Today is the deadline for free agents to accept or reject arbitration


Last week was the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents.  Today is the deadline for those so offered to accept or decline.  Some already have done so (guys like Trevor Hoffman) and others have already signed free agent deals, mooting the issue (Victor Martinez).  That leaves 12 type-A free agents and 11 type-B free agents who need to make up their minds before midnight.

The type As: Grant Balfour, Adrian Beltre, Carl Crawford, Scott Downs, Adam Dunn, Frank Francisco, Jason Frasor, Paul Konerko, Cliff Lee, Carl Pavano, Rafael Soriano and Jayson Werth.

The type-Bs: Randy Choate, Jesse Crain, Pedro Feliciano, Brad Hawpe, Aaron Heilman, Orlando Hudson, Adam LaRoche, Felipe Lopez, Miguel Olivo, J.J. Putz and Chad Qualls.

There is always a surprise or two — Rafael Soriano unexpectedly accepted the Braves’ offer of arbitration last year — but I can’t really see any of the type-As other than Frank Francisco, who has already indicated that he’ll accept, taking arbitration. Maybe some type-Bs do, but their doing so won’t fundamentally alter the market or anything.

If anything strange does happen, however — like, say, Adam Dunn accepting —  it will likely lead to fun trade speculation over the coming days, so let’s hope for the unexpected.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.