Congrats are in order for Travis Jankowski, a legend of the pandemic-shortened 2020 Cincinnati Reds who helped power that team to a postseason bid with a single single in 17 plate appearances that year. His Texas Rangers overcame a brilliant Zac Gallen last night en route to a win in Game 5 of the World Series, giving the club a 4-1 series victory and their first title in team history.
(For what it’s worth, Travis was much more integral to this Rangers club than he was to the Reds, providing a 90 OPS+ across 287 PA while adding in 19 steals and his typically strong across-the-outfield defense.)
Thus ends the 2023 Major League Baseball slate, and the offseason officially began this morning when all pending free agents dropped the ‘pending’ from their title. That means that both Buck Farmer and Harrison Bader are out there dangling in contract purgatory, free to accept offers from any team that gives them one while also being unemployed and free to go surfing or build a pit smoker, should they choose. The crew at MLB Trade Rumors has already fired up their offseason content, and they’ve got an excellent timeline of administrative events that are coming up in the following days.
November 6th is the day we’ve got circled on our calendars, of course, as that’s the day by which the Reds will have to have their option decisions sorted. So, we’ll finally get the much-anticipated news on Curt Casali’s option for 2024 by that day, as well as a slightly less important one on Joey Votto. Not only will those decisions impact the roster in obvious ways, they’ll give us a sense of a) what kind of money they’ll have on the books to begin the hot stove season and b) the nature of the kind of team they’ll be looking to roll out in 2024.
In other news, Spencer Steer is a finalist for a Silver Slugger Award in the NL at the utility position. He’s a finalist alongside Mookie Betts in that category, however, so I firmly expect that by next week Spencer will have as many Silver Slugger Awards to his name as Joey Votto.
In MLB news, here’s the article from The Athletic that fired up baseball twitter about the San Diego Padres taking out a $50 million loan to aid their cash flow at the end of last season. Part of the world thinks that’s an indication that the team’s lavish spending is wholly unsustainable and a feather in the cap for teams like, say, the Cincinnati Reds, who opted against spending at anywhere close to that same level for similar success. On the other hand, there are those that choose to focus on the fact that their business model was deemed successful enough by the banks to get the loan in the first place, and they’re still going to be a Major League Baseball team with a packed stadium for the 2024 season, too.