December 23: A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

Every year, the holidays bring a rather quiet few days in terms of transactions, as agents, front office personnel and players set the week aside to spend time with family. While that may be unwelcome news as we have endured a relatively uneventful winter, fret not. Just before all of the hoopla of the holiday season, comes a charming, yet bizarre holiday called Festivus. To most, Festivus brings nostalgia of one of the greatest Seinfeld episodes of all time, however to those in the baseball world, Festivus is among the busiest days of the offseason.

As executives prepare to spend as much time as they can with their families through the week between Christmas and New Years, December 23 becomes something of an unofficial deadline to tie up some loose ends or nearly finished projects which may include trades, signings and waiver claims. In 2016, there were seven waiver claims, including Blake Parker, four players placed on waivers, eight minor league contract signings including Craig Stammen and Norge Ruiz, as well as the signings of Justin Turner, Ben Revere, Alex Avila and Brad Ziegler. If that doesn’t excite you, what if I told you that Festivus arrives a day early this year, as it falls on a Saturday? Now I don’t know who wouldn’t be excited about that (except George Costanza, of course).

First of all, it is exceptionally likely that deals that had previously been agreed upon will be finalized. That seems likely to include the Longoria blockbuster of today, the Brewers additions of Yovanni Gallardo and Jhoulys Chacin, the Matt Adams signing and the Marlins addition of Jacob Turner.

It is also a distinct possibility that we see a handful of announcements of unreported deals that are being worked on tonight and through tomorrow. Seeing as how the New York Mets have announced Sandy Alderson’s contract extension, and still have four or five holes to fill, it would not be a surprise to see negotiations between the Mets front office and free agents of interest pick up steam over the next day or so.

The Giants have been particularly active over the past two days announcing the signing of Nick Hundley as well as the Longoria trade, and have been reported to have interest in Jay Bruce. While nothing appears evident, there is the chance that the market decides to show off a “feat of strength” as it has been reported that the market for Manny Machado could wrap up soon or it might not even occur.

Finally, it seems likely that we see resolutions of players currently on the waiver wire.  The majority of the time, waiver moves aren’t very exciting, however, when players are claimed and corresponding transactions have to be made, teams place them directly on waivers as opposed to the long and drawn out week long DFA period. Currently on the wire are right-handed pitchers Luke Jackson and Jose Ruiz as well as left-handed pitcher Hunter Cervenka. Furthermore, the Brewers will have to make a corresponding roster move, as will the Marlins, if the Turner deal turns out to be a major league deal.

And after we celebrate the airing of grievances and the feats of strength and the aluminum poll is placed back into the crawlspace until next year, Baseball Essential will have you covered all throughout the holiday week!

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