Friday was a day to highlight defense. The Team Gold Glove award was introduced last season, awarded to the teams in each league that collectively played the best defense on the field. The Guardians and Cubs won the inaugural awards in 2020. This year, it was the Cardinals and Astros that took home the second ever Team Gold Gloves. The Cardinals led the majors in defensive runs saved with 86. The team set an MLB record with five individual Gold Glove awards, including Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman, Tyler O'Neill, and Harrison Bader. The Astros were second in defensive runs saved with 78, led by Gold Glove winners Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel.

While these teams were awarded for their collective efforts on the diamond, Arenado and Correa led the way for their clubs. The two were recognized as the best defensive players in their leagues with the 2021 Platinum Glove Award. A combination of fan voting and sabermetrics say these two were the best with the glove this season. It was the fifth Platinum Glove for Arenado and first for Carrea -- also a Gold Glove winner for the first time. Arenado has long been recognized as one of the best fielders in baseball. Meanwhile, Correa is finally getting recognition after he managed to stay healthy all season, playing over 110 games for the first time since 2016. He led the majors in defensive runs saved with 21.

The 27-year-old shortstop played 58 games in the shortened 2020 season but struggled at the plate as he slashed .264/.326/.383 with just five home runs over 221 plate appearances. Correa bounced back big time this season, hitting .279/.366/.485 with a career-high 26 homers over 640 plate appearances. And there's plenty of reason to buy the breakout. According to Statcast, he actually underperformed his .293 expected batting average. Correa displayed the best plate discipline of his career with a 0.65 walk-to-strikeout ratio while also posting a career-low 8.2 percent swinging-strike rate. In a loaded free-agent class, Correa may just be the cream of the crop. The talented shortstop hits free agency in his prime at just 27 years old and should be in play for both rebuilding and contending teams. He brings the total package offensively and defensively while not shying away from taking on a leadership role in the clubhouse.

Giants Extend Gabe Kapler

The Giants signed manager Gabe Kapler to a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the club through the 2024 season. This was a no-brainer after the 46-year-old skipper led the team to a franchise-record 107 wins. San Francisco is now 136-86 under Kapler after going 29-31 in the shortened 2020 campaign. When he was hired ahead of the 2020 season, Kapler brought a more analytics-driven coaching staff than the Giants had ever seen. No doubt this had a lot to do with the late-career resurgence of players like Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and the now-retired Buster Posey. Under Kapler, Crawford put together the best season of his career, hitting .298/.373/.522 with 24 home runs and 11 steals. Belt's numbers at the plate have also taken a tremendous step forward. Over 560 plate appearances since 2020, Belt has slashed .285/.393/.595 with 38 home runs. The 33-year-old first baseman was extended the qualifying offer earlier this week as San Francisco is sure to make every effort to retain the slugger's services.

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Quick Hits: Jeff Passan of ESPN reports Corey Seager and Marcus Semien are "increasingly likely" to sign before December 1... Sean Kazmar has announced his retirement from baseball... Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Alex Cobb has drawn interest from the Cardinals... The Diamondbacks will hire Brent Strom as their new pitching coach... Robert Murray of FanSided reports that Michael Lorenzen is "generating strong interest" from west coast teams as a potential starter... Mike Clevinger said in an interview on Friday that he expects to be throwing "full bore" within the next couple of weeks... The Braves released Jason Kipnis... The Nationals released Yasmany Tomas... Zack Britton is likely to miss the entire upcoming 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery...