This Week in the MLB Offseason

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This Week in the MLB Offseason

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This Week in the MLB Offseason

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The offseason of Major League Baseball is underway and free agent talks, trades, and so much more have already begun. To keep people up with the news, I’m going to attempt to gather as much news as I can each week and put it all into one place. Since this is the first time I’m putting this together there will be a little more than a week of news. Normally they won’t be this long, especially with the listing of all the award nominees and winners.

So here’s what happened this week in the MLB offseason:

Awards

Award finalists were announced last week and they are all listed below.

AL MVP

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays

Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Angels

Marcus Semien – Toronto Blue Jays

NL MVP

Bryce Harper – Philadelphia Phillies

Juan Soto – Washington Nationals

Fernando Tatís Jr. – San Diego Padres

AL Cy Young

Gerrit Cole – New York Yankees

Lance Lynn – Chicago White Sox

Robbie Ray – Toronto Blue Jays

NL Cy Young

Corbin Burnes – Milwaukee Brewers

Max Scherzer – Los Angeles Dodgers

Zack Wheeler – Philadelphia Phillies

AL Rookie of the Year

Randy Arozarena – Tampa Bay Rays

Wander Franco – Tampa Bay Rays

Luis García – Houston Astros

AL Manager of the Year

Dusty Baker – Houston Astros

Kevin Cash – Tampa Bay Rays

Scott Servais – Seattle Mariners

NL Manager of the Year

Craig Counsell – Milwaukee Brewers

Gabe Kapler – San Francisco Giants

Mike Shildt – St. Louis Cardinals

This is the first time ever that none of the top MVP candidates are from playoff teams. It shows that there has been somewhat of a shift in the way people think of value. It also goes to show how much baseball is not an individual sport. If none of the six best players this year could push their team to the playoffs, there’s not much anyone could do on their own. The Blue Jays have two MVP candidates and a Cy Young candidate, and they still missed out on the playoffs.

Both Cy Young races are likely to come down to how the voters who were selected view how important a bigger workload is and what they think of advanced stats.

Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards were also announced, but I won’t list every single one of them here since they aren’t as prestigious awards. 

Platinum Glove Award:

Carlos Correa – Houston Astros

Nolan Arenado – St. Louis Cardinals

Hank Aaron Award:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays

Bryce Harper – Philadelphia Phillies

Free Agent News

Los Angeles Dodgers sign P Andrew Heaney

1 year, $8.5 million

Heaney did not have a great year, especially after being traded to the Yankees. He had a terrible 7.32 ERA in his time in the Bronx. The Dodgers obviously seem to see something that shows he is better than the pitcher he was this year.

Last year, the Blue Jays took a shot on Robbie Ray in a similar way, and it worked out extremely well for them so who can blame the Dodgers for trying. Heaney does strike out batters at a higher-than-average rate even though he isn’t much of a power pitcher like Ray is, but if he could get another pitch to work for him he could turn himself into a very successful pitcher.

Colorado Rockies sign P Jhoulys Chacin

1 year, $1.25 million

There’s not really much to say about this deal other than Chacin provides a body the Rockies hope to get some innings out of. He appeared in 46 games and went 64.1 innings for them in 2021. In that time he put up a 4.34 ERA. The Rockies are likely hoping Chacin can do something similar in 2022.

Qualifying offers of $18.4 million were extended to many players leaving as free agents. Normally teams don’t extend these offers to players they think might accept them, but it attaches a draft pick to them if they leave. Players have until November 17 to accept or reject the offer. Two notable names that didn’t get a qualifying offer that were expected to are Clayton Kershaw and Jon Gray.

Justin Verlander had a workout, and it was reported by Joel Sherman that the Yankees and Mets were there. Britt Ghiroli reported that the Rangers and Tigers had people there watching. Sherman also said that there were 15 to 20 teams there to watch it. Verlander threw around 25 pitches and was clocked between 94 to 97 miles per hour, so the 39-year-old seems to still have more left in the tank. Verlander has said that he wants to pitch into his mid-forties but he won’t likely get a deal that’s longer than one or two years.

Jeff Passan reported that Corey Seager and Marcus Semien will possibly sign a deal with a team before the CBA expires on December 1. This wasn’t expected for any of the top free agents, but there must be some very strong interest in them if they are considering it.

Jon Heyman has tweeted that the Mets, Phillies, and Marlins have recently been showing interest in Starling Marte.

Trades and other moves

Tucker Barnhart was traded to the Detroit Tigers from the Cincinnati Reds. He had a team option for 2022 that the Tigers exercised after the trade. The Reds were likely to let him walk. Barnhart could be a very good backstop for an extremely young pitching staff the Tigers have put together. He will likely be a very valuable teacher for them.

Wade Miley was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs. He had a career best year with the Reds, but the team seems to be offloading a lot of their important pieces from the 2021 team. We will see in the coming months if they will double down and sell more to try to completely rebuild, but it seems like these are the beginning signs of them trying to do so.

Gabe Kapler, the manager of the Giants, and Dusty Baker, the manager of the Astros, were both signed to extensions. Kapler got two years added on so he is under team control until 2024 now. Baker got one more year, so he will manage the team for at least the 2022 season.

CBA Negotiations

MLB proposed replacing arbitration salaries with a salary determined by the player’s FanGraph’s WAR. The MLBPA didn’t like the idea and Ken Rosenthal, Evan Drellich, and Eno Sarris of The Athletic said a player told them there is “zero chance” of this proposal being accepted.

It doesn’t seem like there has been much progress on either side between the Player’s Association and MLB. A lockout at this point seems likely when the CBA expires on December 1. Whether there will be a solution in time for the season to start as scheduled is still something many fans are wondering about.

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