2015 Free Agent Predictions

The GM meetings kick off in Phoenix next week, and while that gathering is generally more a time to lay groundwork than to get deals done, don’t be surprised if we see the first few free agents go off the board while everyone is gathered in one place. So, before things start happening, let’s have a little fun, and see how good I am at prognosticating both where the primary free agents will sign, and how much they’ll get on the open market.

For the purpose of this exercise, I’m going to project the same 55 players that you guys crowdsourced. This means that I’m skipping all the international free agents, but realistically, I don’t think I know enough about those guys to make educated guesses anyway. So, domestic free agents only. We’ll go team by team, and then I’ll list the whole table of my picks at the bottom. And yes, they’re probably going to be hilariously wrong. Predicting what other people are going to choose to do is not easy! Off we go, and we’ll do it by division.

Anaheim Angels

The Angels can talk about how they’re not going to spend money this winter all they want, but I’ll believe Arte Moreno is going to pass up on a premium pitcher when it happens. It seems like every year, these guys are the “mystery team” bidding up a player who might not have an obvious home elsewhere, and this year, I’m expecting them to play that role for Jon Lester, signing him for 6/$145M. They need the pitching, they’re in win-now mode, and if the Cubs and Red Sox go another direction as I’m projecting, then he won’t have another obvious landing spot.

Oakland A’s

They need a shortstop. They’re good at buying low on players coming off poor seasons. They’ve previously acquired Stephen Drew, and seem to like the skillset. Let’s call it a match, and give him 2/$16M.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners want right-handed hitters for their line-up. I’m guessing they’ll try and fail to sign Victor Martinez, so Michael Cuddyer (3/$27M) and Billy Butler (2/$18M) represent something of a plan B. I think they’ll also bring the tall Chris Young back on a 1/$6M deal.

Texas Rangers

I’m guessing they’ll be more active in trades this winter, and their big move will be to deal for one of the rent-a-starters that hits the market, but they need depth too, and Jason Hammel (3/$30M) and Francisco Rodriguez (2/$10M) can provide an upgrade at the back of their pitching staff.

Houston Astros

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Astros try and spend some real money, but I think free agents with a choice will still be hesitant to go there, leaving them to just throw money at guys who don’t have many other options. Enter Brandon Morrow (2/$12M) and Aaron Harang (1/$8M), the latter of whom is trade bait as soon as he puts together a good month and another team realizes they could use a veteran starter.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have too much invested in the short-term to let Victor Martinez leave. It’s no time for them to penny wise and pound foolish, so they’ll do what they need to do to keep him in Detroit, which means a deal at 4/$64M. That’s going to make upgrades elsewhere tricky, though, leaving them going after reclamation projects like Rafael Soriano (1/$6M) and Ichiro Suzuki (1/$3M).

Kansas City Royals

The Royals probably aren’t going to be able to keep their gang together, but their World Series run should give them enough cash to find some suitable replacements. Ervin Santana (3/$39M) comes back to Kansas City for a second tour, Michael Morse (2/$20M) takes over as the new right-handed DH, and Torii Hunter (2/$18M) becomes the veteran who keeps Jarrod Dyson in a fourth outfielder role.

Cleveland Indians

I don’t see the Indians being particularly active at the top of the free agent class. They’ll make trades instead.

Chicago White Sox

Rick Hahn is still in asset collection mode, so I’d expect him to target a number of players that might be a bit undervalued coming off poor seasons, or at least have some rebound potential. Primary need is in the outfield, so I’m giving them Colby Rasmus (3/$36M), Emilio Bonifacio (2/$12M), and shorter Chris Young (1/$5M), plus Kendrys Morales (1/$9M) to take over at DH.

Minnesota Twins

Phil Hughes aside, their recent forays into the free agent market haven’t gone so well, so I’m expecting a change of plans this winter, with no big free agent signings.

Baltimore Orioles

It’s mostly keeping the band together, re-signing Nelson Cruz (3/$45M) and Nick Markakis (4/$40M) to deals that probably won’t turn out very well. A.J Burnett (1/$10M) finally signs with the team after years of speculation, and Mark Reynolds (1/$4M) returns to replace Chris Davis, who I think gets traded over the winter.

New York Yankees

While I don’t have the Yankees signing any of the most expensive free agents, I do have them signing the most players in the group of 55 that you guys crowdsourced. I think they keep Chase Headley (4/$60M), David Robertson (3/$40M), Hiroki Kuroda (1/$12M), and Chris Capuano (1/$2M), plus add Asdrubal Cabrera (2/$22M) to replace The Captain. Cabrera wants to play shortstop, so he’ll go to the only city in the country that will see him as a defensive upgrade.

Boston Red Sox

They want a left-handed hitting third baseman and starting pitching; this market provides both. I think they’ll stretch on the years for Pablo Sandoval (6/$110M) because of his relative youth, but stick to shorter deals on the pitching side, going after both Brandon McCarthy (3/$42M) and Francisco Liriano (3/$39M). Their front-of-the-rotation upgrade will come via trade.

Tampa Bay Rays

They’ll spend two months hiring a manager instead.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays seem to like Melky Cabrera quite a bit and I couldn’t find any obvious teams that will outbid them, so he goes back here for 3/$39M. Jed Lowrie (2/$22M) fills the second base hole, while Delmon Young (1/$3M) comes in to serve as the right-handed DH, allowing Edwin Encarnacion to shift to first base so Justin Smoak never has to start against a lefty again.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Yeah, I know, they’re the new Dodgers, so they’re not just going to outspend everyone else. But they’re still the Dodgers, and Andrew Friedman does have some history with James Shields, so I wouldn’t expect them to pass if his market doesn’t evolve. It might not be their original plan, but I think they’ll scoop up Shields once his price falls to 4/$80M. They’ll also re-sign Chad Billingsley (1/$6M) and make a bunch of trades.

San Francisco Giants

Nothing too fancy for the World Champs. Jake Peavy (2/$20M) and Sergio Romo return (2/$12M), and Alex Rios (2/$18M) serves as the new right-handed hitting outfield depth piece. They’ll find a new third baseman via trade.

San Diego Padres

I’d expect them to be the most aggressive team signing international players this winter, so the bats all come from overseas. The arms, though, come from MLB, as I’m giving them Edinson Volquez (3/$27M), Gavin Floyd (1/$6M), and Josh Johnson (1/$3M), as I think they’ll need to replenish their rotation after trading a few of their current starters away for more bats.

Colorado Rockies

How do you convince your fan base that you’re not punting 2015 after trading away Troy Tulowitzki? You sign Hanley Ramirez (7/$140M) to replace him, giving him all of the money you saved by trading your franchise shortstop and then a little more on top of that. Ramirez wants to play SS and the Rockies are used to injury prone slugging middle infielders, so this could be the way for Colorado to land a significant haul in talent without completely cashing in the next few years.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Dave Stewart is going to make more trades than anyone else this winter, I think.

St. Louis Cardinals

This is a good roster without too many holes, but they could use a shutdown relief ace, and one just happens to be available. Andrew Miller at 4/$36M might seem steep for a team that generally develops its own relievers, but their window is starting to close, and they need to make their 2015 team as strong as they can.

Pittsburgh Pirates

They like reclamation starters who get a lot of groundballs. Justin Masterson, embrace your future in Pittsburgh. 1/$9M might be less than what he could get elsewhere, but it’s the perfect spot for him to get back on track and land a bigger deal next winter.

Milwaukee Brewers

Aramis Ramirez and Adam Lind probably soaked up most of their available cash. I would expect minor moves from here on out.

Cincinnati Reds

They want an on-base guy who can play left field. Nori Aoki fits the bill perfectly, and should fit in their budget as well. I think they’ll win the bidding by going up an extra year instead of a higher salary, so I slotted him at 3/$24M.

Chicago Cubs

Everyone expects them to sign Jon Lester because of the Boston connection, but my guess is that they actually prefer Max Scherzer, a higher strikeout starter with a slightly stronger track record of consistency. Scherzer is the best pitcher on the market, and the Cubs are certainly signaling that they’re going to make some big moves this winter, so I’m putting him in Chicago for 7/$175M. That won’t stop them from also signing Russell Martin for 5/$75M, and then gambling on an upside play in Brett Anderson for 1/$7M. We’ve seen the Cubs be smart and frugal; now I think we’re going to see them throw some money around.

Washington Nationals

As it stands, they’re probably the best team in baseball, and all they really need is a left-handed hitting second baseman. They’ll find that in trade.

New York Mets

The Mets keep telling everyone they’re not going to spend big money, and I don’t see a lot of good fits for them in the middle tier. They’ll probably sign someone, but I’m not sure who it would be.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins are kind of the default landing spot for free agents to don’t fit anywhere else. Adam LaRoche (2/$24) and Rickie Weeks (1/$8M) both would be legitimate upgrades for the team, however.

Atlanta Braves

They like strike-throwing veteran starters, and will need an innings-eater to replace the departures of Santana and Harang. Ryan Vogelsong needs a home. 1/$7M seems about right.

Philadelphia Phillies

It’s an everything-must-go sale in Philadelphia, so you probably won’t have too many veterans interested in going there. They may be active on the international side, though.

And now for the full table. It’s even sortable.

Name Position 2014 Team Age Dave Years Dave Dollars Crowd Years Crowd Dollars Signing Team
Max Scherzer P Tigers 30 7 $175 7 $168 Cubs
Jon Lester P Athletics 30 6 $145 6 $132 Angels
Hanley Ramirez SS Dodgers 30 7 $140 5 $90 Rockies
Pablo Sandoval 3B Giants 28 6 $110 5 $80 Red Sox
James Shields P Royals 32 4 $80 5 $90 Dodgers
Russell Martin C Pirates 31 5 $75 4 $56 Cubs
Victor Martinez DH Tigers 35 4 $64 3 $45 Tigers
Chase Headley 3B Yankees 30 4 $60 4 $56 Yankees
Ervin Santana P Braves 31 4 $52 3 $39 Royals
Nelson Cruz DH/OF Orioles 34 3 $45 3 $45 Orioles
Brandon McCarthy P Yankees 31 3 $42 3 $36 Red Sox
David Robertson P Yankees 29 3 $40 3 $30 Yankees
Nick Markakis OF Orioles 30 4 $40 3 $33 Orioles
Melky Cabrera OF Blue Jays 30 3 $39 4 $52 Blue Jays
Francisco Liriano P Pirates 31 3 $39 3 $36 Red Sox
Colby Rasmus OF Blue Jays 28 3 $36 3 $30 White Sox
Andrew Miller P Orioles 29 4 $36 3 $24 Cardinals
Jason Hammel P Athletics 32 3 $30 3 $27 Rangers
Michael Cuddyer OF Rockies 35 3 $27 2 $18 Mariners
Edinson Volquez P Pirates 31 3 $27 2 $16 Padres
Adam LaRoche 1B Nationals 35 2 $24 2 $20 Marlins
Nori Aoki OF Royals 32 3 $24 2 $14 Reds
Jed Lowrie SS Athletics 30 2 $22 3 $30 Blue Jays
Asdrubal Cabrera SS Nationals 28 2 $22 3 $33 Yankees
Jake Peavy P Giants 33 2 $20 2 $24 Giants
Michael Morse OF Giants 32 2 $20 1 $7 Royals
Alex Rios OF Rangers 33 2 $18 2 $20 Giants
Billy Butler DH Royals 28 2 $18 2 $18 Mariners
Justin Masterson P Cardinals 29 2 $18 1 $9 Pirates
Torii Hunter OF Tigers 39 2 $18 1 $10 Royals
Stephen Drew SS Yankees 31 2 $16 1 $7 Athletics
Ryan Vogelsong P Giants 37 2 $16 1 $7 Braves
Hiroki Kuroda P Yankees 39 1 $12 1 $15 Yankees
Brandon Morrow P Blue Jays 30 2 $12 1 $6 Astros
Sergio Romo P Giants 31 2 $12 2 $12 Giants
Emilio Bonifacio 2B/OF Braves 29 2 $12 2 $10 White Sox
A.J. Burnett P Phillies 37 1 $10 1 $10 Orioles
Francisco Rodriguez P Brewers 32 2 $10 1 $5 Rangers
Kendrys Morales DH Mariners 31 1 $9 1 $6 White Sox
Aaron Harang P Braves 36 1 $8 1 $6 Astros
Brett Anderson P Rockies 26 1 $8 1 $7 Cubs
Rickie Weeks 2B Brewers 32 1 $8 2 $12 Marlins
Chad Billingsley P Dodgers 30 1 $6 1 $5 Dodgers
Chris Young P Mariners 35 1 $6 1 $5 Mariners
Gavin Floyd P Braves 31 1 $6 1 $5 Padres
Rafael Soriano P Nationals 34 1 $6 2 $14 Tigers
Delmon Young DH/OF Orioles 29 1 $5 1 $3 Blue Jays
Chris Young OF Yankees 31 1 $4 1 $5 White Sox
Mark Reynolds 1B/3B Brewers 31 1 $3 1 $4 Orioles
Josh Johnson P Padres 30 1 $3 1 $5 Padres
Ichiro Suzuki OF Yankees 41 1 $3 1 $5 Tigers
Chris Capuano P Yankees 36 1 $3 1 $4 Yankees

Overall, I have teams spending a few hundred million more than the crowd does, mostly because I think the crowd was too low on the top-end guys. But if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that most of these guesses are going to end up being very, very wrong.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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PWR
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PWR
1 year 6 months ago

as a sox fan, totally agree. i have them signing two of Liriano, Masterson, Santana and Mccarthy.

Stringer Bell
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Stringer Bell
1 year 6 months ago

If the Rockies sign HanRam, I will do a back flip off the statue of liberty and land on an upside down pogo stick clean.

chuckb
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chuckb
1 year 6 months ago

Better wear your cup, Stringer.

Schlom
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Schlom
1 year 6 months ago

Considering that Padres already had Volquez and he was absolutely terrible for them I’d highly doubt they sign him again.

Dave P
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Dave P
1 year 6 months ago

I normally love Cameron’s articles but his one made me laugh out loud. The Volquez prediction is Jim Bowden level ridiculous. Volquez was a train wreck in SD and was released in Sept of 2013. I am surprised he didn’t add Ryan Ludwick and Kip Wells to the list if he is going to troll Padres fans.

JP
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JP
1 year 6 months ago

So does Andrew Friedman have Dave Stewart on speed dial?

rob deer
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rob deer
1 year 6 months ago

Just want to say I like the team-by-team writeup format you used here — it’s a more interesting way to consume these kinds of lists because it gets at organizational decision-making.

Matt
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Matt
1 year 6 months ago

This question still hasn’t been answered. Why would the Red Sox sign Sandoval over Headley? The projections see Sandoval as a 3.0 WAR player with a 111 wRC+. They see Headley as a 4.1 WAR player with a 103 wRC+. I know offense ages better than defense, but Sandoval has aging concerns too. And you are buying that a team will pay $50M more for a worse player. That make no sense.

PWR
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PWR
1 year 6 months ago

seems like they are putting a big premium on having a lefty bat. Panda’s numbers against righties are pretty impressive, will help even out the sox. but i agree with your sentiment.

tz
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tz
1 year 6 months ago

Sandoval’s two years younger, and Dave has him getting 2 more years than Headley. So you are getting some value for the $50M extra you’re paying.

And if someone wants to get Sandoval, they’ll be competing with the Giants, who won’t let their biggest folk hero go without making him a hefty offer. I think he’s gonna be a big winner this winter.

Matt
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Matt
1 year 6 months ago

I think either Sandoval getting $110M is too high or Headley too low. I think the market sees them as relative equals. Sandoval is two years younger, but he is also fat,hasn’t been a great 3B in the past few years, is declining offensively, and has awful plate discipline. No exactly the type of guy I would want long term.

Avattoir
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Avattoir
1 year 6 months ago

He’s BIG BONED!

If a team truly fears Sandoval is fat, it won’t sign him. If anyone connected with a team pursuing Sandoval is reported calling him “fat”, he’ll not sign with that team.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
1 year 6 months ago

Matt, what makes you think the market sees them as relative equals? I think the market clearly values Sandoval higher than Headley. If he was on the trading block in July, do you think he’d net someone like Solarte? I have no doubt he’d bring back a significantly better piece.

And I haven’t seen any projected contract for Headley that’s in line with the expected contract for Sandoval. Part of it is that Headley’s value is mainly from defense, which isn’t paid as much as its more handsome cousin, offense. Another part is that Headley doesn’t have any hype around him. Sandoval is a 3-time champ who was a big part of his team’s success. In many people’s minds, Headley is seen as a disappointment after not approaching his production from a couple years ago.

In a way, he reminds me of Beltre after his Seattle days. He put up decent WAR in Seattle, but it was mainly defense, and it was a far cry from his monster season in LA.

Matt
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Matt
1 year 6 months ago

I think teams are smarter. I know hitters get paid more and Sandoval will get more money. But I think a team like the Red Sox realize 4 years of Headley is probably better than Sandoval.

There was a conservation of BP’s Effectively Wild of “Brand Names” vs. “Store Brand” players. I think Sandoval will get more because he is the “Brand Name”, but smart teams should realize Headley has the “active ingredients”. I mean Headley is projected for more than WAR than Sandoval than next year! Headley isn’t that much worse of a hitter,has better on base skills and is a much better defender. I mean Beltre is still chugging away and will probably eclipse Jeter is WAR before his contract is up.

bookbook
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1 year 6 months ago

I do think Sandoval will net much more than Headley. It’s possible that the Red Sox, Cubs, A’s, and now Dodgers aren’t the ones who will make that mistake, but Headley’s FA market just ain’t going to be in that league.

Red Five
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Red Five
1 year 6 months ago

“hasn’t been a great 3B in the past few years”

Stopped reading there.

Chicago Mark
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Chicago Mark
1 year 6 months ago

You do understand Dave states WAR may be accurate to maybe 2. I think because of the defensive metrics. These guys are relative equals at 3 and 4 WAR. Pablo is younger. Pablo gives more of the metric (hitting) that buyers look at. And Pablo has the three rings. He may not be worth 50mm more but all else points to him getting it.

Matt
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Matt
1 year 6 months ago

Red Five, he has been a pretty mediocre 3rd basemen. He hasn’t put up above a 3.5 UZR/150 since 2011. He isn’t bad by any means, but Headley is elite and defensive decline could occur earlier for a player like Sandoval. It is a borderline miracle he can even be a decent third basemen with his body.

I mean, by WAR, he has basically been Martin Prado. Ryan Zimmerman got 6Y/$100M and I think that is reasonable for Sandoval given Zimmerman was elite and Sandoval is a free agent.

Famous Mortimer
Member
Member
1 year 6 months ago

He’s no more likely to get a big offer from San Fransisco than Pujols was to get one from St. Louis after a decade of extraordinary performance, in 2011. I mean, they went pretty big, but I think it was the normal side of “extraordinary”.

BobALong
Member
BobALong
1 year 6 months ago

How can you say Headley is a better player then Sandoval? Didn’t we all see,again, what a great clutch hitter he is, that he switch hits, that in Boston, his numbers will increase across the board,and his presence in a clubhouse. Pablo is the better player.

tz
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tz
1 year 6 months ago

Nothing too crazy here, though I still think Panda ends up staying with the Giants for 6 years and $120-125 million.

Stringer Bell
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Stringer Bell
1 year 6 months ago

“Nothing too crazy here…”

*Points hard at the Rockies section*

sam
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sam
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah, not just the trading of Tulo, but signing an aging player like Han Ram to replace him for 7/140? There’s no way Hanley is going to get that contract, and the Rox would be the last team to do it if it were to happen.

tz
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tz
1 year 6 months ago

Although every offseason, there has to be at least one head-scratcher, where a team shows its stupid factor. Maybe Dave was just trying to make this more realistic, and chose the Rox just to give the Phillies fans a break.

It's the Dodgers
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It's the Dodgers
1 year 6 months ago

Choo got 7/$130 million. Someone is going to do something similarly stupid.

tz
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tz
1 year 6 months ago

I can’t argue too hard against that, because it depends on the Rockies getting what they want in a trade for Tulo, which I don’t really see happening.

Maybe Dave should make a switch and have Hanley going to the Yankees for that deal, and A. Cabrera going to the Rockies as their SS for when Tulo is on the DL.

Anthony
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Anthony
1 year 6 months ago

While I like that for COL (Asdrubal, that is) there’s no way Cabrera goes there if he’s not guaranteed playing time, and with LeMahieu and Arenado entrenched as defensive wizards, and Tulowitzki still in the fold in that scenario, there’s no way Cabrera would want to go there. Colorado would want him, but it takes two.

Cicero
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Cicero
1 year 6 months ago

Lemahieu is a witch with the leather, but the bat makes him a perfect UT, would love to see ACab a 2B

phoenix2042
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phoenix2042
1 year 6 months ago

I think the Yankees don’t let McCarthy get away. And I don’t think they will spend that much on Robertson while they have betances.

Eno's Fro
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1 year 6 months ago

yeah just seems that if there were going to be an extension the sides would have worked something out already. Having Betances means that the Yankees are going to insist on DRob at their price or not at all. I think that means they can swallow the QO or maybe do a 2/22M deal. Above that and I think they let him walk.

David
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David
1 year 6 months ago

Why should (NOT “will”) the existence of Dellin Betances affect Robertson’s contract situation in any way shape or form?

Jake deBomb
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Jake deBomb
1 year 6 months ago

it’s called leverage. the Yankees have it.

Basebull
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Basebull
1 year 6 months ago

Man I’ve been a fan of the CWS front office’s moves; they seem too smart to guarantee Morales $9 mill.

mikecws91
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mikecws91
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah I don’t see a full-time DH in Chicago unless it’s V-Mart.

KCDaveInLA
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KCDaveInLA
1 year 6 months ago

Michael Morse on $10M/yr deal as a full-time DH, AND 39-year-old Torii Hunter? I thought trolling was up to the commenters. Dear Lord, I hope you are hillariously wrong…of course, this is the same GM who gave 3 years and actual money to Jose Guillen. And the Rockies trading Tulo to sign HanRam? To quote my niece, I can’t even right now. Of course, weird things do happen. Personally, I’m going with Hanley to the Mets, for roughly that same amount of money/years.

Anthony
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Anthony
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think the Mets have that type of money, and they’ve also got this franchise 3B dude entrenched at the hot corner, which will prevent Hanley from moving there as he’s going to finish his career as a Met.

KCDaveInLA
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KCDaveInLA
1 year 6 months ago

You’re probably right as far as the money goes, more than I am, but I still feel like the Mets will be involved in Hanley and Tulo somehow (unless they go for cheaper with Asdrubal Cabrera).

I still feel James Shields to the Cubs more than any other prediction. Pablo Sandoval might be the next Michael Bourn, in that he (and his agent) will have greatly overestimated his value.

Stinky Pete
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Stinky Pete
1 year 6 months ago

My biggest fear is that the Mets will sign Michael Cuddyer to a deal that makes the Chris Young signing look like “the good old days”.

Joe McMahon
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Joe McMahon
1 year 6 months ago

As a Yankees fan, I agree with most of your predictions, except I have them resigning McCarthy instead of Kuroda and possibly Lowrie instead of Asdrubal, although I could definitely see them going with Cabrera instead.

mikecws91
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mikecws91
1 year 6 months ago

Why would the White Sox sign both Rasmus and Young? They have Eaton in center, and Avisail Garcia needs a full season of at-bats in right. I’d rather give 4th OF to J.B. Shuck than spend $5 million on it.

Senor_Met
Member
Senor_Met
1 year 6 months ago

Curious as to why you don’t seem to think the Mets won’t go after a mid-tier SS, like Lowrie or Cabrera.

Eno's Fro
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1 year 6 months ago

Alderson has convinced the Wilpons that he can create a winner w/o spending their money. He just didn’t tell them it would take 10 yrs.

tvators
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tvators
1 year 6 months ago

Bc cabrera is terrible d and declining O, and lowrie prob better suited at 2b as well

David
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David
1 year 6 months ago

If the best other offer for Asdrubal Cabrera is only 2/22, I would expect that the Nats could add a few bucks or a 3rd year and persuade him to stay on 2B.

some dude
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some dude
1 year 6 months ago

I see the Nats hiring him only if he is available late and signs something like a 1/10 at 2b. Not that likely.

dude
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dude
1 year 6 months ago

As an Orioles fan, stop. Please stop.

tjk
Member
tjk
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t get these predictions for the O’s. There’s no way they go after Burnett. They have six starters as is, if anything they’ll trade a starter. If Davis gets ousted, they’ll happily put Steve Pearce there, no need at all for Mark Reynolds. That’s especially true if they resign both Cruz and Markakis, but I don’t think Cruz is coming back.

hookstrapped
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1 year 6 months ago

This,all of it

chuckb
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chuckb
1 year 6 months ago

I’d be surprised if Burnett isn’t an O next season.

dave gb
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dave gb
1 year 6 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if it were, sayyyy, like 2008 when they were the laughing stock of the AL East and Steve Tracshel was the #1 starter. There’s no need for “veteran presence” on the current staff (which is Burnetts only value now), just an Ace.

CH Smoot
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CH Smoot
1 year 6 months ago

$9MM for Masterson? I would think he would have to pay a team to give him a tryout

Bill D. Berger
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Bill D. Berger
1 year 6 months ago

Because he is just one year removed from posting 110 ERA+ with a 3.35 FIP. Some team will be will to take a $9MM bet that he will bounce back. Especially since the down year could be attributed to a knee issue and not an arm/shoulder injury.

Famous Mortimer
Member
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I’d want to pay less than $9 mill for that bet. He sucked out loud for St. Louis.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
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BenRevereDoesSteroids
1 year 6 months ago

My fellow Fangraphs commentists, let me play devil’s advocate here. Yes, the Rockies signing HanRam is a ridiculous idea. Yes, we would have every reason to call them gun jumping idiots for signing a 30 year old SS with bad defense to a massive contract despite needing to go into full rebuild mode.

But these are the Rockies we are talking about here. Their roster building plan revolves around not having a plan. Honestly, Cameron could have predicted that their only move this offseason would be trying to send Arenado to Korea for a $500,000 posting fee, and that would seem way more plausible than it has any right to.

Eno's Fro
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1 year 6 months ago

yeah in general I agree with a lot of these comments but strange things happen in FA. I bet a lot of other predictions would appear silly too (except mine of course). ;-)

Eminor3rd
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Eminor3rd
1 year 6 months ago

Wait, didn’t the Padres already decline Johnson’s $4m option? He’ll go back there for $3m?

Or was that a different team?

Hrkac Circus
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Hrkac Circus
1 year 6 months ago

He didn’t exactly prove himself this year. My guess is he takes what he can get, even if it is less than his option.

geo
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geo
1 year 6 months ago

You don’t think Cuddyer is going to take the qualifying offer from the Rockies?

Eno's Fro
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

oh yeah I forgot to mention that as well. I had that in the amusing column.

One thing to note is that Dave did say that they’re probably going to be hilariously wrong. I don’t think he’s going to disappoint on that. ;-)

Joe McMahon
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Joe McMahon
1 year 6 months ago

Even if he doesn’t take the QO offer, he’s going to resign there eventually or take a huge hit in salary from a team that has to give up a draft pick. I don’t see why a team would give up a draft pick for Cuddyer when Melky, Torri, Rios etc. all come without one.

Eno's Fro
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

It’s far more likely that the Rox deal Morneau to clear salary and 1B for Cuddyer. That’s most likely the plan. I can’t see the wisdom of keeping Stubbs at some $8M either. And speculation has them making Rosario available also.

batin'
Guest
batin'
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think that I’m the only one who is appalled at the idea of the Red Sox potentially giving Pablo Sandoval 6/110… or even signing him at all for that matter. To be frank, the reason why I’m so concerned is that he is probably among the 3 biggest fat guys in the game, and for a 3rd baseman that’s pretty scary.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
1 year 6 months ago

s’alright, Cartman said in the earlier comments that he was NOT fat but rather BIG BONED.

Babe Ruth
Guest
Babe Ruth
1 year 6 months ago

Eating your way to the top is a tried and tested method.

Billy Beane
Guest
Billy Beane
1 year 6 months ago

We’re not selling jeans.

Jimmer
Guest
Jimmer
1 year 6 months ago

‘Phil Hughes aside, their recent forays into the free agent market haven’t gone so well, so I’m expecting a change of plans this winter, with no big free agent signings.’

I’m guessing this is sarcasm, because Nolasco is the biggest free agent signing they’ve ever had. Before that, the biggest was Willingham. A change of plans would be to actually make a big free agent signing for once.

smocon
Member
smocon
1 year 6 months ago

Scherzer to the Cubs made sense to me until someone pointed out his FB/HR rate and then took a look at katron.org and found that Scherzer in Wrigley Field might not work out very well.

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 6 months ago

Smocon, the temperature and wind and Wrigley makes it play a lot difference than dimensions

Jay Pagliaro
Guest
Jay Pagliaro
1 year 6 months ago

San Diego already did the Volquez dance and it was dreadful.. Dreadful to such a level that the Padres told him to get lost. I’d imagine San Diego isn’t going to make a point to bring him back, no matter how good his 2014 in Pittsburgh was. Also, the Angels have just under $10 million of wiggle room without going over the luxury tax threshold, and Jerry DiPoto seems unwilling to go over it. They’d need a ton of creativity to give Lester what he wants. If the Angels get a pitcher, it’s gonna be more likely a Morrow type pitcher who would be on the low end of the price scale.

afnj
Guest
afnj
1 year 6 months ago

Melky signs almost the same deal as Rasmus???

jim fetterolf
Guest
jim fetterolf
1 year 6 months ago

Torii Hunter in the K, that is hysterical. Santana is possible but don’t see him signing early and cheap, and Royals don’t need an RH DH, instead rotating Salvy and Cain through the spots, but do need an LH DH platoon filler with at least Butler 1B skills.

M W
Guest
M W
1 year 6 months ago

Some of these dollar amounts are absurd IMHO. The Rasmus / Melky numbers seem bizarre, Drew too, and Morales at 9 million as well is bonkers.

Lolz
Guest
Lolz
1 year 6 months ago

This whole article is pretty absurd. It looks like he just sat down and projected who 5 teams( CHC, BOS, NYY, LAA, LAD) and then for the rest of the players and teams he just randomly alotted players to them.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
1 year 6 months ago

I’m just curious where Dave sees Tulo being traded to, and for what.

fjtorres
Guest
fjtorres
1 year 6 months ago

TIGERS, for Iglesias and their entire farm system.
That’s after they miss out on Vmart and Scherzer.

MrKnowNothing
Guest
MrKnowNothing
1 year 6 months ago

HanRam to the BoSox. He can play SS or 3B depending on how prospects pan out.

Cory S.
Guest
Cory S.
1 year 6 months ago

They really need a lefty who has some pop. Pablo is younger and a better defender.

Weston Taylor
Member
Weston Taylor
1 year 6 months ago

If the Rockies traded Tulo, why would they sign Hanley Ramirez? Doesn’t make sense.

Graphfans
Guest
Graphfans
1 year 6 months ago

Would you rather have Tulo, or prospects + HanRam? He’s saying they’d use the money they save to sign HanRam.

Weston Taylor
Member
Weston Taylor
1 year 6 months ago

Hmm, would I rather have an injury prone SS with GOOD defense for 7 years/$20 m per, or an injury prone SS with BAD defense for 7 years/$20 m per year? If the Rockies are rebuilding, this move doesn’t make sense at all due to the age of Ramirez.

dave gb
Guest
dave gb
1 year 6 months ago

Burnett isn’t going to the Orioles. They already have 6 starters.

Terry Roberts
Guest
Terry Roberts
1 year 6 months ago

Guess that is why I am not a manager nor a g.m., but why do the Royals need to sign another outfielder? Dyson showed he can hit and really be good on defense so that with him in the lineup regular, gives more speed to the Royals attack.

Cory S.
Guest
Cory S.
1 year 6 months ago

I would think it gives them more offense and also helps their guys to develop.

gg
Guest
gg
1 year 6 months ago

projected 83 wRC+ and had an 85 in limited PAs. but ya sure he showed he can hit..

Robert Berberena
Guest
Robert Berberena
1 year 6 months ago

Pretty good, but the money that you predict for H. Ramirez and C Headley is ridiculous. Ramirez is pretty old already is injury prone and has bad defensive skills. The $ that you are predicting for Headley is top money for a guy that does not have power and his average is mediocre. Are the owners that stupid? Oh boy, yes they are!

nilbog44
Member
nilbog44
1 year 6 months ago

Oakland A’s “They need a shortstop.” Huh? They are set for years. They have Addison Russell. Oh wait nvm they made that horrible trade

Max
Guest
Max
1 year 6 months ago

Trust in La Russa

Trust in La Russa

Trust in La Russa

francis
Guest
francis
1 year 6 months ago

I think the Yankees will target Lester, and get him. They need left handed pitching, which plays better in Yankee Stadium, especially when juxtaposed against Fenway. They may also target Miller for the same reason.

A Miller, Betances, Robertson pen sounds really good.

I don’t know which team does this, but I look for Brandon Morrow to be remolded as a Wade Davis. If healthy he has a great arm, but always looked overextended in his starts. Provided he is not physically done, he seems to fit the 7th and sometimes 8th inning mold.

francis
Guest
francis
1 year 6 months ago

I thought the Angels clearing out Conger is a clear sign that Martin is their #1 guy. Is that flawed logic ?

Bill
Guest
Bill
1 year 6 months ago

Chris Iannetta has had a few solid years playing a majority of the season for them. He’ll either see his play time increase, or the Angels will try out some young catchers for the 40% of the season Iannetta doesn’t usually play.

Angels need to focus on rotation depth. Jered Weaver turns 32, and his fastball slows even more. Garret Richards and Matt Shoemaker obviously had fantastic seasons, but how much money would you put on them doing it a second time? C.J. Wilson is a toss-up as always. Hector Santiago will probably be a solid number 3 or four. After this somewhat shaky lot, there’s not much depth to be found.
Lester might be possible if Howie Kendrick and/or David Freese are traded. Otherwise, I expect them to pick up one or two back of the rotation arms and hope it all works out similar to this past season. If it looks grim at the beginning, I like Jerry Dipoto’s ability to find deals mid-season as is evidenced his near complete rebuild and 180 turnaround of the bullpen last July.

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 6 months ago

If the Pirates lose Martin, Liriano, and on a lesser-level Volquez, and only sign Masterson, that will be disappointing.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
1 year 6 months ago

Why would the Padres sign more pitchers!? We already have enough in-house pitching options! And why would we sign Edinson Volquez, who we already released once? Idiot.

naz51j
Guest
naz51j
1 year 6 months ago

a lot of people think the A’s will sign stephen drew, why? they know him so well, and that’s a good enough reason not to sign him…been there, done that! nuff said! i like the howie kendrick idea much better…

Phil
Guest
Phil
1 year 6 months ago

Padres don’t need more pitchers! Our arms are stacked! Our bats are stacked in the toilet! You have no credibility suggesting that we only sign a bunch of pitchers, especially Volquez who we already had once and released.

hbar
Guest
hbar
1 year 6 months ago

Ryan, meet Phil. Phil, Ryan. Oh, you’ve met! already!?

Tony
Guest
Tony
1 year 6 months ago

Your Orioles predictions are pretty off base. Signing Markakis, for sure. Maybe Cruz if 3 year deal only. No way they trade Davis as they would be trading very low (too bad they didn’t trade him last winter), Mark Reynolds? No way. Steve Pearce will back up Chris Davis at first. AJ Burnett obviously not (thank God). I think the Orioles may end up
signing another left hander for the bullpen to replace Miller who will not be affordable and Matusz who will likely be
DFAd or dealt for very little. They also want to upgrade their backup utility from Ryan Flaherty and this may come from Rey Navarro or other minor signings before spring training. Basically, the Orioles of 2015 hopefully get a healthy Machado, Wieters and any improvement by Davis will be gravy, and if Dave Wallace can straighten out Ubaldo over the winter/spring that would be amazingly helpful. These additions (along with a stepped up Gausman and Bundy maybe by September) would be a bigger boost than any team signing free agents will get on the market.

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