When (and if) baseball resumes in 2022, general managers will work a lot like NFL coaches at the outset of games, with their first moves scripted. At the transaction kickoff, you can almost imagine Red Sox honcho Chaim Bloom, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and their peers staring down laminated cards, playing into headsets.
Baseball execs have had nothing to do but plan for more than two months. Similarly, agents have spent days plotting their first phone calls after business resumes — and when (and if) it does, there will be a hurricane of activity.
Here is some of what is expected by many in the industry:
1. Freddie Freeman signs quickly.
The presumption among a lot of rival executives last year was that Freeman and the Braves would eventually work out a deal. But Freeman was not among the stars who signed a pre-lockout contract — even after the Braves won the World Series and the franchise operated with the championship glow (and cash injection). So the industry view has shifted; there is a growing belief that Freeman will land somewhere outside of Atlanta because of the standoff in his negotiations. The Braves offered $135 million over five years, sources say, and Freeman is looking for a six-year deal.
« I think [the Braves] will move quickly to settle on an alternative and move on to get past the conversation, » one official said.
Maybe that’s a deal for Oakland’s Matt Olson. Maybe they’ll sign Anthony Rizzo. But the Freeman negotiations became a competition, and as one agent said, you never want to do that.