Finally, after a month of relative inaction, Major League Baseball's offseason is primed to pop off. Over the next few weeks, executives and agents expect a deluge of free agent signings and big-name trades. No one is certain whether the winter meetings, which begin at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday, will brim with action or simply serve as a prelude for the madness ahead, but regardless: Buckle up. It's coming.
Three transactions will set the tone for the winter. The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes could soon reach its conclusion with an astronomical and record-breaking guarantee. The San Diego Padres are expected to trade star outfielder Juan Soto in a deal some say will come together by the end of the meetings. And Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who executives say they believe will sign in mid-December, will trigger a bidding frenzy among the game's most-moneyed teams.
As these moves happen, the rest of the market will sort itself out. Until then, here is the latest on the names you'll be hearing next week -- and those likely to move in their wake -- as the baseball world gathers in Music City.