It’s time to fire up the hot stove.
Monday marks the official beginning of baseball’s offseason as the 136 free agents are allowed to speak with – and potentially sign with – all 30 teams.
The five-day window of exclusivity is over, meaning teams may start bidding for the services of any free-agent they desire. Monday also marks the deadline to offer players a qualifying offer of $15.3 million, while players receiving the offer have one week to accept or decline.
The Yankees will extend a qualifying offer to David Robertson, though it’s unlikely the closer will accept it. A league source said no less than a half-dozen teams are interested in the righthander, who is the premier closer available and thus should command a multi-year deal.
Players that decline the qualifying offer are allowed to continue negotiating with their former team, while the team will receive draft pick compensation if the player signs elsewhere.