Rogers Hornsby’s most famous quote goes like this: “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Rogers Hornsby, of course, died in 1963 and back then they didn’t have much of a hot stove season, so it’s understandable that he just stared out of a window. We, however, have all kinds of things to pay attention to in the baseball offseason. Awards season, new uniform unveilings, free agency — assuming teams actually try to sign free agents this year – arbitration stuff, the Hall of Fame election, and then, before you know it, pitchers and catchers are reporting.
Here’s a handy calendar for you to keep track of all of that stuff:
November 3: Gold Glove Award Winners Announced
These don’t matter, right? I mean I hope we’re all beyond thinking that they matter. Especially given that, even though they changed the voting a bit on this to allow the Society for American Baseball Research to weigh in, players and managers still comprise the bulk of the electorate and they don’t see some guys at all and see others play far less than, say, the media or independent analysts or what have you. Still: pretty trophy and it’s fun to say “So-and-so was a Gold Glover!”
November 4: Day for options to be picked up or declined and the day for qualifying offers to extended;
Almost all free agent deals these days contain team options. If they’re bargains they’re picked up. If they’re not, they’re declined and the player becomes a free agent. If the option is a fair assessment of the player’s value, well, who are kidding: they’re usually declined and the player becomes a free agent. It’s a rough market.
We talked about qualifying offers at length here. This year the free agent market-suppressing qualifying offer stands at $17.8 million. Which is $100,000 less than it was last year. Great economic system you got there, baseball.
November 4: BBWAA Award Finalists Announced
This is advertising/BS really. The vote on the big awards has already been taken and there is no “final round” for which there are, properly, “finalists.” They’re just going to release, in no particular order, the names of the top three or five vote-getters. I have no idea whey they do this, but the BBWAA has never been good at turning their awards into an event kind of thing. Frankly, they should do it during the postseason.