MLB free agency, offseason trade news and hot stove updates


With the unique 2020 MLB season behind us, the hot stove season is underway. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this offseason, with the reduced revenues and looming labor issues making it unclear how willing teams will be to spend on acquiring players.

We have information about how the offseason will work, as well as key dates and a look at the key issues teams will need to address.

Related links:

Free agent rankings | Way-too-early Power Rankings | 2021 MLB draft order


Analysis of biggest moves

espnplusFirst Snell, now Darvish: Padres go all-in, Cubs start rebuild
espnplusWhy Blake Snell trade could be a win-win for Padres and Rays — or a huge loss for one side
espnplusWhat to make of Pirates trading former All-Star Josh Bell to Nationals
espnplusWhat getting McCann means for Mets — and free-agent market
White Sox off to good start this offseason, but can’t stop now
espnplusTrade grades: How well did White Sox, Rangers do in Lynn deal?
espnplusSchoenfield: Adding Morton sets Braves up for run at Dodgers


Hot stove buzz

Hot stove survey: GMs, execs predict biggest offseason topics
espnplusFive things Passan is hearing: New homes for Springer, Arenado?
espnplusWhat Passan is hearing about Hendriks, busy Jays
espnplusWhat Passan is hearing about markets for Springer, LeMahieu
espnplusOlney: Why the Indians are finally ready to deal Lindor
espnplusWhich big names were cut loose at the non-tender deadline?

Best fits for top offseason targets

espnplusSchoenfield: What it would take to trade for Rays ace Snell
espnplusSchoenfield: Ranking the best landing spots for Realmuto
espnplusSchoenfield: Best free-agency fits for Springer
espnplusDoolittle: Ranking the trade fits for Indians star Lindor
espnplusSchoenfield: Ranking how Bauer fits for all 30 teams
espnplusDoolittle: The best free-agent fits for very specific needs

Breaking down the free-agent market

espnplusSchoenfield: Free agent superlatives — Player most likely to …
espnplusMcDaniel: Ranking every MLB free agent for the 2020 offseason
espnplusOlney: Valuable free agents who aren’t budget busters
espnplusOlney: Why MLB insiders predict a long, cold winter for free agents


Offseason to-do lists

espnplusStock watch: How all 30 teams stack up as hot stove starts to simmer
espnplusMcDaniel: What every AL team needs to get done
espnplusMcDaniel: What every NL team needs to get done
Schoenfield: Predicting offseason moves for all 30 MLB teams
Passan: 20 questions entering a unique hot stove season


Other offseason news and views

espnplusOlney: Arenado can keep huge salary or play for a winner — but not both
espnplusWinter meetings wrap: Dombrowski to Philly, Rangers’ direction and more
espnplusOlney: How this offseason plays to Braves’ advantage
espnplusWhat’s next for the Cubs after Theo Epstein’s departure
espnplusWhat the Mets’ offseason could look like under new owner Steve Cohen
espnplusWhat you need to know about Robinson Cano’s PED suspension
Spain: Hired by Marlins, Kim Ng lands long-overdue GM job
Alex Cora is back with Red Sox: Why it will (or won’t) work


Key questions

What can we expect this offseason?

For players, this could be a “Game of Thrones” offseason: Winter is coming. Cold, harsh and agents fighting to get what few monetary scraps owners will be willing to shell out to free agents. A few players will get paid: Trevor Bauer, George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, DJ LeMahieu, maybe Marcell Ozuna. But second-tier and third-tier players might be scrambling for jobs right up to the start of spring training, just like what happened a couple of years ago in the offseason.

That’s why some of the most interesting action could occur on the trade market. Will the Indians deal Francisco Lindor? Will the Rockies trade Nolan Arenado, who is coming off a bad 48 games (84 OPS+) and missed the end of the season with a shoulder injury? What do the Cubs do with Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber, all free agents after 2021? Then we have the Yankees, coming off another non-World Series season and in need of … well, they’ll do something. — David Schoenfield

Who are the biggest names on the market?

Overall, this is a relatively thin market lacking the superstar power of the last couple of offseasons. Still, there are some valuable options. Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, Astros outfielder George Springer, Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu and Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna are the top position players, with the Reds’ Trevor Bauer the top pitching option, followed by the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka. Liam Hendriks of the A’s, who was one of baseball’s best closers the past two years, is another intriguing name. Other position players include Justin Turner of the Dodgers, Oakland’s Marcus Semien, the Twins’ Nelson Cruz, Michael Brantley of the Astros, Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox and the Phillies’ Didi Gregorius. Other pitchers on the market include Taijuan Walker, Jake Odorizzi and Trevor May.


Offseason previews

NL playoff teams

espnplusThree questions facing Braves
espnplusWhere Cubs go next
espnplusReds face big questions
espnplusHow can Dodgers stay on top?
espnplusBuilding on Marlins’ surprise
espnplusCan Brewers keep contending?
espnplusWhat’s next for the Cardinals
espnplusPadres’ to-do list as contenders

AL playoff teams

espnplusWhite Sox winter agenda
espnplusCleveland’s priorities
espnplusHow many Astros All-Stars could leave?
espnplusTwins look to upgrade a contender
espnplusYankees can’t let it ride
espnplusA’s face high turnover
espnplusHow Rays can come back stronger
espnplusHow Blue Jays build from this

Teams that didn’t make the postseason

espnplusWhat’s next for 14 teams that didn’t reach the playoffs



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