That rapid clicking sound you hear across Major League Baseball this week is the igniter repeatedly sparking up, waiting for the hit of gas that will fire up the hot stove. Free agency began over the weekend and we are excited. We have seen some minor signings so far, but the big pieces have yet to fall into place. To keep yourself up to date with all the happenings in the free agent market this offseason, follow the MLB Trade Rumors free agent tracker.
The General Manager Meetings begin on Monday. With them, there is anticipation that it could trigger some activity in the free agent market. There are some big names out there, and with last year’s market in the back of everyone’s minds, some of the early activity is telling. David Price, after having stellar postseason run, chose to not take his opt out. There were just seven qualifying offers — the lowest number ever — extended to pending free agents, and a few of the lesser names seem to have jumped at pretty quick deals. There could be anticipation of another slow market, but with Dave Dombrowski proving that you can still go out and buy yourself a championship, maybe that will serve as a motivator to open some check books.
If you want to take a look at who the top players are, check out the top 50 list MLB Trade Rumors put together. You won’t see a current Tiger anywhere near it, although it may contain some future ones.
Let’s talk ideal targets
R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports has a list of what he feels each team’s ideal free agent candidate should be. He has the Tigers pegged for right-handed-pitcher Marco Estrada. Anderson calls Estrada “the new Mike Fiers” and says that pitching in what should continue to be a terrible division in the AL Central could make him an attractive trade candidate. Marco Estrada. Be still, my heart.
MLB Trade Rumors has also weighed in on where they think the top 50 free agents will end up. They have the Tigers signing DJ LeMahieu to hold down second base for a few years and right hander Garrett Richards, who is going to miss the entirety of the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July.
If you’re more interested in how much guys might sign for as opposed to who ends up paying them, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports has his list predicting the deals for 131 players.
The Tigers have made two moves already this offseason, but they won’t knock your socks off. Detroit claimed multi-position guy Brandon Dixon from the Cincinnati Reds and pitcher Jose Fernandez from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Detroit News characterizes them as high-upside additions. If you’re looking for a little more detail about what the organization picked up here, our very own Ashley MacLennan has you covered.
Around the horn
Drew Smyly has been traded to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers hired Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward as their new manager. Bob Dylan, tangled up in baseball. Baseball’s minority management problem.