Free Agency: Things To Keep An Eye On
Free agnecy in this "off-season" or "between-tourament period" has potential to change the landscape of the league dramatically depending how it unfolds.
Let's get right to it, here's what to watch for from each team this off-season:
Lynx: Jordan Halverson has elevated Toutle to the league's premier team over the last three tournaments, but is now a free agent.
He was under a $20/3-tournament contract, which made him the 2nd highest paid player in the JAL, but he certainly lived up to it by taking the Lynx to three staight WWCD Cup's, winning one, and winning the MVP award in JAL IX.
If Toutle wants to continue their success they're going to need Jordan back. Expect team owner JoLynn McCully to throw as much money at Jordan as it takes to re-sign him. JoLynn is one of the most competitve owners and her team has had the highest payroll in the league the last three tournaments.
underdogs: Team owner Cathy Woodruff openly said yesterdy that she will not re-sign Josh Wall or Mason Klingberg. Josh and Mason played for the underdogs in the last two tournaments and failed to make the playoffs either time.
Cathy only wants to win and Josh and Mason clearly aren't fulfilliing her wishes. At best she might decide to re-sign Mason for less than she was previously paying him ($8/2-tournaments).
Somewhat secretly, Cathy has made contact with would be rookie Kyle Godinho, who is rumored to be an MVP caliber player. If that acquisition doesn't go through, then it's likely the underdogs will make a run at Jordan Halverson or Adam Clarck, two players Cathy has said she is interested in.
Rapids: The Rapids roster has been Ty Johnson and Shawn Godinho for the last two tournaments, but Shawn is now a free agent.
The only thing team owner Julie Johnson has said about re-signing Shawn is "I need to think about it."
After winning the championship in JAL X, the Rapids seemingly had a championship hangover in JAL XI. The team finished 5th and missed the playoffs. It's possible that after the disappointing tournament Shawn may become the odd man out as the Rapids seek to bounce back.
If they don't re-sign Shawn, Jordan and Adam are likely targets the Rapids will aim for.
Bison: The Bison aren't losing any of their players from JAL XI. Owner James French has made it clear he wants to keep his team of MIkel Skreen, Ty Franklin and himself intact. The only way this team gets broken up in the off-season is if James is offered a trade fro either Mikel or Ty that's to good to pass on.
Cobras: Cale Johnson is a free agent, but will almost certainly be back with the Cobras despite his awful outing in JAL XI. The bigger story this off-season with the Cobras regards Michael Sullivan, who the team has under contract for one more tournament.
Michael is under a $6/2-tournament deal, but in JAL X he proved he's worth far more. The Cobras aren't a franchise that likes having a high payroll, so when Michael's contract is up it'll be tough to re-sign him.
Because of that, the Cobras have placed Michael Sullivan on the trade block. The idea is that the Cobras can try to get somebody in return for him before he potentially leaves the team after the next tournament and the Cobras are left with nothing. If there's a big trade that goes down this off-season it might just involve Michael.
Fog: The reigning champs lose nobody to free agency, but are in talks with would be rookie Lucas Myers. If they can aquire him, Lucas would add depth the Fog's batting order which has proved solid but inconsistent.
Since JAL XI, team owner Darren Ayoub has joked about trading league MVP Jacob Rahn while his stock value is high. Will that actually happen? No, but never put anything past this team.