Calloni’s Corner: MLB’s Offseason Begins

Josh Calloni, Reporter

This winter, there will be a plethora of big time MLB free agents, and some are going to get a large amount of money, but what remains to be seen is what teams they will sign with.

Leading the charge in free agency will be current Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. Cole, who spent most of his career thus far with the Pirates and has been lights out this season. He pitched to a 20-5 record with an ERA of 2.50, putting him 85% above the league average according to ERA+. Early reports have Cole being the first pitcher to earn 300 million dollars in free agency, and there is not much evidence to oppose this. Cole just turned 29 and has only gotten better as he has gotten older. Continuing with those early reports, there have been suggestions saying that Cole prefers to stay on the west coast, so the Angels, Padres and Dodgers could be early favorites to land his services for 2020 and beyond. 

As for the leading position player, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon has been all the talk prior to the market opening sometime next week. One of the more under the radar stars in the league, Rendon hit .300 with at least 24 home runs each of the last three seasons, and 2019 was his best. He hit .319 with 34 home runs. Early reports on him are not necessarily clear. There’s a wide market open for Rendon, as his ability to hit, and hit well, obviously makes him desirable to teams. On top of that however, Rendon can play every infield spot besides shortstop and plays them well, so his defense should earn him more bites in the open market. So far, the Nationals have shown interest in resigning him, as well as the Chicago White Sox who attempted a trade for him a few years ago.

The rest of the open market falls off from there. There are some big time names, such as Marcell Ozuna, Jose Abreu and Madison Bumgarner, but as for long term contracts that could exceed 250 million, they should stop there. 

One interesting free agent has been in the rumors however, and that is Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who will be posted for MLB teams to sign sometime this winter. He has been compared to Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, though his stats have all exceeded Schwarber’s to date. Like many MLB free agents at this point, his market remains unclear. 

MLB free agency begins five days after the World Series concludes, and after those five days, free agents are free to sign anywhere they are offered to.