It’s been a fairly quiet offseason so far, but it looks like things could potentially start heating up. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, we could see some of the top free agents signing contracts before December 1, the day Major League Baseball is expected to have a lockout.
Per his latest article, Passan says that players are going to have two choices this offseason when it comes to signing with teams. Either they can sign with their team soon or they can wait until the lockout ends, which could potentially be as late as February.
With Spring Training likely to happen shortly after, there would be a fury of signings and trades and it might make things more difficult when it comes to signing with a team.
Agents for some of the highest-profile free agents this winter, in the meantime, inverted the posture: If you want a player, step up financially, because the February stampede is going to be so different, so unfamiliar, that it’s worth paying more for certainty now than having to overpay or be left empty-handed on the eve of the season.
Passan goes on to write that the two biggest names who could sign before December 1 include Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Here’s another excerpt from Passan’s piece.
With the rhetoric that the sides treated this week like that time of year, teams and playes making surgical free-agent strikes — even on projected nine-figure deals — feels like more of a possibility, though not a certainty, than it did even a week ago. It’s not just Boras’ clients, either. The starting pitching market, sources said, is expected to have multiple big-name pitchers get pre-lockout deals.
It would certainly make sense for players like Seager to sign before December 1, especially if they have received an offer they’d be willing to take. If Seager waits until February, who know what the market would look like then. Plus, this allows him extra time to get affiliated in a new city with new teammates and coaches, you know.. if he were to leave.
Who knows what to expect leading up to Dec. 1. But based on what Passan is hearing, we might see the stove really heat up shortly.