When the World Series ends, eligible players immediately become free agents, though they are not eligible to sign with new teams for five days. Because the World Series, for us, has been solely focused on what the Chicago Cubs accomplished, it wasn’t really a moment to focus on impending player transactions. Because the deadlines come quickly after the World Series, however, we’ll have to transition into some of this stuff, even as we are still glowing from the greatest victory in the history of sports.
Heck, the Cubs didn’t even take a break from player transactions on the very day they won the World Series, so I guess we will have to carry on as well, right?
So, then, the Cubs’ now free agents are:
David Ross (expected to retire)
Others could become free agents by way of a non-tender (i.e., players under team control, but who are not offered a contract for 2017), or by way of an options decision.
The Cubs currently have a mutual option for Dexter Fowler ($13 million, or $5 million buyout (he will decline and become a free agent – more on that later)), and a club option for Jason Hammel ($12 million, or $2 million buyout).
We will have a more comprehensive look at the impending dates and deadlines once we’ve had a chance to breathe, but the immediate ones to note are: qualifying offer decisions are due by 4pm CT on Monday, options decisions are due by late Monday night, and free agents can sign with new teams starting at the end of the day on Monday. So, suffice to say, Monday into Tuesday is a very important first period in the offseason, and Monday could be a very busy day.