Now that we're in the midst of spring training, one of the big discussion topics we'll see is possible contract extensions for players with just one year left before hitting free agency. We know the through-the-media dance. It's a tried and true formula. The player says he's open to an extension. The front office says it likes the player and is open to discussions. Invariably, the player wants to set a deadline before Opening Day so the matter isn't a distraction during the regular season. 

This doesn't happen in every single case, obviously, but the timeline feels dependable in most cases where there's some star-power involved. 

In the matter of the free-agent class of shortstops for next offseason, it has star-power in spades. It's a loaded class. Likely-useful starters like Brandon Crawford, Freddy Galvis and Jose Iglesias are in line for free agency. Marcus Semien is changing positions for his one-year deal with the Blue Jays, but he'll be available again. So will ace defender Andrelton Simmons.