Even before the Chicago Cubs got to celebrate their drought-ending World Series title with a parade, baseball’s business season began Thursday when more than 100 players became free agents and teams started making decisions on 2017 options.
Among the potential free agents are outfielders Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, Josh Reddick and Ian Desmond; first baseman Edwin Encarnacion; catcher Matt Wieters; and closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon. They can start talking money with teams on Tuesday.
Clubs must decide by Monday whether to make $17.2 million qualifying offers to their players who became free agents, which would attach draft-pick compensation if they sign elsewhere. Only players who spent the entire season with one team are eligible for the offers.
Texas said it will make a qualifying offer to Desmond, and the two-time All-Star will have until Nov. 14 to accept.
In the first trade since the World Series, the Los Angeles Angels acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Detroit Tigers for right-hander Victor Alcantara.
Maybin batted a career-best .315 with four homers, 43 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 94 games this year for the Tigers, posting one of his best big league seasons despite injury problems. The Angels said they will exercise his $9 million option.
The 23-year-old Alcantara has spent five years in the Angels’ minor league system. He went 3-7 with a 4.30 ERA in 29 appearances for Double-A Arkansas last season.
Among potential free agents, the Boston Red Sox exercised a $17.2 million option on designated hitter David Ortiz “as a formality,” even though the 40-year-old slugger has said he will retire.
The team also exercised a $13 million option on right-hander Clay Buchholz and declined a $3.75 million option on catcher Ryan Hanigan, who gets an $800,000 buyout.
Others whose options were exercised include Mets outfielder Jay Bruce ($13 million) and infielder Jose Reyes (minimum salary), Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez ($12 million), Detroit closer Francisco Rodriguez ($6 million), Seattle outfielder Seth Smith ($7 million), Texas catcher Jonathan Lucroy ($5.25 million) and San Francisco left-hander Matt Moore ($7 million).
Among those whose options were declined were Chicago White Sox pitcher Matt Albers, Seattle catcher Chris Iannetta, Miami reliever Fernando Rodney, Mets left-hander Jon Niese and Washington right-hander Yusmeiro Petit.
In another move, the Houston Astros claimed outfielder Nori Aoki off waivers from Seattle.