Let’s be clear, when I say in the headline that the offseason will begin to “heat up” this week, that’s not to say I’m expected a flurry of trades and massive signings. I’m only saying that this is a week to get the ball rolling (or several balls rolling).
Three important things happening today…
1. The GM Meetings begin in Orlando
These are not to be confused with the Winter Meetings. The GM Meetings are basically meant to discuss rules and protocol, but all baseball general managers will be in one place — with more than a few agents roaming the halls — which means trade and free agent discussions are inevitable. Huge player news rarely comes out of the GM Meetings, but plenty of rumors filter out and some behind-the-scenes groundwork is laid.
2. Qualifying offers are accepted or declined
This is the deadline for players to make a decision about qualifying offers. For the Yankees, that means getting answers from Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda and Curtis Granderson regarding offers of one-year, $14.1-million contracts. The overwhelming expectation is that all three will turn down the offers and become free agents tied to draft pick compensation. There will also be some curiosity about the 10 non-Yankees given qualifying offers. It’s entirely possible all of those will decline as well.
3. Rookie of the Year winners announced
This has no impact on the Yankees, and it might not be important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s interesting for baseball fans. The end-of-the-year BBWAA awards carry significant weight in the game’s history, and awards week is always good for some interesting discussion and reflection. It’s a memorable offseason event. The Yankees won’t be heavily involved until Thursday when MVPs are announced and we see how high Cano finished. I had an MVP vote this year. Cano was, not surprisingly, on my ballot.
Associated Press photo