It’s officially hot stove season. With the World Series in the rearview mirror (congrats, Texas Rangers!) and the 2023 winter meetings on the horizon (Dec. 4-7 in Nashville), it’s time to follow along with the wheeling and dealing of free agency.
Teams had an exclusive negotiating window with their departing players following the end of the World Series, but now the market is fully open, with free agency beginning Monday.
We’ll be following along and reacting as contracts are signed and rosters for 2024 are assembled. But first things first, free agency began with a flurry of managerial moves.
Ron Washington lands with Angels
Whether they have Shohei Ohtani or not, the Los Angeles Angels found their new manager for the 2024 season, hiring veteran Ron Washington on Wednesday.
It’s Washington’s first managerial gig since he led the Texas Rangers for eight seasons from 2007-2014. In Arlington, Washington won two AL pennants and was one strike away from winning the World Series in 2011 before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since 2016, Washington has been the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves.
Stephen Vogt first of managerial hires; Craig Counsell to Cubs in shocker
In a winter with several teams looking for new skippers, the first domino to fall was in Cleveland, where the Guardians hired Stephen Vogt on Monday to replace the retiring Terry Francona.
In a shocking turn of events, it was also announced Monday that the Mets are hiring Carlos Mendoza as their new manager, and Craig Counsell is headed to … the Chicago Cubs. Counsell will reportedly sign a five-year contract with Chicago worth more than $40 million, making him the highest-paid manager in MLB.