The World Series has ended. The Astros are champs. Carlos Correa has one ring, and has handed out another - to his fiancee.
After a thrilling end to the 2017 season, it is time for the hot stove league to heat up.
As of 8 a.m. this morning, 149 players officially became free agents. But they aren't actually free. There's a five-day period in which teams have exclusive negotiating rights with the players they can lose to free agency. So on Tuesday, these free agents really become free.
Five Twins players are on the list: Matt Belisle, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Glen Perkins and Hector Santiago.
MLB free agency is not like the other pro sports leagues. While there are splashy signings right off the bat in the other sports leagues, the pace of free agent play in baseball is a little slower. There might be a few signings over the next few weeks, but the action is strung out throughout the offseason. Some key players don't ink deals until the equipment trucks are loading for spring training.
So it might be a while before we see how Derek Falvey and Thad Levine attack the roster. Twins officials met last week in Minneapolis, partially to scheme on how they can build off of this season's surprising run to the postseason. And how they can strengthen the pitching staff. It's not going to be easy. Adding quality pitching is difficult. And the Twins have the additional task of figuring out who their closer will be. They can not start the season with Matt Belisle as their ninth inning guy.
Makes you wonder: Game time temperature for Game One of the World Series was 103 degrees. It wasn't as warm for the other games of the series, but warmth wasn't a big problem as the teams moved between Los Angeles and Houston.
What if the Twins had gone on a magical run, knocked off the Yankees, vanquished the Indians and toppled the Astros to reach the Fall Classic? Games Two, Three and Four would have been played last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Do you remember what the weather was last weekend?????
It would have been cold. And rainy, And blustery. Frozen baseball at its finest.
I texted Twins president Dave St. Peter and asked him if all three games would have been played on schedule.
"Guessing we would have had to postpone Friday's game due to snow/rain/cold," he said. "It would have been chilly, but I believe we would have played Saturday, Sunday and Monday."
Can't wait for that Twins-Rockies World Series next year. (One service has the Twins at 66-1 to win it all next year)