This is the quiet time in baseball. In a sport that has become a 52-week-a-year endeavor, this is the one time when many offices go dark and executives try to play catchup with rest and family.
Still, cellphones might be muted, but not turned off — at least not for substantial stretches. Thus, a few players and teams who want to resolve issues before 2018 turns to 2019 could make news this week.
But Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are almost certainly January decisions — perhaps later than that for Harper.
Anticipation for this particular free-agent phase has been years in the making due to belief it could be the best crop ever. But since this class first appeared on the horizon three years ago, much has occurred to diminish it. Most tragically, Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident. Charlie Blackmon, Clayton Kershaw and Jean Segura signed extensions. Age and/or injuries curtailed the cha-ching potential on Zach Britton, Josh Donaldson, Matt Harvey, Garrett Richards and many others.
This exemplifies why long-term plotting is so difficult and why I will hold off my excitement about the 2020-21 class that will be headlined by Mookie Betts and Mike Trout.