…until nothing happens. Yes, free agents are free to sign with other teams at midnight EST, but that means little at this point. Maybe we’ll start to see rumors with dollar amounts attached to them, but that’s about it. Otherwise, we’ll continue to play the free agent waiting game.
The main reason we don’t see much activity early on is that teams have yet to make arbitration decisions on their players. That happens on December 1, so there’s still some time left. We sometimes see cases of teams signing a Type A free agent before his former team gets a chance to offer him arbitration, but those cases are rare. Most of the time a signing team wants to see what the former team will do.
The only cases in which you’ll see a Type A player sign before the arbitration deadline is if his former team is sure to make the offer. Torii Hunter, for instance, signed with the Angels before the Twins offered him arbitration, but the offer was a given. There was no way that the Twins weren’t offering Hunter arbitration, so the Angels used that to their advantage and signed Hunter quickly.
Will a team make a similar move this off-season? I’m not so sure. But, with the arbitration deadline still looming, teams will be more reluctant to sign a free agent. Chances are we won’t see a major move until then. In other words, the running of the free agents at midnight is just like pitchers and catchers reporting. We look forward to it, but it really doesn’t mean anything.
This is your open thread for the evening. The Devils play at 8. For the rest of us there’s football, Miami at Carolina. But, more importantly, you can now get all of our posts via Twitter. Just follow @RABFeed. That’s just the RSS feed. The @RiverAveBlues feed will remain the same.