Sunday’s deadline to tender arbitration offers to free agents triggered a lot of surprise moves and non-moves. BP authors kicked around some of the biggies, including the Braves’ decision to non-tender Gary Sheffield, the Bartolo Colon signing, and the timing of the Michael Tucker deal.
A week before representatives from all 30 teams descend upon New Orleans for the annual winter meetings, a collection of equally knowledgeable but considerably less experienced men and women–our readers–gathered at a restaurant in Chicago with the same purpose: to craftily mold their teams’ rosters, through canny trading and judicious use of the free-agent market, into the best team that money–a strictly budgeted amount of money–could buy. And like any good reality TV show, there were a couple of twists along the way. The mechanisms of the event were simple. The first 30 attendees to sign up were assigned a team in advance, and instructed to pore over their team’s roster, look over the free-agent market, and come to the event prepared to wheel and deal. Each team was also given a firm budget number in advance that they could not exceed. The event began with each team announcing its list of non-tendered players, who then immediately went into the free-agent pile. All free agents were then represented by the remaining attendees, along with myself and Nate Silver. Will Carroll presided over the event, playing the unenviable role of Bud Selig.