The MLB off season began on November 7th. So far almost nothing has happened. The Milwaukee Brewers signed Chase Anderson and Eric Sogard before then. But since then, crickets. What’s going on?
The Hot Stove has been quiet…too quiet. We’ve seen none of the top-50 free agents sign a deal. I don’t believe there’s been a single Major League signing at all yet. There have been a few minor trades, most involving Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto. But that’s been it.
Rumblings on Giancarlo Stanton have been coming in on a regular basis, but nothing that suggests a deal is imminent. The only real major move that we know is happening is Shohei Ohtani coming to MLB after a new posting agreement was reached the other day. No one knows where he will go but Ohtani and Stanton are the two biggest story lines this winter.
What does this mean?
Things will explode. They have to. The Hot Stove cannot stay bottled up forever and it hasn’t been this inactive this far into the off-season before.
All it takes is the first domino to fall. Once the first free agent signs, at any position, many other deals will fall into place soon after. We will see a bevy of deals within a week after the first major free agent signs. Things are lining up as front offices all around baseball prepare for a variety of scenarios on both the free agent and the trade market.
The lack of activity so far means that these Winter Meetings from December 10-14 will be absolutely wild. At the very latest, the first domino will fall at those meetings. With every GM in the same building, deals have the ability to progress quickly. Trades can get hammered out in less than half an hour and without a single rumor. We heard nothing about Tyler Thornburg and Boston until the deal was official that morning.
We’re in the calm before the storm right now. There are simply too many names on the market and too many teams with needs the Hot Stove to remain quiet. I can’t tell you when the first player will sign or who that player is, but I can tell you that we will see a ton of movement by the end of the Winter Meetings, we have to.
What about the Milwaukee Brewers?
After signing Eric Sogard prior to free agency beginning, the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t done much of anything on the open market. There have been rumors connecting the Brewers to most of the top flight starting pitchers, including Jake Arrieta and Lance Lynn.
Although we’ve put together multiple trade scenarios at Reviewing the Brew, there hasn’t been any rumored interest in anyone on the trade market. GM David Stearns prefers to keep things close to the vest and that’s perfectly fine. We likely won’t know of any trade interest until the transaction finally comes down. Most GMs around the league prefer to keep those talks to themselves.
With needs at second base and in the rotation, it’s easy to assume who the Milwaukee Brewers might be interested in. However, this off-season will be unlike any other we’ve seen from Stearns. Now in a position to contend, we could see a more aggressive Stearns on the free agent or trade market. There will probably be more aggressive moves that will make headlines across baseball rather than just Milwaukee.
Probably soon after finishing this article on the lack of activity on the Hot Stove, a big move will happen. But either way, the quiet off-season for everyone so far will lead to a chaotic Winter Meetings. We have two weeks until the Meetings kick off and a lot can happen between now and then.