The abbreviated 2020 MLB season is complete and the Los Angeles Dodgers are World Series champions. They defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in six games to clinch their first title since 1988. Now that the offseason is underway, here are the important dates you need to know for the winter.
Throughout the offseason my fellow CBS Sports MLB scribes and I will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we chimed in on the White Sox hiring Tony La Russa. This week we tackle the top of the free-agent market.
Who will be the first big free agent to sign, and where's he going?
R.J. Anderson: I'll go with DJ LeMahieu, if only because I think he's the likeliest to re-sign with his current team. He's arguably more valuable to the Yankees than to any other team based on some of his hitting tendencies. In theory, that ought to increase the chances of him staying put. My guess is that the others are more likely, then, to survey the market for a little longer as they seek out their best deal.
Dayn Perry: I feel like LeMahieu is the correct answer, but for the sake of diversity of opinion I'll say J.T. Realmuto to the Mets is the first major signing. Incumbent catcher Wilson Ramos is a free agent, and new owner Steve Cohen seems primed to make a splash in his first season at the helm. I don't think this will be the last of the Mets' big moves this offseason, but it will be the first.
Matt Snyder: I have to agree I think LeMahieu re-upping with the Yankees happens first as the easy and obvious move. In a sea of swing-and-miss power hitters, the type of bat LeMahieu is these days is incredibly valuable and the Yankees pockets are way too deep to let him walk. They'll get it done.
Let's also not discount Trevor Bauer going quickly. I have no doubt he loves being wooed, but he started visiting places nearly immediately after the Reds were bounced from the playoffs and several high-profile teams that might have a little money to spend (Padres, Angels) have a need at starting pitcher.
Katherine Acquavella: I'll say LeMahieu and the Yankees will be the first big signing this winter. LeMahieu has not only been one the Yankees best hitters during his two seasons with New York, but he's also been one of the best hitters in the league. Other teams are going to be involved, but the Yankees figure to be the overwhelming favorite. Plus, LeMahieu has already expressed that he wants to stay with New York. I don't see the Yankees wasting much time to get this deal done.
Mike Axisa: Yeah, I think LeMahieu back to the Yankees is the correct answer because both sides clearly want a reunion. LeMahieu is the only one of R.J.'s top four free agents who has been a free agent before, and when he was a free agent two years ago, he did not sign until Jan. 14. Players say free agency is stressful and I don't think LeMahieu wants to wait until a month before spring training to sign again. After LeMahieu, I think George Springer comes off the board next, and I love him as a fit with the Giants. They're close to contention and he'd look wonderful in that lineup and in that spacious AT&T Park outfield.