As baseball fans settle in for what could be a weeks- or months-long lockout, there is now ample time to dig deeper into what was a wild month of November on the free-agent and trade markets.
A number of the market's top players signed new deals faster than usual in hopes of finding some certainty in the midst of an uncertain offseason, and that led to a frenzy of activity in the days leading up to the end of the previous CBA and the imminent lockout.
The pitching market moved especially quickly, while several of the marquee shortstops in a loaded class at the position also found new homes, though consensus No. 1 free agent Carlos Correa remains on the market, along with Kris Bryant, Trevor Story, Freddie Freeman, Nick Castellanos, Carlos Rodon and aging stars Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Ahead we've highlighted some of the top takeaways from what has happened in free agency and on the trade market thus far, and taken a look ahead to what the market might look like once the lockout is lifted and transactions resume.
Off we go!
The Free-Agent Starting Pitching Market Has Unfolded Quickly
With Max Scherzer (NYM, 3/$130M), Robbie Ray (SEA, 5/$115M), Kevin Gausman (TOR, 5/$110M) and Marcus Stroman (CHC, 3/$71M) all finding new homes in the offseason's first month, the top tier of the starting pitching market has already evaporated.
That's only the beginning of a long list of pitchers who have signed new deals worth $20 million or more:
- Eduardo Rodriguez (DET, 5/$77M)
- Jon Gray (TEX, 4/$56M)
- Justin Verlander (HOU, 2/$50M)—not yet finalized
- Steven Matz (STL, 4/$44M)
- Anthony DeSclafani (SF, 3/$36M)
- Alex Wood (SF, 2/$25M)
- Noah Syndergaard (LAA, 1/$21M)
- Alex Cobb (SF, 2/$20M)
So what's left for teams looking to add something more than a back-of-the-rotation arm?
Future Hall of Famers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke and 2021 breakout star Carlos Rodon are the biggest names remaining on the market, while 2021 All-Star Yusei Kikuchi and Danny Duffy are potential rebound candidates after poor second-half showings.
Beyond that, the trade market is going to be the focus for teams looking to bolster the top and even middle of their rotations.