The MLB Free Agency period began at midnight, meaning that teams can now sign any player eligible for free agency. Don’t expect much action early on though. A quick look at the Off-Season Calendar shows some important dates coming up, which will delay the free agent action:
-November 23rd: Deadline for former clubs to offer arbitration to their ranked free agents
-November 30th: Deadline for ranked free agents to accept arbitration
-December 2nd: Deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players
The market will be defined by the top players, who will be ranked free agents. Teams won’t know what sort of compensation they will be giving until after the November 30th deadline. Outside of the top names, the action probably won’t heat up until after December 2nd, as teams wait to see which players were non-tendered, to weigh every option that could be available. Basically, be prepared for a few weeks of rumors, but don’t expect the action to heat up until the end of the month.
The Pittsburgh Pirates only had one player eligible for free agency, and that was Chan Ho Park. I’d like to see Park return, as he put up good numbers with the Pirates after his initial struggles in 2010.