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Free agency is officially underway

Nov 3, 2012, 9:45 AM EDT

Zack Greinke Getty Getty Images

As of 12:01 a.m. ET this morning, MLB free agency was officially open for business.

Free agents are now free to negotiate and sign with any team. Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton headline this year’s crop, which isn’t nearly as impressive as ones we have seen in the past. Still, many believe that we could see some wild spending this winter, as the game is thriving and new television deals will put significant money in the pockets of each team.

You may have noticed yesterday that a handful of players received one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offers from their respective teams. Aaron has the full list here. The reason teams did that was to secure draft pick compensation if those players sign elsewhere. We’ll know by next Friday whether the offers have been accepted or declined.

In the past, most of the activity in the Hot Stove took place during the Winter Meetings in early December (this year it’s December 3-6 in Nashville), but it will be interesting to see if things develop more quickly this offseason. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, teams were not required to offer arbitration to their free agents until the latter part of November. For instance, last year the deadline was November 23. This year’s qualifying offer deadline was three weeks earlier.

Craig has a thorough run-down of free agency here while Matthew ranked his top 50 free agents here.

  1. proudlycanadian - Nov 3, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Unleash the hounds! We need someone to sign soon; otherwise, we will have to deal with leaks from Boras.

  2. chill1184 - Nov 3, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Anyone want to place bets on the first absurd free agent contract?

    • dodger88 - Nov 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      Kyle Loshe – 4 or 5 years at $15 million per.

      • thebadguyswon - Nov 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM

        Lohse is going to be the worst contract for sure.

      • paperlions - Nov 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        I’m willing to bet that in 4 years, the contracts signed by Bourne and Sanchez will look worse than the one signed by Lohse (who probably won’t get 4 years at his age).

    • cur68 - Nov 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      Greinke: ARod money. 4 years. Dodgers (but Phillies wouldn’t surprise me: both have some filthy TV-deal lucre to spend and a history of making it rain like drunken sailors).

      *this prediction brought to you by Not Enough Sleep™* goodnight.

      • SOBEIT - Nov 3, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        Rangers, Dodgers, Angels…should all be in on Greinke…let the bidding war begin. Dude is lucky three teams with the biggets FA wallets want him bad!

    • flavadave10 - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      You mean Brandon League doesn’t count? I’ll go with the first person the Dodgers sign.

  3. buffalo65 - Nov 3, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Jays sign Sanchez, 5 years 75 million

    • flavadave10 - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Dear Blue Jays,

      PLEASE do that.

      The rest of the AL East

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