First Pitch

First Pitch: MLB Free Agency Begins – What to Expect

First Pitch: MLB Free Agency Begins – What to Expect

Major League Baseball free agency officially began at midnight. Players who were eligible for free agency actually became free agents last week, but the exclusive negotiating window ended at 11:59 PM EST on Monday night. Free agents can now sign with any team they wish.

The Pirates have seven free agents -- A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, Clint Barmes, Jeff Karstens, Kyle Farnsworth, Justin Morneau, and John Buck. They have shown interest in bringing back Burnett, Byrd, and Barmes. They decided against making Burnett a qualifying offer, although he has said he's deciding between the Pirates and retiring.

Baseball free agency is slow. In other sports, players become free agents and they immediately sign at midnight. In baseball, it can take a few weeks for players to sign. Most of the action really starts around the Winter Meetings in early December. Signings can even expand into January.

The Pirates have been a little more aggressive in the last few years when it came to free agent...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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