The World Series is over, free agency officially began yesterday evening, and the off-season is off and running on its typical route of halting and sporadic news through the Fall and Winter, to Spring Training and Opening Day.
Along the way, 2021 performances and past careers will be rewarded with hardware, and 2022 rosters will be remade to varying degrees. In addition to the typical milestone dates, the list below includes some ways to mark the half-way point of the long march to the 2022 season.
Obviously the linchpin to all of this is the December 1 date, when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between owners and players expires.
Many of the key dates beyond that could be impacted if a new CBA is not agreed upon by then, or soon thereafter.
At least for now though, this is the plan we’re working to, and we’ll have details on many of these events as they come up.
Among the many storylines to follow:
- Dave Dombrowski will be looking to take a step up from the persistent .500 level to at least the high 80s in wins, and that began this week with announced roster changes and the GM meetings in Carlsbad starting tomorrow.
- Bryce Harper and (less so) Zack Wheeler will be paying close attention as annual awards are announced over the next week and a half.
- The late Dick Allen will be on the Hall of Fame’s Golden Days Era Committee ballot next month, after falling only one vote short of induction the last time he was on the ballot.
- Jimmy Rollins (and Ryan Howard) will join Bobby Abreu and Scott Rolen on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. It will also be the 10th and final time on the ballot for controversial candidates Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling.