As Friday’s non-tender deadline enters the rear-view mirror and the offseason rolls along, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around baseball:
1. Hall of Fame Ballot Announced
The official Hall of Fame ballot for 2023 is set to be released today, and for the first time in 10 years, it won’t have Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or Curt Schilling on it. Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez will be eligible for the first time in 2023, while Jeff Kent enters his final year of eligibility. Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, and Billy Wagner each received over 50% of the vote last year, and could be names to watch this year in addition to the newcomers. While Alex Rodriguez will enter his second year of eligibility in 2023, he’ll need a massive showing on this year’s ballot to get on the radar for Cooperstown consideration after just a 34.3% showing in his inaugural year on the ballot. Although Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling won’t be on this year’s ballot, they could still join the Hall of Fame in 2023, as the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee will consider the three of them (as well as five others) during the Winter Meetings in December.
2. Will The Twins Re-Sign Correa?
The Twins made a few major changes to their infield mix before Friday’s non-tender deadline, as they shipped Gio Urshela out in a trade with the Angels while swinging a deal to bring in Kyle Farmer from the Reds. If no further changes to the infield mix are made, Minnesota would likely start the season with Jose Miranda at third base, Jorge Polanco at second, and Luis Arraez at first, with Farmer set to hold down shortstop until Royce Lewis returns from injury. With Lewis set to return sometime next season and 2022 draftee Brooks Lee already at Double-A, the Twins could conceivably be content to hand Farmer the keys to the position, transitioning him to more of a utility role once one of the youngsters is ready to displace him. There’s been mutual interest in a Correa reunion, but with big-market teams such as the Dodgers, Cubs, and Giants rumored to be looking to land a shortstop, it’s easy to see how the Twins could lose a bidding war. Still, it seems unlikely that the acquisition of a possible stopgap at shortstop would change Minnesota’s plans much with regards to Correa. Darren Wolfson of KSTP and 1500 SKOR North chatted with Twins president/CEO Dave St. Peter and center fielder Byron Buxton (video link) about the potential for a Correa reunion at last…