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Thursday Bantering: The Off Season Starts

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations to the Rangers for their World Series win (as much as it pains me to congratulate that team). They were the better team in each of their playoff series.

Corey Seager was MVP, but many of the Rangers were great during the playoffs.

Beyond that, free agency starts today for eligible players. Players can only sign with their current teams for the next five days, and teams have to decide on options and qualifying offers ($20.5 million) before 5:00 Eastern on November 6th.

The Blue Jays have to decide on giving QO to:

  • Matt Chapman (easy yes, but he won’t take it).
  • Kevin Kiermaier (I’d assume no).

Shohei Ohtani and Cody Bellinger will be getting QOs. And I’d imagine the Mariners will give Teoscar Hernandez one as well.

And there are a few guys on the bubble: Mitch Garver (Rangers), Rhys Hoskins (Phillies), J.D. Martinez Dodgers and Jorge Soler (Mariners).

Apparently, because of his original contract, Lourdes Gurriel isn’t eligible for a Qualifying Offer, which gives him a little more value as a free agent.

And the Jays have a couple of options to decide on:

  • Whit Merrifield has an $18 million ‘mutual option’. I’d expect the team won’t be saying yes to that.
  • Chad Green has a very complicated set of options. There is a club three-year option. If not taken, Chad has a two-year player option. If both decline, the team has a two-year option. I’d imagine he’ll be back with the team.

And the Jays have a few other free agents:

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu. I have no idea what the team is thinking, but he is 36 now.
  • Brandon Belt. I’d be happy to have him back, but I don’t know if he wants back.
  • Jordan Hicks. I saw a note from a reporter a couple of weeks ago, saying the Jays have decided he isn’t a ‘good fit’. I don’t understand why, but maybe because he’ll get looking for a fair bit of money.
  • Jay Jackson. I think they would let him go and see if they can pick him up cheap later.

The Jays have 13 arbitration-eligible players:

  • Adam Cimber (5.156): $3.2MM
  • Trevor Richards (5.084): $2.4MM
  • Danny Jansen (5.050): $5.2MM
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (4.157): $20.4MM
  • Tim Mayza (4.156): $3.3MM
  • Cavan Biggio (4.129): $3.7MM
  • Erik Swanson (4.096): $2.7MM
  • Jordan Romano (4.051): $7.7MM
  • Genesis Cabrera (4.011): $1.4MM
  • Santiago Espinal (3.149): $2.5MM
  • Daulton Varsho (3.128): $5.5MM
  • Alejandro Kirk (3.047): $2.6MM
  • Nate Pearson (3.005): $800K

Vlad’s likely to get around $20 million. Romano around $9 million. Jansen and Varsho around $5 million. The test should be mid-$3s and lower.

I’d think they will let non-tender Cimber. Espinal is a tough decision, we seem to have a few utility infielder types, but the others have a good chance to stay with the team.

By November 14th, the 40-man roster has to be set for the Rule-5 draft (happening December 6th). So we’ll see a lot of moves in the next two weeks.

So we’ll have a fair bit to talk about over the next month.