With the end of the World Series, every player eligible for free agency automatically became a free agent. Like magic.
For the Chicago Cubs, that means eight guys just became free agents:
- Alex Avila, C
- Rene Rivera, C
- Jon Jay, OF
- Jake Arrieta, SP
- John Lackey, SP
- Wade Davis, RP
- Koji Uehara, RP
- Brian Duensing, RP
Although these players – and others around baseball – are immediately free agents, they cannot sign with a new team for five days. So, while teams can start reaching out to agents, no new contracts can be inked. This five-day period, then, serves as something of an exclusive negotiating window for teams with departing free agents. Usually you don’t see too many deals struck at this time, but it does happen occasionally.
Foundations will start to be laid, and we’ll soon develop a sense for the Cubs’ preferred approach in free agency this offseason. If they proceed as they have over the past several years, we’ll see them attack their top targets aggressively and quickly (perhaps especially in the bullpen, where the market is pretty vast). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs sign a free agent or two before we even get to the Winter Meetings in December.
Meanwhile, the Cubs now have five days to make a qualifying offer decision on their eligible, outgoing free agents. That’s going to mean qualifying offers (one year contracts for 2018 worth approximately $18.1 million) to Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis.
For more on that process, and the dates and schedule ahead now that the offseason is officially upon us, check the comprehensive write-up here.