The Opener: QO Deadline, Rule 5 Deadline, Manager of the Year

As the off-season continues, here are three things we’ll be looking at all day today:

1. Eligible Offer Decisions Due Today

The 14 players who have received eligible offers must accept or decline the offer by 3pm Central Time this afternoon. While most of these players will make the easy and obvious decision to decline the QO, a few players have a more interesting decision ahead of them. Rangers left handed Martin Perez is an example of someone who can accept a QO even though he rightfully joins the Red Sox Nathan Eovaldi as someone negotiating a multi-year deal with his 2022 club, which could be ironed out in lieu of the one-year, $19.65 million QO contract. Such a deal could happen even after this deadline has passed, as was the case before Jose Abreu and the White Sox after the 2019 season. Giants outfielder Joe PedersonDodgers left-handed Tyler Andersen and Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo are among the other candidates to accept the offer, though Rizzo is reported to have already drawn strong interest from the Astros despite his QO.

2. Rule 5 Deadline looms tonight

Teams must set their 40-man roster ahead of the upcoming Rule 5 Draft at 5:00 PM central time tonight. Since there was no major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft last season, teams will have more prospects than usual needing protection, potentially resulting in a larger roster than usual for many teams. The Rays have already made a few moves to clear roster space and are expected to make more trades before tonight’s deadline. While they may be among the most active teams today, it’s safe to say that most teams will be making roster changes throughout the day leading up to tonight’s deadline.

3. Manager of the Year results announced tonight

Awards season continues tonight and the AL and NL Manager of the Year awards will be announced tonight. In the AL, Terry Francona of the Guardians, Brandon Hyde of the Orioles and Scott Servais of the Mariners are the finalists, while in NL it will be Brian Snitker of the Braves, Dave Roberts of the Dodgers or Buck. Showalter of the Mets. Each finalist has an interesting argument for the award to stand out from the rest of the field. Francona’s Guardians clinched a surprise division title, overtaking the favored White Sox and Twins despite an extremely young roster and much lower payroll than their division rivals. Despite failing to make the postseason, Hyde and the Orioles also vastly outperformed expectations, remaining in the postseason chase for most of September after years of 100-losing seasons. Servais, meanwhile, led a Mariners club that ended the longest active playoff drought in the sport, bringing playoff baseball back to Seattle for the first time since 2001. Roberts and the Dodgers produced a monster 111-win season that ranks among the greatest in history, while Buck Showalter returned to the dugout to lead the Mets to a 100-win season of their own. Snitker, meanwhile, makes his case during Atlanta’s impressive September in which they defeated Showalter’s Mets for the division title. The results will be announced tonight at 5 p.m. Dutch time.

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