Free agents looking for a change of base

MLB free agents hope to not strike out before their 2024 season
2024 MLB free agents
2024 MLB free agents
FOX Sports

With shocking new free agents and general managers, the drama of the 2023 MLB season is far from over.

To begin with, on Nov. 4, Sports Illustrated reported that the Chicago White Sox terminated their relationship with shortstop Tim Anderson, deeming him a free agent after a decade with the White Sox. 

The MLB’s The Athletic reports that as he was one of the worst hitters in baseball last year with a .245 batting average, this shouldn’t be a shocker.

Anderson made his MLB debut in 2016, finishing seventh in the American League Rookie of the Year polls, won a Silver Slugger, placed seventh in AL MVP voting in 2020 and then made back-to-back All-Star Games in 2021 and 2022.

Anderson’s value on the open market is still up for debate, but according to Spotrac, it could be about $5 million.

Bleacher Report reports that the Los Angeles Angels could have an interest in Anderson, especially since he hit over a .300 batting average in each of the four seasons prior to 2023, while the Angels as a team hit just .245 this past season ranking them 18th league-wide.

Additionally, the New York Mets could pick up pitcher Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. According to Mark Feinsand of MLB Ohtani turned down the Los Angeles Angels’ one-year offer of $20.32 million on Nov. 14, ensuring he’ll enter the market as the number one free agent. 

Ohtani is also reportedly more concerned about going to a team that can be competitive and give him a chance to go to the playoffs for the first time so that he could be picked up by just about anyone.

Sports Illustrated reports that he may be considering the Atlanta Braves, but this would cost them about $500 million, as Ohtani is looking for a 10-year contract.

This would also cause waves, as the Braves’s current highest-paid player is first baseman Matt Olson, who makes $22 million per year, so this would certainly re-write the record books.

Lastly, as one of baseball’s most desirable free agents, according to the MLB, pitcher Aaron Nola rejected the Phillies’ $20.35 million contract to play in the 2024 season on Nov. 15. As Nola is currently looking for an offer of over $200 million, this isn’t terribly surprising to anyone. Because of this, Philadelphia will receive a compensatory fourth-round draft pick.

The Phillies aren’t the only team looking to add Nola to their roster, however, as both the Braves and the Cardinals have shown serious interest, as they need starting pitchers for the upcoming season.

On the other side of baseball news, however, the Oakland A’s are moving to Las Vegas, making them the city’s first MLB team.

MLB owners voted unanimously Nov. 16 to approve A’s owner John Fisher’s relocation proposal, and USA TODAY reports that “the A’s still have a lease to play in the Oakland Coliseum in 2024, but will not have a permanent home until 2028 when they are expected to move into a $1.5 billion facility on the Las Vegas Strip.” 

AP News reports that MLB owners voted unanimously on Nov. 16 to approve A’s owner John Fisher’s relocation proposal, which after years of complaints over the Oakland Coliseum and an inability to negotiate government assistance for a new ballpark in the Bay area, wasn’t a shock. 

While the A’s franchise will likely rise in value with suite sales, advertising and ticket revenue from Las Vegas casinos and resorts, owners inserted a binding protection provision in their contract. Because of this, if Fisher decides to sell the franchise soon after moving to Las Vegas to make an immediate profit, he will be heavily taxed on the sale which will be split among his fellow MLB owners.

So, between a decade-long partnership ending and Oakland losing their fourth and final major league team, baseball fans should be sure to keep an eye on headlines. 

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