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MLB free agency has begun

Did you think there was a break in between the end of the World Series and the next thing on baseball’s calendar? Well, you were wrong. Regrettably, there is no national day of rest for fans or media after the conclusion of the Fall Classic: instead, there is the start of MLB free agency.

There are 149 new free agents as of Thursday, and there could be more on the way after players with opt-outs — like Yankees’ starter Masahiro Tanaka — use them to escape their current deals.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you: free agency is going to be pretty awful this offseason. There is J.D. Martinez, sure, and the appeal of Tanaka hitting free agency is obvious given his second-half and postseason turnaround. Jake Arrieta is one of the most significant players on the free agent list this winter, though, and he’s going to be a 32-year-old starter, one who reached 200 innings one time and has seen drastic dips in his performance since. It’s not exactly 2018-2019 out here.

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On the other hand, trades could save us all from an offseason of boredom. Giancarlo Stanton is going to be dealt — the Marlins don’t really have a way of cutting all the salary they plan on cutting if they keep him. More teams in rebuilding mode might be willing to trade off key players for prospects like the White Sox did with their flurry of 2016-2017 deals. Hell, the Marlins might end up trading more players than just Stanton, since he alone doesn’t get them to where new ownership wants to be, either.

So, come for the few exciting contracts we’ll see handed out this winter, and stay for the trades that fill the gaps for all the teams that don’t manage to add those players before they’re gone. And, I don’t know, to laugh at whichever team gives Eric Hosmer too much money, that’ll probably be entertaining.

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