Friday is the last day that teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their impending free agents, and then the offseason signing frenzy will begin. You can get in on the action (and possibly win some cool prizes) by entering the MLBTR Free Agent Prediction Contest and making your best guess as to where this winter's top available players will land. Get your picks in now as the deadline for entries and edits is coming up on November 7.
Not to brag, but I've held at least a share of first place amongst the MLBTR staff in our own internal competition each of the last two years…wait, that "not to brag" wasn't accurate at all. That was totally bragging. Though, as a wise man once said, "if you can back it up, it ain't braggin'." Here are a few notes from around the majors as I pat myself on the back…
- The Nationals are considered the favorites to sign Michael Bourn while the Phillies "are an early favorite" to sign B.J. Upton, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman sees Bourn getting a five-year, $80MM contract while Upton is in line for at least a five-year, $60MM deal.
- Roman Colon is suing J.D. Smart, his former agent, and Smart's former bosses at Hendricks Sports Management for allegedly failing to inform him about a new contract offer with the Korean Baseball League's KIA Tigers, reports Darren Heitner of the Sports Agent Blog. Colon pitched for the KIA Tigers in 2010 and then signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in January 2011, a contract Colon said he never would have signed had he known about the new offer from KIA.
- Smaller-market teams that have to "overpay" for free agents only dig themselves in deeper holes, writes Fangraphs' Dave Cameron, as these clubs often find themselves committing too much payroll space to players that can't live up to those larger contracts.
- Former Phillies Shane Victorino, Brett Myers and Ryan Madson could all be intriguing choices to return to Philadelphia and fill some holes in the current roster, writes Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News.