The Opener: Thanksgiving Signings, Harper, Chats, Free Agent List

As the offseason continues to chug along, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on throughout baseball today:

1. Will Any Deals Get Closed Before The Holiday?

The days leading up to Thanksgiving have, in previous offseasons, seen a small spike in activity, as free agents who are looking to have their new team settled ahead of the holidays try to push deals across the finish line. In the past few offseasons, Steven Matz, Anthony DeSclafani, Kendall Graveman, Aaron Loup, Kyle Gibson, Drew Pomeranz, Yan Gomes and Charlie Morton have all agreed to terms within 48 hours of Thanksgiving. This can apply to the trade market as well, as the Angels’ acquisition of Hunter Renfroe just last night shows. In addition to last night’s deal, recent offseasons have seen the Rockies and Reds connect on a swap of relievers and the Padres and Brewers complete a four-player trade involving all big leaguers, among other smaller trade agreements.

2. Bryce Harper’s Surgery Is Today

Recently extended Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced last week that star outfielder Bryce Harper will undergo surgery on his elbow today to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament. This is of particular note because the team and doctors alike won’t be certain whether Harper requires a full ligament replacement (Tommy John surgery) or an internal brace procedure until he actually goes under the knife, leaving his timetable for return uncertain to this point. Once today’s procedure is complete, there will be far more clarity on how much time Harper can be expected to miss in 2023.

3. A Few MLBTR Features

The final two Offseason Chats will be held today, putting the finishing touches on MLBTR’s Offseason Outlook series. MLBTR’s Anthony Franco will be hosting a team-specific chat for the reigning World Series champion Astros at 11am CT today, while Steve Adams will hosting an A’s-specific chat later in the day at 2pm CT. Astros fans can click here to leave a question for Anthony in advance and, in the meantime, check out the Astros’ Offseason Outlook. A’s fans can leave a question in advance here and go back through Oakland’s Offseason Outlook for a refresher, if you like. Regardless of which club you follow, if you’re looking ahead to the meat of your team’s offseason, it’s also worth noting that our 2022-23 MLB Free Agent List has been updated to include last week’s wave of non-tendered players. You can check that out for a comprehensive look at who’s available on a position-by-position basis.

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