2016 Top 50 Free Agent Predictions

Yesterday, Carson Cistulli revealed the results of our Contract Crowdsourcing project, listing the aggregate salary projected for 82 different free agents this winter. The project is a very useful tool to get an understanding of what a broad spectrum of perspectives see as fair market value, but the nature of aggregation means that the totals — especially on the high-end — will almost always end up being a bit lower than what the players actually sign for. After all, players don’t sign for the median value of all of their offers; they take the highest one, in most cases.

So, as a follow-up, I’ve put together my predictions for the 50 largest free agent contracts signed this winter. I did this last year too, though I took some pretty big wild guesses when it came to putting players and potential teams together, so some of my guesses look pretty ridiculous in hindsight. I did get a few contract terms right, and managed to match the Yankees with Chase Headley and had the Tigers re-signing Victor Martinez, but we’ll see if we can clear last year’s pretty low bar.

Obviously, this is mostly just for fun, since predicting what teams will do in advance is very difficult. But it also serves as a chance to talk about what I think teams may do in general this winter, even if the specific players end up going elsewhere. As we did last year, we’ll go team by team, then put the full table of contracts at the end. Just for fun (or because that’s how I sorted the list in Excel), we’ll go in alphabetical order of team nickname.

Anaheim Angels

The Angels have a couple of glaring needs on offense, with weaknesses at second and third base as well as in left field, and their line-up leans too right-handed, so I’d expect them to pursue left-handed hitters at two of those three spots. The lefty hitting free agent market isn’t great this year, so I’m betting on a trade for a guy like Carlos Gonzalez, but with their 2B/3B weakness and desire for a lefty who can hit near the top of the order, they’re a very good fit for Daniel Murphy, who can flex between the two positions depending on how the market develops for other options at those spots. After his strong second half and postseason, I expect Murphy will cost $48 million over four years.

Houston Astros

The Astros have a pretty glaring hole at the corner infield positions, and certainly aren’t afraid of high-strikeout hitters who make up for their lack of contact with longballs. Assuming they’re not going to pivot towards a more contact oriented offense, that makes them a great fit for Chris Davis, and his opposite field power would likely play very well in Minute Maid Park. I’ve got him costing $130 million over five years, so he’ll serve as the team’s big addition this winter, with Scott Kazmir (3/$42M) and Ryan Madson (3/$15M) rounding out their off-season spending.

Oakland Athletics

Chase Utley is likely going to want to play for a west coast team, and luckily for him, several of them need a second baseman for 2016. I came very close to putting Utley in Anaheim, but decided that he might be more of an A’s type of player at this point, and so I’ve slotted in for $8 million on a one year deal to play in Oakland. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he ended up in Anaheim or San Diego either.

Toronto Blue Jays

With a bunch of departures from the pitching staff, Mark Shapiro’s primary task this winter is going to be to add some rotation depth. I expect them to re-sign Marco Estrada for $33 million over three years, then add another quality innings eater in Ian Kennedy, though his ability to miss bats will cost a little more: $42 million over the same three year term. I’d also expect them to bring back Dioner Navarro at $10 million over two years, and then do the rest of their work through trades.

Atlanta Braves

This is one of those picks that I’m guessing a lot of people are going to make, because the connections seem pretty obvious. The Braves need a catcher, and are looking to build their roster for 2017, so they’re not necessarily focused on adding the most wins possible in the short-term. Matt Wieters, who grew up in South Carolina and went to school at Georgia Tech, is pretty much the only significant catcher on the free agent market this winter, and coming off a lost season, he presents an opportunity for a team to buy low if they can take the risk of betting on a bounce-back season. The Braves have that opportunity, and with a protected first round pick, can sign a guy who received a qualifying offer at a lesser price than some other clubs. So I’ll put Wieters in Atlanta for $64 million over four years, which leaves them enough room to also add David Freese (3/$33M) to fill the third base hole, now that Hector Olivera is heading to the outfield.

St. Louis Cardinals

Their off-season will be determined by how aggressive they’ll be in re-signing Jason Heyward. Given their outfield depth, I’ve previously expected Heyward to go elsewhere, but in looking it over, I think the team may prefer to retain Heyward; he’s young enough to grow with their core, and provides the kind of skillset that they value as much as anyone else in baseball. My guess is that he comes up just shy of $200 million, signing for $195 million over nine years, but the Cardinals include an opt-out after the fourth year in order to get him to take a little less than the highest bidder and stay in St. Louis. I also have them retaining John Lackey, though he’ll get a nice raise up to $26 million over the next two years.

Chicago Cubs

Theo Epstein made it pretty clear in his end-of-season press conference that they’d like to add another quality starting pitcher and retain Dexter Fowler, so I have them doing both. Fowler stays in Chicago for $56 million over four years — maybe leaving some money on the table to stay in a situation he likes — and the team then makes seven year, $145 million push for Johnny Cueto, who they’ve seen dominate the NL Central for years. While the team will be linked to David Price because of the Joe Maddon connection, I think Cueto at a discount makes a bit more sense, saving budget room for them to make a run at re-signing Jake Arrieta this winter as well.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Dave Stewart has made it clear that he wants to make a big splash in the rotation, adding a frontline starter, but I’ve got all the frontline pitchers signing elsewhere, leaving the Diamondbacks to try and sell former ASU pitcher Mike Leake as their new ace. Leake will certainly cost less than the higher tier of arms available this winter, as I’ve got him signing for $80 million over five years, but he’s still a quality starter who can help solidify the D’Backs rotation. He’s not an ace, and with a pitch-to-contact skillset he likely never will be, but he’s a good pitcher, and Arizona needs some good pitchers.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are maybe the hardest team in baseball to predict, as they seem to always be working on complicated trades, often focusing on depth over star power. But I’d expect they’ll make a big effort to retain Zack Greinke, one of the three best players on the market this winter, especially since he’ll likely be one of the elite talents that will be obtainable on a shorter commitment. I have Greinke getting $160 million over five years, so he won’t be cheap, but it’s a fair price for what Greinke can do on the field. I also put them down for $76 million over four years to sign Ben Zobrist, who fits well into their mold of versatile players who can fill multiple positions, though he’d probably mostly play second base in LA. Steve Pearce at 1/$8M also fits the Dodgers mold to round out their additions, and I have them bringing back Brett Anderson for $28 million over two years. Plus, they’ll probably make five or six trades just for the fun of it.

San Francisco Giants

With a strong homegrown infield, the Giants look like they should be able to contend for a while, but they’ll need a better rotation than they had in 2015, so I’m penciling Jordan Zimmermann in as their big free agent buy this winter. He’ll cost nearly as much as Cueto — I have him signing for $140 million over seven years — but he fits the mold of what the Giants look for in a pitcher, as a guy who pounds the strike zone and uses his defense to get outs. I also have them spending modestly on Tony Sipp (2/$10M) to add a quality left-hander to the bullpen, since Jeremy Affeldt retired.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians need a center fielder, and preferably one who can hit for a little bit of power, as their line-up leans a bit too much towards slap-hitting at the moment. That combination isn’t super easy to find this winter, but Colby Rasmus does provide enough defense to cover the position and some legitimate thump in his bat, so I have the Indians adding Rasmus for $42 million over three years.

Seattle Mariners

New GM Jerry DiPoto has talked about getting more athletic in the outfield, which isn’t hard when your baseline is upgrading from Nelson Cruz and Mark Trumbo. I’d expect DiPoto to try and model the team more like the Royals, using their big ballpark to try and win with pitching and defense, so Denard Span makes sense as a center field upgrade, and coming off a series of injuries, his price won’t be exorbitant; I estimated $30 million over three years. Alejandro de Aza (2/$8M) also fits as a depth piece in the outfield, and since I don’t have them spending too much on those upgrades, that leaves enough room to re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma for $45 million over three years, plus bring Chris Iannetta (2/$10M) north to give the organization some catching depth.

New York Mets

Coming off a World Series run, the Mets big glaring needs are for an upgraded infield defense and better depth in the bullpen. Ian Desmond might not seem like an obvious fit for a team that’s looking for improved glovework, but he’s a decent enough defensive shortstop even with more errors than you’d like, and signing Desmond would allow the team to move Wilmer Flores to second base, where he’d be an upgrade over Daniel Murphy. Desmond also would replace some of the power the team will lose by letting Yoenis Cespedes go, so he checks a few boxes at the same time; even coming off a down season, I’d imagine there will be enough interest in Desmond for him to get $85 million over five years. The rest of the money will be spent on relievers, with Darren O’Day (4/$32M) being the best available setup guy this winter, and Shawn Kelley (3/$18M) providing another high strikeout arm to bridge the gap from the rotation to Jeurys Familia.

Washington Nationals

While the Nationals are going to lose a lot of impact talent this winter, they’ve got some good young talent mostly ready to step in and fill some voids, so I’m expecting their off-season shopping will be more about finding depth pieces to help fill the gaps if the kids don’t prove quite up to the task. On the infield, that means reuniting with Asdrubal Cabrera (2/$20M), as he can play either shortstop or second base depending on what the team wants to do with Trea Turner to start the year. In the outfield, Will Venable (1/$5M) fits the mold as a guy who can split time with Michael Taylor in center field and provide depth in the corner spots. They’ll also likely make some trades to re-shape their bullpen.

Baltimore Orioles

The O’s are going to lose a lot of talent this winter, and with so many guys exiting, I’m guessing Dan Duquette decides to take a reset year, looking for younger talent he can pick up in trades to fill out the roster while building back up for 2017. But they’ll need a pitcher to help stabilize the rotation in the meantime, so I’ve put them down as the landing spot for J.A. Happ, who I’m guessing will sign for $24 million over three years.

Pittsburgh Pirates

If you’re a pitcher looking to rediscover yourself after a down season, make your way to Pittsburgh. That’s exactly what Doug Fister should do, putting his faith in Ray Searage to help him rebuild his value. I think there will be enough interest in Fister that he won’t come super cheap, signing for $13 million on a one year deal, but it’s the kind of risk/reward play that makes sense for the Pirates.

Texas Rangers

Jon Daniels has downplayed the idea of making another big splash this winter, saying they did most of their heavy lifting by acquiring Cole Hamels at the trade deadline, but I’m slotting them in as the team to sign Yoenis Cespedes anyway. He won’t come cheap — $150 million over seven years — but they’ve openly coveted a right-handed slugger to balance out their overly left-handed line-up, and given Shin-Soo Choo‘s strong second half, they could probably move some of Choo’s remaining contract to help create room for Cespedes if they wanted to. Or they could keep Choo and try to put the best 2016 team on the field they can, worrying about the long-term ramifications of those deals at a later date. Either way, I find it hard to see them sitting out an off-season where the exact kind of player they want is available.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are probably setup to have the most interesting off-season of any team in baseball, given Dave Dombrowski’s desire to quickly turn the roster over and put a winner on the field in 2016. The Red Sox have historically been averse to giving long-term deals to starting pitchers, but in this case, I think they’ll agree to do so for David Price; giving them a dominating #1 starter who has had plenty of success in the AL East before. I’m expecting him to sign the Max Scherzer deal without the deferrals, so that would put him at $215 million over seven years. It’s a high price to pay, and maybe the Red Sox will trade for a #1 starter instead, but given that it’s hard to figure out exactly which aces might be available in trade, I’ve got Domwbrowski penciled in to to throw money at a guy we know he likes. Most other additions will come through trade, but I also have them signing Mark Lowe (2/$12M) to add some velocity and strikeouts to the Red Sox bullpen.

Cincinnati Reds

To be honest, I don’t really know what the Reds are doing. They should be blowing the team up and starting over, given the strength of the NL Central, but they decided to keep their group together at the trade deadline, and keeping Walt Jocketty around for a final year doesn’t seem like the move you’d make if you were going to rebuild. So, maybe they will trade Aroldis Chapman, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips this winter, going young and playing for the future, but for now, I’ve just penciled them in for signing Gerardo Parra (2/$18M) to fill their left field hole.

Colorado Rockies

Mike Napoli‘s probably reaching the end of his career, but if he wants to extend it a bit longer, the Rockies have an opening at first base, and there are few better places for a guy like him to land if he wants to have some first half success before getting traded to a contender in the second half. At just $10 million for one year, I don’t expect Napoli to be expensive, and he’ll help offset the power the team will lose when they trade Carlos Gonzalez this winter.

Kansas City Royals

The World Champs are going to get a huge infusion of revenues from their postseason run, and while they’ll never be the Yankees or the Dodgers, Dayton Moore should have some money to spend this winter. Given the expected increases in cashflows over the next few years, I’m betting they’ll re-sign Alex Gordon, even though I have him costing $92 million over four years. And with Johnny Cueto departing, they’ll clearly need another starting pitcher, so I’m penciling them in for a mid-tier starter like Yovani Gallardo at the mid-tier price of $56 million over four years.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers need some rotation depth and a center fielder; this is a good winter to be buying both things, though Al Avila is talking about spending less than they have previously, so we’re probably going to see some philosophical changes in Detroit. For starters, I’ve put them down for Wei-Yin Chen at 4/$64M; Chen is an underrated hurler who won’t cost as much as the high-end options. In center field, I figure Austin Jackson might want to go back to where he had his most successful years to try and rebuild his value, and have him taking a 2/$24M deal to return to the Tigers.

Minnesota Twins

The team’s surprisingly strong first half faded a bit down the stretch, as closer Glen Perkins ran into some troubles and the team’s lack of bullpen depth didn’t give them many options besides hoping he’d get it turned around. My guess is they address that problem this winter, and Joakim Soria makes sense as a guy who could pitch the eighth but also give them some insurance in case Perkins’ problems linger. At $21 million over three years, Soria should fit into the Twins budget.

Chicago White Sox

Undeterred by a pretty lousy 2015 season, the White Sox still seem to want to contend while they have Chris Sale and Jose Abreu locked up, so I’d expect another aggressive offseason from Rick Hahn this winter. Howie Kendrick would provide a substantial upgrade at second base, and at $48 million for three years, won’t entirely break the bank. Mat Latos on a one year deal for $10 million to work with Don Cooper and try to live up to his potential seems to make some sense, and then I’m also giving them Alex Avila and the outfielding Chris Young on 2/$10M deals to provide some depth that the team lacked a year ago, while Alexei Ramirez comes back for $6 million on a one year deal to bridge the gap to Tim Anderson.

New York Yankees

Brian Cashman is again downplaying the idea of the Yankees being big players for the high-end of the market, but my guess is that, as the winter goes on, they’ll find a trade partner for either Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner, which will create some room for them to pursue Justin Upton. At $140 million over seven years, he won’t be cheap, but he’s a consistent above average player with enough years left in his prime that the Yankees could see him as a guy to build around, and different enough from their prior expenditures on aging players that they could justify the cost. Likewise, I think they’ll take a bet on Jeff Samardzija as a bounce-back guy, but there will be enough interest in him that he’ll still require five years, with the total commitment costing $75 million to bring him to New York. In both cases, the Yankees would be betting on talent over recent performance, but if they can get those two back to what they were previously, those prices could look like bargains in 12 months.

And now, as promised, the full list, with my expected contracts listed along with the median numbers from the crowdsourcing project. DC are my numbers, CC are the crowd’s numbers. Now we just wait a few months and see how many wrong I get this year.

Top 50 Free Agent Predictions
Player Position Team DC Years DC AAV DC Total CC Years CC AAV CC Total
David Price LHP Red Sox 7 $31 $215 7 $28 $196
Jason Heyward OF Cardinals 9 $22 $195 8 $23 $184
Zack Greinke RHP Dodgers 5 $32 $160 6 $26 $156
Yoenis Cespedes OF Rangers 7 $21 $150 6 $22 $132
Johnny Cueto RHP Cubs 7 $21 $145 6 $22 $132
Jordan Zimmermann RHP Giants 7 $20 $140 6 $21 $126
Justin Upton OF Yankees 7 $20 $140 6 $20 $120
Chris Davis 1B Astros 5 $26 $130 5 $20 $100
Alex Gordon OF Royals 4 $23 $92 5 $18 $90
Ian Desmond SS Mets 5 $17 $85 4 $15 $60
Mike Leake RHP Diamondbacks 5 $16 $80 4 $14 $56
Ben Zobrist 2B Dodgers 4 $19 $76 3 $14 $42
Jeff Samardzija RHP Yankees 5 $15 $75 4 $16 $64
Matt Wieters C Braves 4 $16 $64 4 $12 $48
Wei-Yin Chen LHP Tigers 4 $16 $64 4 $13 $52
Dexter Fowler OF Cubs 4 $14 $56 4 $14 $56
Yovani Gallardo RHP Royals 4 $14 $56 4 $14 $56
Daniel Murphy 2B Angels 4 $12 $48 4 $12 $48
Scott Kazmir LHP Astros 3 $16 $48 3 $14 $42
Howie Kendrick 2B White Sox 3 $16 $48 4 $13 $52
Hisashi Iwakuma RHP Mariners 3 $15 $45 3 $14 $42
Ian Kennedy RHP Blue Jays 3 $14 $42 3 $12 $36
Colby Rasmus OF Indians 3 $14 $42 3 $12 $36
Marco Estrada RHP Blue Jays 3 $11 $33 3 $12 $36
David Freese 3B Braves 3 $11 $33 2 $9 $18
Darren O’Day RHP Mets 4 $8 $32 3 $7 $21
Denard Span OF Mariners 3 $10 $30 3 $12 $36
Brett Anderson LHP Dodgers 2 $14 $28 3 $11 $33
John Lackey RHP Cardinals 2 $13 $26 2 $15 $30
J.A. Happ LHP Orioles 3 $8 $24 3 $11 $33
Austin Jackson OF Tigers 2 $12 $24 3 $10 $30
Joakim Soria RHP Twins 3 $7 $21 2 $7 $14
Asdrubal Cabrera SS Nationals 2 $10 $20 3 $9 $27
Shawn Kelley RHP Mets 3 $6 $18 2 $4 $8
Gerardo Parra OF Reds 2 $9 $18 3 $8 $24
Ryan Madson RHP Astros 3 $5 $15 1 $5 $5
Doug Fister RHP Pirates 1 $13 $13 2 $10 $20
Mark Lowe RHP Red Sox 2 $6 $12 2 $4 $8
Dioner Navarro C Blue Jays 2 $5 $10 2 $6 $12
Tony Sipp LHP Giants 2 $5 $10 2 $5 $10
Chris Iannetta C Mariners 2 $5 $10 2 $6 $12
Mike Napoli 1B Rockies 1 $10 $10 2 $9 $18
Mat Latos RHP White Sox 1 $10 $10 2 $11 $22
Alex Avila C White Sox 2 $5 $10 2 $6 $12
Chris Young OF White Sox 2 $5 $10 2 $6 $12
Chase Utley 2B Athletics 1 $8 $8 1 $8 $8
Steve Pearce OF Dodgers 1 $8 $8 2 $6 $12
Alejandro De Aza OF Mariners 2 $4 $8 2 $6 $12
Alexei Ramirez SS White Sox 1 $6 $6 2 $8 $16
Will Venable OF Nationals 1 $5 $5 2 $6 $12


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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Speechless Shirtless Bartolo Colon
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Speechless Shirtless Bartolo Colon
6 months 19 days ago

Not even $5 million Dave? Really??

Roger
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Roger
6 months 19 days ago

Tony Sipp to the Giants? Makes no sense with Lopez and Osich already in the pen. Not paying $5M for a 3rd lefty.

Ben K
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Ben K
6 months 19 days ago

Because having 3 good ones hasn’t worked for them the past 5 yrs?

Roger
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Roger
6 months 19 days ago

My point is the money can be used more efficiently elsewhere. Also have another strong lefty arm in Steven Okert on the way.

SF 55 for life
Member
SF 55 for life
6 months 19 days ago

agreed

Mike
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Mike
6 months 18 days ago

Don’t see why any team wouldn’t be interested in Sipp. He isn’t a lefty specialist. In fact, over the last 3 years, he has been better against righties than lefties.

Harry Arrieta
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Harry Arrieta
6 months 19 days ago

As a Cubs fan I would be extremely disappointed if we got Cueto. Id actually rather swim with the Shark again and then trade for a controlled young arm as well.

brian
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brian
6 months 19 days ago

I’d love to see Cueto in Chicago. He’s quite good. 7 years though, is a bit uncomfortable. Much prefer to see a 5 or 6 year deal. 5 year deal with a bit of a higher AAV would be great.

But that might not be possible if someone will offer him 7.

John W.
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Member
John W.
6 months 19 days ago

Not the Shark!

JayT
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JayT
6 months 19 days ago

Yeah, it sure would be disappointing to get a durable four win player. Just terrible.

I think that Cueto will end up being the best value of any of the big name free agent pitchers this year, and I would love to see the Cubs get him. What about him concerns you?

JABO on FOX
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JABO on FOX
6 months 19 days ago

He’s a dirty player that would sully the Cubs reputation.

Harry Arrieta
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Harry Arrieta
6 months 19 days ago

It’s not that he concerns me, even with having missed 30 combined starts in a couple of his previous seasons. It’s the years. It’s the fact we have 5 more of Lester.

Shark was a 4 win player for us in 14 and still a 3 win player with struggles this year, that can be largely attributed to a repertoire shift. He tried pitching to contact in the name of efficiency, but the Sox defense was disgusting, worst in baseball. Cubs were fantastic and a lot more of those balls in play will be converted into outs.

Elite velocity, his splitter hasn’t lost movement, he’s a thoroughbred, and he would probably save us a couple years and a couple million per season.

Sucks that he’d cost our first round pick but in could live with it. Shark was a good pitcher for the Cubs, especially as a starter.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
6 months 19 days ago

No Shark! I don’t want the Shark!

Kevin
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Kevin
6 months 19 days ago

That seems like the biggest head-scratcher to me. I realize that the list of pitcher who have gotten 7 figure deals isn’t all that long, but has a team ever given out two of them in back-to-back offseasons? Teams shoulder a lot of risk by giving out 1 of those contracts, so giving out 2 so close to one another seems like asking for financial problems somewhere down the line.

And then on top of that, their pitching was quite good this year. Even if all of their SPs regress, their rotation should still be in the top half of the league next year. Combined with all of their young position players, and it makes more sense that they if they wanted to upgrade, it would be smarter to do so via trade.

Oh Bearded Neck
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Oh Bearded Neck
6 months 19 days ago

CHN pitching almost certain to see regression, and potentially a lot: Arrieta’s not likely to put up historic numbers again; Lester’s not likely to keep approximating career highs at 32; Hammel’s 33 and has no signs pointing up; and they suffered pretty much no injuries of consequence. “All their pitchers regress” is almost a given, and a darker timeline still is far from an impossibility.

Trading to improve that area seems to only make sense if they’d rather spend on a position player to fill the traded-from hole. They had success leveraging depth for platoons, defensive substitutions, and rest days, and aren’t rostering any obvious conflicts. They also spent years building up a positional side that’s guaranteed to be affordable for the next 3-4 years, allowing them to leverage their financial might in an area of weakness. If they’re more comfortable signing Heyward for 26-34 than a 30+ year old pitcher to many years, bundling Soler with minor league assets for a young pitcher and signing Heyward to fill that space makes sense. But trading simply to avoid expense would be puzzling, considering they have plenty of resources they can use that aren’t actively contributing to the team.

Kevin
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Kevin
6 months 18 days ago

Obviously they could be terrible next year, but that applies to any team. We should expect regression, yes, but even with the expected regression, they should still be perfectly serviceable. Arietta can’t be expected to put up a 7+ WAR season, but a ~5 WAR season seems reasonable. 3.5 WAR from Lester seems fine. Combined with 2.5 WAR seasons from Hammel/Hendricks, and you are already looking at projected 13+ WAR, which is probably right around where the median will end up. And I would think those are all fairly conservative estimates.

Almost every other team has even more question marks than the Cubs do. PIT will be losing Burnett, Nats are losing Zimmerman. A lot of others will be having guys coming back from injury. The Cubs’ rotation, even with regression, is still in a better position than at least 20 other clubs.

So I don’t really see a good reason for the Cubs to run the risk of having 2 albatross contracts somewhere down the line. It makes more sense to me to send some package of Castro/Baez/Schwarber/etc. at the deadline next year to get a younger, cost-controlled starting pitcher, if they want to upgrade their rotation. Less risk, and deal from a position of strength.

Adam
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Adam
6 months 19 days ago

Do you mean 9 figure deals?

I think teams would welcome signing a starting pitcher to a 7 figure deal.

Kevin
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Kevin
6 months 18 days ago

Yes, meant 9-figure, my bad.

Tom
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Tom
6 months 19 days ago

I don’t see Fister as a fit for the pirates at all. Most of the guys they have “fixed” have been guys with good stuff and shaky command, like Volquez and Liriano, and to a lesser extent AJ Burnett. Fister is a righty who pitches in the mid-80s with his fastball.

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles
6 months 19 days ago

Latos is the guy most often mentioned.

Tom
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Tom
6 months 19 days ago

I think that makes much more sense.

brendan
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brendan
6 months 19 days ago

How is the world did you decide the Jays will resign Navarro for 2/10, just curious

Legion Coleke
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Legion Coleke
6 months 19 days ago

and not for that money. needs are pitching, pitching, pitching

kdl
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kdl
6 months 19 days ago

That’s not a lot of free agent money. Also, what pitching are you expecting the Jays to buy with 10m? Or even an extra 10m?

brendan
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brendan
6 months 19 days ago

A solid reliever they desperately need

Legion Coleke
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Legion Coleke
6 months 19 days ago

Lowe in bullpen for one

Legion Coleke
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Legion Coleke
6 months 19 days ago

Plus, keeping some money for deadline deals is also not a bad idea. 10M on Navarro is a waste.

kdl
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kdl
6 months 19 days ago

What solid reliever are they going to get for 2/10?

Mark
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Mark
6 months 19 days ago

Mark Lowe went for 12/2 so it’s not unreasonable to say they can’t get a decent guy for the money that Dave has being spent on Navarro.

Jesse
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Jesse
6 months 18 days ago

if they want Estrada they need to keep Navarro.

kdl
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kdl
6 months 19 days ago

Crowdsouring has him barely above this. Why is your concern with the 2/10 suggestion?

beest
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beest
6 months 19 days ago

Yeah, Navarro won’t re-sign with Jays. He’ll sign with a team that needs catching upgrade and for more than current $5M/yr.
I like Estrada for 3 yrs, but that risk is high. A guy like Leake would be a better long-term choice, but Jays always face trying to persuade players to come to Canada.
KRod is available by trade, but Jays really don’t have much to offer except off ML 25-man. If money is no object (which is always is) Jays should just sign Bastardo and Tommy Hunter for pen.

Blueyays
Member
Blueyays
6 months 19 days ago

Yeah, we have a starting catcher and Navarro wants to start. He was asking for a trade for much of the year, and Anthopoulos was trying to accommodate.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
6 months 19 days ago

Probably ties into the remarkable Navarro-Estrada partenership this year. And Navarro may decide he liked his role this year.

Jordan
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Jordan
6 months 18 days ago

That’s a non factor, the odds that Navarro and Estrada sign with a different team together are very slim so I don’t think that would be in the Jays thinking either. Navarro and Estrada will sign for the highest amount possible and likely to different teams. I do however think the Jays are a bit of a wild card, we know that AA saw Sanchez and Osuna as future starters, we don’t know that the new FO does as well. They also have very limited resources dedicated to the future, being as the limited prospect capital the Jays have to work with now I can see them going after 1 of the big fish like Cueto or Price but I personally would rather see them go Zimmermann/Estrada and have some flex for the bullpen and trade deadline.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
6 months 18 days ago

I think it’s most definitely a factor. Not an overriding one, but definitely one.

mario mendoza
Guest
mario mendoza
6 months 19 days ago

Utley to Oakland feels so obvious, for some reason. But I can’t say why. Maybe it’s the ghost of Eric Chavez.

Ullu ka Patta
Guest
Ullu ka Patta
6 months 19 days ago

It’s obvious because starting with David Justice and running through Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza, Oakland has become the place where storied careers go to play out the string.

Much like how Minnesota has become the place for pitchers no one else wanted.

WOW!
Guest
WOW!
6 months 19 days ago

Three examples!

Adam
Guest
Adam
6 months 19 days ago

Nomar Garciaparra, Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi coming back, Manny Ramirez (though he never cracked the big league roster) and depending on how high your bar for “storied career” goes, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Sweeney and Ben Sheets. And of course, Bartolo, except he did so well, he ended up going elsewhere after.

Enough examples yet, troll?

Sal from Paramus
Guest
Sal from Paramus
6 months 19 days ago

Zito too

Eric Karros
Guest
Eric Karros
6 months 19 days ago

you forgot me!

by jiminy
Guest
by jiminy
6 months 15 days ago

Pelfrey, Nolasco, Santana, Hughes, Correia, Worley, Pavano, Deduno, Marquis…oh, you meant the A’s?

Legion Coleke
Guest
Legion Coleke
6 months 19 days ago

Price is either staying with the Jays or going to LA if Greinke doesn’t sign. Postseason knocked his value down big time. Red Sox will sign Cueto.

beest
Guest
beest
6 months 19 days ago

No way Jays re-sign Price @ $30/yr. Their window is 2016 and Price commitment would far exceed that by 5 or 6 yrs.

DAKINS
Guest
DAKINS
6 months 19 days ago

Jays’s window is open long past 2016. They have the core of Martin, Tulo and Donaldson locked up long term, young arms like Stroman/Osuna, and will do all they can to keep EE and Bautista as well.

diegosanchez
Guest
diegosanchez
6 months 19 days ago

Rays with zero impact signings. So goes another offseason.

Dave
Guest
Dave
6 months 19 days ago

Rays “sign” Cobb back from injury. That’s a nice addition.

Brian
Guest
Brian
6 months 19 days ago

Postseason did next to nothing, or possibly nothing, to his value.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

Well, I can say that it’s not all crazy… :-)

Taking it from the top, I really don’t see the RedSox giving up the 12th pick. That would be the highest pick anyone has given up in this new system. And didn’t I read that Dombrowski has never built a team with a big FA splash? I could see Cueto there since it won’t cost a pick.

And I have a feeling the Giants will pursue Cespedes or Gordon hard. Evans just said they didn’t pick up Aoki’s option bc they didn’t want to commit to a LFer this soon. Pretty revealing remark. Actually Gordon is a pretty good fit for the Halos. It’s hard to see them come away with Carlos Gonzalez by trade unless they’re going to give up one of their premium SP prospects, Heaney, Newcomb or Skaggs.

Ian Kennedy to the Jays?? How many HRs would you expect him to give up there?

And a couple of outliers to me: How is the Desmond market anywhere near 5/$85M? And who is lining up to commit $200M to Justin Heyward?? This stretches the bounds of my imagination. And $16M for Howie Kendrick but just $9M for Gerardo Parra? That seemed out of whack to me.

Los
Guest
Los
6 months 19 days ago

Price won’t cost a pick either. He was traded mid-season.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

Point taken.

Yirmiyahu
Member
6 months 19 days ago

Correct. For that reason, Price (and Cueto/Leake/Samardzija/Kazmir) make sense for the Red Sox.

Draft pick aside, I can’t imagine the Epstein/Hoyer/Cherington/Hazen regime ever giving $200M to a pitcher. The question is whether Dombrowski will override the front office’s longstanding aversion to risk big money on pitchers. I know that Dombrowski has a reputation for building through trade, but what’s his history with giving big money to pitchers?

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

Shark will cost a pick. The amount it will take to sign Price seems unprecedented for the Sox but maybe they’ll want to keep him away from the Yankees. I see Cueto more in their wheelhouse.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

That and maybe a trade for Stras.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

He gave Verlander stupid money basically all for past performance.

Bill
Guest
Bill
6 months 19 days ago

They all make sense, and I think the Sox should also look to add Shields via trade. They have a lot of talented young arms and they need somebody to mentor them. Shields isn’t an ace, but he’s a workhorse and would probably come fairly cheap in a trade.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

I thought they were a lock to sign Shields a year ago… Panda and Shields. Hanley got in there and mucked things up a bit, eh?

Tulowitzki's Glove
Guest
Tulowitzki's Glove
6 months 19 days ago

Price wouldn’t cost a pick either as he was dealt in-season, similar to Cueto.

The Humber Games
Guest
The Humber Games
6 months 19 days ago

I believe Price wouldn’t cost a draft pick, because he was traded during the season

ESPN Breaking News
Guest
ESPN Breaking News
6 months 19 days ago

We have confirmed sources reporting that signing David Price will not result in a draft pick forfeiture.

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Guest
obsessivegiantscompulsive
6 months 15 days ago

I think you are misinterpreting Evans statement.

In his first post-season press conference, he noted the ambivalence of picking up Aoki’s option by noting that Blanco had a really good season. Putting that together with letting Aoki go and with the Giants really good lineup already in the other 8 spots (Posey, Belt, Panik, Duffy, Crawford, Pagan, Pence), I see the statement as stating that they have a great fall-back should they end up not getting a LF in free agency, hence the lack of need to commit to a LF right now.

Plus, Williamson, one of the Giants top OF prospects, is kicking butt in AFL right now, plus Parker had a nice performance this season in September. LF is covered, Aoki or no Aoki, and so is the lineup.

So the reading between the tea leaves part is that the Giants want to save the money to spend on other things. There was the talk of 1-2 SP for the rotation, plus Bochy has mentioned a couple of times that he wants a replacement for Affeldt (though I would hope that this is more that he likes having 3 lefties and not that he didn’t think Osich is that replacement; perhaps he didn’t want to put that pressure on Osich yet?). And with Greinke going free agent, the extra money available makes it possible to get a Greinke or Price without using up all the available spending budget that they have, to get a LHP or LF, depending on how things work out. Or they could go back to Aoki, he was available last January and he didn’t do anything this season different from what he did before and is a year older now.

Plus as last off-season showed, when Plan Ace fails, you go to Plan Pick Up Other Guys, and signed Peavy, Romo, Vogelsong, Aoki. So if Aoki is available, great, but the Giants are OK without him (though I would prefer picking him up, he was good in leadoff position for most of the season when he was healthy early on).

ZenMadman
Guest
6 months 19 days ago

Even if they sign Ian Desmond, I think the Mets will go with Dilson Herrera at 2B. Flores would be a back up plan and utility guy who can play at least 3 infield positions.

Jeff Not Sullivan
Guest
Jeff Not Sullivan
6 months 19 days ago

Please don’t let it be Desmond…I see Jason Bay all over again.

JKSmoove
Guest
JKSmoove
6 months 19 days ago

I don’t know what to make of Ian Desmond. He was pitiful on both sides of the ball for almost the whole season, other than a nice run in August which made his numbers look a little better cosmetically. Before this year he was a 4+ win player for three straight years. His strikeout numbers are headed towards Rob Deer territory. There’s some risk/reward there but the Mets do have some talented shortstops coming through the system– Gavin Cecchini might be almost ready to take the job over for a league minimum salary and the top position player prospect in the entire Mets system is another shortstop, Amed Rosario. If anything I would think a one-year deal might make sense for both Desi and the Mets, but a five-year deal seems like crazy talk.

ZenMadman
Guest
6 months 19 days ago

I definitely don’t see the Mets going this close to the stratosphere for Desmond, and I’m not sure they’ll sign anyone people consider a big ticket FA this winter. I was just commenting that IF they sign him (and Dave “predicts”), Flores is unlikely to be the main 2B for much of 2016 unless something goes wrong.

francis
Guest
francis
6 months 19 days ago

I just don’t see a team looking to improve their infield defense going for Ian Desmond. I see that the SS crop is weak, but I think they would be better off literally signing a pitcher and trading him for a defensive SS before I’d bother with Desmond.

NBH
Guest
NBH
6 months 18 days ago

Agree that the Desmond price tag is way too high and he is a poor fit for the Mets. They can start with Flores, Tejada and Herrera. I would like to see the Mets sign Span and make Lagares the fourth OF with Cuddyer the fifth OF and backup at 1b. Maybe package Duda and Wheeler for a 1b upgrade. I like the bullpen projected signings.

ZenMadman
Guest
6 months 18 days ago

If they sign Span and Lagares is healthy, then they make a really obvious platoon in CF.

seldomused
Member
seldomused
6 months 18 days ago

Desmond doesn’t fit into the Sandy Alderson approach to batting. I’m using this as a reason because I don’t want him on this team. We need to improve defense, not bring in another liability.

I’d rather us go hard after Gordon.

Emcee Peepants
Guest
Emcee Peepants
6 months 18 days ago

Is Desmond even an upgrade over Flores?

Flores: 304 wOBA, 95 wRC+, -3.3 UZR/150, 4.3 dWAR
Desmond: 294 wOBA, 83 wRC+, -3.7 UZR/150, 3.3 dWAR

Plus, Flores is 24 and dirt cheap while Desmond is 30 and will be $$$.

Buctober
Guest
Buctober
6 months 19 days ago

If I’m the pirates, I’d rather 3/24 for Happ than 1/13 for Fister.

Clemente's Ghost
Guest
Clemente's Ghost
6 months 19 days ago

Happ is more like $10-11 million per year. But yeah, $13 million for Fister is crazy.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
6 months 18 days ago

Not for 1 year. That’s less than 2 WAR worth for 1 year. There are very few bad 1 year contracts and this wouldn’t be one.

Kozy21
Guest
Kozy21
6 months 19 days ago

I see the Pirates as a dark horse for Samardzija. I actually hope you’re completely wrong on the Pirates. I think the Pirates are gonna go a little bigger than Fister. I think they are gonna sign a mid-tier pitcher at 3 or 4 years for around $13MM AAV. Similar to the Liriano contract. I could Kennedy or Kazmir landing with the Bucs over Fister.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
6 months 19 days ago

I doubt they have the payroll room for another 8 figure AAV deal unless they do move Walker and/or Pedro (They will get near $20 million combined). I doubt they will move either because the trade return wouldn’t be worth doing it. They could move Melancon if another team gets stupid enough to pay a good price and open up some payroll space.

Ullu ka Patta
Guest
Ullu ka Patta
6 months 19 days ago

I would expect the Pirates to go the low cost veteran route – they do have Glasnow and Taillon pretty much ready to go.

Tom
Guest
Tom
6 months 19 days ago

Taillon hasn’t pitched in a competitive game in 2 years. I do not think it is accurate to say he is “pretty much ready to go.”

Otter
Guest
Otter
6 months 19 days ago

I’m starting to get the feeling the White Sox might be bigger players in FA than many (myself included) thought. They saved somewhere between $3-9m by not bringing Alexei back and have roughly $50m to spend. There are a number of holes to fill, but they have a little roster flexibility too. If they find someone to take Danks (which will be difficult without taking money back), that frees up even more money.

Dave already pointed this out, but a Sox-Sox deal is fairly easy to sketch out. Also the Reds and White Sox are good trading partners depending on what the Reds are doing and who the Sox would move in their farm system… but Frazier, Phillips, and Bruce all fit a big need for the White Sox.

Otter
Guest
Otter
6 months 19 days ago

Oh also, the White Sox have a protected pick thanks to Seattle winning on the final day of the year, another reason why I think they may be going after one of the big outfield bats.

john cangelosi's moldy jock strap
Guest
john cangelosi's moldy jock strap
6 months 19 days ago

Watching from the other side of town, Daniel Murphy screams White Sox’ “Big Move”… they have a history of signing complimentary players with names that people know and trying to sell them to their fans as cornerstones.

I’m not a fan, but it amazes me the way they add C+ players to a B- team and tell everybody they’re going for it. They really need to develop a pla instead of polishing a turd every offseason.

cubs rock
Guest
cubs rock
6 months 18 days ago

Yeah, South side, pay more attention to the North side on how they win WS all the time.

john cangelosi's moldy jock strap
Guest
john cangelosi's moldy jock strap
6 months 18 days ago

Yeah, maybe I’ve been blinded by the Sox’ glowing history of success…

BDC
Guest
BDC
6 months 19 days ago

Heyward’s not getting past the Cubs at the price. Cubs will snag him and put him in center to replace Dexter. Heyward flanked by Baby Bull and Soler is the best outfield in baseball. I also have the Cubs signing Price. Arrieta, Price, Lester top of the rotation that can’t be beat.

My prediction on Cubs’ signings: Heyward – 10/225 (Chicago can pony up the money to avoid the opt-out), Price – 7/210, and maybe a guy like Cueto or Zimmermann as well.

Joe
Guest
Joe
6 months 19 days ago

Can people please stop making all of us Cubs fans look like idiots?

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
6 months 19 days ago

No, it’s just BDC. I’m surprised his head didn’t explode when the Mets, who according to him has zero chance, beat the Cubs. He probably drank a dozen or so of his crummy bottom-shelf martinis to drown away his sorrows and now he’s forgotten what an unbelievable idiot he is.

BDC
Guest
BDC
6 months 19 days ago

My martinis are top shelf made with Ford’s gin and Dirty Sue olive juice.

Mets got lucky. I’ve accepted it and am looking forward to next year.

cornflake5000
Guest
cornflake5000
6 months 19 days ago

He (BDC) certainly doesn’t speak for me. That’s a horrible plan

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
6 months 19 days ago

Sweet “best OF in baseball” and “best IF in modern baseball history”. BDC is doing a nice job making everyone hate Cubs fans.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
6 months 19 days ago

BTW, looking at Steamer that OF is not the best OF in the division.

HolyFish
Guest
HolyFish
6 months 19 days ago

Until proven otherwise, The best OF in baseball is Trout and 2 scrubs or Harper and two scrubs.

cornflake5000
Guest
cornflake5000
6 months 19 days ago

There are plenty of us out there that are aware of the Cubs’ limitations and flaws.

Otter
Guest
Otter
6 months 19 days ago

I’m not sure the Cubs are going to carry a $180m payroll next year.

tz
Guest
tz
6 months 19 days ago

+1 for the “Baby Bull” nickname.

Ullu ka Patta
Guest
Ullu ka Patta
6 months 19 days ago

Meh, I think Schwarber is somewhere else to start 2016. His stock has to be sky high right now – may as well trade him while you can at least pretend he can play catcher.

Thorn
Guest
Thorn
6 months 18 days ago

I have been thinking that a Schwarbo- Sonny Gray trade foundation could work. Schwarbo at DH and a little catcher; plus the A’s get the hitting they always crave. Beane trades Gray at his highest value and trade from a consistent strength.

kdl
Guest
kdl
6 months 19 days ago

Not as good of a player. But Wilin “Baby Bull” Rosario was there first.

Pedro Alvarez
Guest
Pedro Alvarez
6 months 19 days ago

I’m El Toro so good to know Schwarber won’t be as good as me.

Greg
Guest
Greg
6 months 19 days ago

What about Cespedes, Alex Gordon, Cueto, Upton and Zimmerman? I’m surprised you don’t have the Cubs signing them too.

Biff
Guest
Biff
6 months 19 days ago

Cubs ’16 payroll is already at $94.3 million including raises due to arbitration and not taking into account options being exercised.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2015-payroll-salaries.shtml

You seriously expect them to add another $70 million or so to that payroll this offseason?

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
6 months 19 days ago

You seriously expect them to add another $70 million or so to that payroll this offseason?

You don’t think that’s possible?

Epstein has been in Chicago for 3 (?) seasons now. They just won the LDS. Isn’t there a lot of pressure to go further than that? Can ANY NLC team (The Big 3) feel like they all won’t regress from the 100-98-97 wins last year?

I have said consistently than winning the LDS in 2015 might be the furthest this group of players goes together. It might be. If the Cubs never advance past the LCS as this group, won;t that be a huge disappointment?

The Cubs fans in my area have already prepared me (Cardinal fan) for the next 5-7 years of Cub domination because Cub Plans always work out as designed.

I digress, isn’t there a huge amount of pressure for the Cubs to improve the team and advance further than last year?

I would think that would lead to some big spending when they probably don’t need to. As a StL fan, I hope Theo spends money on veteran pitchers like he did in Boston.

I just don;t want the Cubs to sign Heyward because the improvement to the Cubs combined with the loss to the Cards (trying to replace Heyward) might be too much shift in the division to overcome.

Marge
Guest
Marge
6 months 19 days ago

A half-interesting comment, ruined by homerism.

%
Guest
%
6 months 15 days ago

because in your world, the Cubs can and should spend like George Steinbrenner

Ernie Camacho
Guest
Ernie Camacho
6 months 19 days ago

I don’t quite get the reasoning behind Colby Rasmus to the Indians. In light of the Mark Trumbo to Seattle piece you wrote, wouldn’t a high OBP team like the tribe be better served by adding more OBP? Do low power/high OBP teams really benefit from diversifying their skills?

Phil
Guest
Phil
6 months 19 days ago

Why would the Dodgers want the expensive, 34 year old version of Ben Zobrist when they already have the cheap, 24 year old version of Ben Zobrist (i.e. Kike Hernandez)?

JABO on FOX
Guest
JABO on FOX
6 months 19 days ago

Cause Fox can’t show Kike’s name on air.

Damaso
Guest
Damaso
6 months 19 days ago

Why does fox care? Most ****s are liberal.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
6 months 19 days ago

Nice angle.

alwaysannoyed
Guest
alwaysannoyed
6 months 19 days ago

To be really real the trolls who imitate Damaso are far more irritating than he ever is. Not sure why Boston fans get so tender about this dude, but you’re shitting up the boards at a rate far higher than he ever does.

alwaysannoyed
Guest
alwaysannoyed
6 months 18 days ago

And then there’s trolls like me who troll the trolls. Not annoying in the least.

Tramps Like Us
Guest
Tramps Like Us
6 months 19 days ago

I’m guessing the Dodgers take a long look at Jose Peraza for the 2B slot in the spring. They’re very slow and could use the speed infusion at the top of the order.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
6 months 19 days ago

In an article about extending Miguel Cabrera, Dave included a fascinating fact about the reality of keeping a superstar. Almost invariably, if a team does not extend a guy, the guy goes somewhere else, for whatever reason. I believe there was a stretch of several years where the only guy to resign for a deal over $50 million was Jeter, which of course was a special circumstance.

While it is hard to fault Dave for predicting a few of these guys resign, especially when it is so hard to guess, I would bet none of them do, with the possible exception of Greinke, as an opt-out is a different animal than merely finishing out your years of team control (and the Dodgers have all the money).

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
6 months 18 days ago

Technically, Holliday’s $120M contract was a resigning, although that itself was a special case in that the Cardinals were the only team that was seriously going after him.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
6 months 18 days ago

Yeah, I think that was the starting point in the article. Since Holiday signed with the Cards, the only guy to resign as a free agent for over $50 million was Jeter. Of course, last year saw Martinez resign for $68 million and Headley for $52 million (if the factor inflation in, this is under $50 in 2010).

And i guess there is something to be said that the most recent example of an actual superstar resigning was in fact the Cardinals, so maybe they make it happen with Heyward. My money is on Yankees/Dodgers.

CH Smoot
Guest
CH Smoot
6 months 19 days ago

Signing Freese for 3/33 would be totally idiotic

CH Smoot
Guest
CH Smoot
6 months 19 days ago

Signing Latos to any contract at all would be totally idiotic

Brewers Fan
Guest
Brewers Fan
6 months 19 days ago

=(

Ullu ka Patta
Guest
Ullu ka Patta
6 months 19 days ago

Their big off season addition will be to add an andouille sausage to the race.

Biff
Guest
Biff
6 months 19 days ago

Maybe they can come away from the offseaon with a nice haul of prospects if they decide to trade some guys, e.g. Lucroy.

Jmo
Guest
Jmo
6 months 19 days ago

If the yankees give $140 mil to justin upton id probably kill myself. nobody is trading for the elsbury contract and gardner was hurt the whole year which lead to his terrible slump towards the end. His contract is team friendly and is signed thru 2019…Cant see Cashman dealing him this offseason. So right off the bat I haven’t a clue what gives you confidence that the yanks will be able to make room for a guy like upton.

And i’m not sure how signing upton for 7 years is much different than the other large expenditures the yanks had made recently. I guess because upton is only 28 while jacoby and mccann were 30 when they were signed? We signed CC and Teixeira at similar ages and now the yanks cannot wait to get out from under those deals.

J Black
Guest
J Black
6 months 19 days ago

Yeah, can’t see this happening at all. I can see the Yankees going after Zobrist.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

Yeah I would have the Yankees and Dodgers as the last two standing on Zobrist.

And the more I think of it, I can see them signing Price. They didn’t spend last year, so maybe they throw some more money in the pot this time.

dom
Guest
dom
6 months 17 days ago

Zero chance of them finding a trade partner for Ellsbury because they never eat that much money to send a player away, as he would require.

Gardner very real possibility of being dealt. I can see Cashman doing a creative shakeup to get a right handed bat. It’ll be a trade though, they’re not going to pay Upton that much.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
6 months 19 days ago

Lackey 2/26? I’ll bet my house on the over. (I don’t own a house)

jb350
Guest
jb350
6 months 19 days ago

Where is Juan Uribe?

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
6 months 19 days ago

“Just for fun (or because that’s how I sorted the list in Excel), we’ll go in alphabetical order of team nickname.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa, settle down there, Dave. Let’s not get too crazy.

Alice Cooper
Guest
Alice Cooper
6 months 19 days ago

If Happ only gets 3/$24m, I don’t see the Pirates “passing” on that opportunity to sign Fister for 1/$13m

szielinski
Member
Member
szielinski
6 months 19 days ago

Foster does not even match the type that Searage can help. The Pirates are more likely to resign Happ than they are to sign Fister.

Buck
Guest
Buck
6 months 19 days ago

Thank goodness Dave Cameron isn’t a GM.. 70+ million for Zobrist???

Joe
Guest
Joe
6 months 19 days ago

He’s really good.

%
Guest
%
6 months 15 days ago

He’s really old.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
6 months 19 days ago

Dave has the White Sox adding $42 million in payroll by signing Mat Latos, Howie Kendrick, Alex Avila, Chris Young the Outfielder, and Alexei Ramirez.

God have mercy.

Hawk
Guest
Hawk
6 months 19 days ago

players with TWTW, mercy

Phil
Guest
Phil
6 months 19 days ago

Sounds like the White Sox to me!

MC1
Guest
MC1
6 months 19 days ago

I wonder if there’s anyone in the Blue Jays FO who thinks they should double-down on offence and pursue someone like Gordon or Upton to play LF.

Gordon is a great fit as he’s still young, used to hitting lower in the order, could move to RF after Bautista walks in 2017 and extends the already insane Jays lineup.

Trading Revere might get you a reliever who could slot into Sanchez’s spot in the bullpen, Sanchez slots back into the rotation, then the Jays can bargain shop for another 4th/5th starter.

Ullu ka Patta
Guest
Ullu ka Patta
6 months 19 days ago

I would love to see that lineup with Chris Davis batting fourth or fifth. Have to think that if the Jays get outbid on pitching they will be tempted to go even further into the ‘we will just pummel you into submission’ route

Hayves
Guest
Hayves
6 months 19 days ago

Sanchez was one of the worst pitchers in baseball against lefties last year, he can’t be a starter this year for a playoff team.

Mark
Guest
Mark
6 months 19 days ago

You could shift him into the bullpen for the playoffs, but you’ve gotta think that the Jays will likely have Osuna or Sanchez in the rotation for next year, and Hutch is likely the fifth SP even coming off a brutal season.

Hayves
Guest
Hayves
6 months 18 days ago

Osuna has innings concerns, if he’s a starter I don’t think he gets past 15 starts. Also not super effective for a playoff team. Unfortunately I think you’re right, hutch is really the only option for the 5 spot now.

Fredchuckdave
Guest
6 months 19 days ago

I don’t think 4/92 has happened ever or even anything remotely close to that, there’s always the backloaded risk years in there somewhere to offset the higher price; so assuming you were going for a higher end deal for Gordon something like 5/100 seems more feasible (or 5/90 as the all knowing CC stipulates).

Curious Gorge
Guest
Curious Gorge
6 months 18 days ago

Are you part of a human centipede made up of guys named Fred, Chuck, & Dave? Or maybe a boy band? Or a gay threesome? Not trolling, just really intrigued by your name.

MH
Guest
MH
6 months 19 days ago

Going to be an interesting offseason for the Mets. We may finally get a read on who/what has been driving some of their decision making processes beyond just budget constraints. I don’t see any of those moves as being in Sandy Alderson’s playbook, but he’s never really had the opportuntiy to make moves like that either. He’s been pretty public about disliking long term commitments to second generation contracts and relievers, specifically.

I’m also not sure they’re as gung ho about upgrading infield defense as you think, even if they should be.

I have a feeling at least one outfielder gets signed. The wild card will be their involvement in Heyward, since he’s got the one profile I could see Alderson OKing a long term deal for, but he may still be outside the Mets price range. I could also see Fowler, Span, and Parra as targets. Parra would make a reasonable platoon match for Lagares, while the other two would obviously be full-timers.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

Mets need MIers, not OFers.

JKSmoove
Guest
JKSmoove
6 months 19 days ago

Well, Lagares kind of sucks, and maybe they’re starting to realize that. I think they gotta get a CF that can hit right handed pitching, because Lagares can’t.

NBH
Guest
NBH
6 months 18 days ago

Would love the Mets sign Span and make Lagares the fourth OF

ZenMadman
Guest
6 months 18 days ago

Lagares v LHP > Span v LHP; pretty easy platoon, imo.

David
Member
Member
David
6 months 19 days ago

Call me Troll but I don’t see the Cards going 9 years on anyone.

the hottest stove
Guest
the hottest stove
6 months 19 days ago

After considering inflation, the Heyward deal is essentially just the Holliday deal except with a additional prime years tacked onto the beginning of the contract. I have no doubt the Cards front office would do it if Dave’s figures turn out to be close.

chuckb
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chuckb
6 months 18 days ago

They’ll go to 9 on Heyward. They may not offer enough to get him, but I suspect it will be total contract value, not contract length, that puts Heyward somewhere else, if he doesn’t sign in St. Louis.

David
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David
6 months 18 days ago

troll

Fiers at the disco
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Fiers at the disco
6 months 19 days ago

Are you sure that you listed all of the teams? It’s fun being a brewers fan.

Jmo
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Jmo
6 months 19 days ago

What makes Chen underrated? The only thing he does particularly well is limit walks.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
6 months 19 days ago

He consistently posts a better RA/9 WAR than fip war.

His 2.6fwar 32gs average is pretty solid mid-rotation stuff as is, but his 3.4ra9war 32gs average is well above that.

John C.
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John C.
6 months 19 days ago

Just in case Dave reads the comments – of the top 50 free agents who are eligible for a QO, do any NOT receive one? I’m interested in Denard Span in particular, but would be curious about any of them.

Dave Cameron
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Dave Cameron
6 months 19 days ago

I read them all… except for yours, because I *hate* your favorite team!!!

John C.
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John C.
6 months 18 days ago

Hell, even *I* hate my favorite team!

Anthony
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Anthony
6 months 19 days ago

Quickly eyeballing the list, looks like the players eligible to receive a QO are:
Jason Heyward
Zack Greinke
Jordan Zimmermann
Justin Upton
Chris Davis
Alex Gordon
Ian Desmond
Jeff Samardzija
Matt Wieters
Wei-Yin Chen
Dexter Fowler
Yovani Gallardo
Daniel Murphy
Howie Kendrick
Hisashi Iwakuma
Colby Rasmus
Ian Kennedy
Marco Estrada
David Freese
Darren O’Day
Denard Span
Brett Anderson
John Lackey
Asdrubal Cabrera
Tony Sipp
Shawn Kelley
Dioner Navarro
Chris Iannetta
Alex Avila
Steve Pearce
Chris Young OF
Alexei Ramirez
Doug Fister

I imagine everyone Iwakuma and above definitely gets it. Kennedy, Span, Anderson, Lackey would be intriguing possibilities. I imagine Lackey gets one, Kennedy it is said will, and the Dodgers can clearly afford to offer it to Anderson. Span may not IMO. Estrada and Rasmus I can see an argument for, but I’d figure everyone else definitely will not receive one.

cubs rock
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cubs rock
6 months 18 days ago

tyler clippard too.

d
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d
6 months 18 days ago

Not eligible; he was traded mid-season.

lorecore
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lorecore
6 months 19 days ago

Is Byung-Ho Park not considered a FA, or simply not a top 50? He didn’t make Crowdsourcing’s Top 82 either, so assuming he just wasn’t considered.

Tom
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Tom
6 months 19 days ago

Yeah I noticed Kenta Maeda isn’t on here either. Maybe due to the posting process they aren’t really considered free agents? They can only negotiate with one team.

Chan-Hyun Kim
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Chan-Hyun Kim
6 months 19 days ago

I think something got crossed up here. Blame it on Cistulli, I guess

Paul H.
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Paul H.
6 months 19 days ago

Very hard for me to see the Royal’s giving a mid-tier starting pitcher a 4-year contract. I could see them looking to spend more on offense / defense and then picking up 1-2 pitchers on 1-2 year deals. Look at recent history – Guthrie, Volquez, Santana, Young etc. The Royal’s defense and park automatically improves mediocre pitchers.

Biff
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Biff
6 months 19 days ago

Cespedes to TEX? They definitely would need to move Choo’s contract to clear room for him, but how attractive is Choo’s massive contract exactly despite his solid 2nd-half? Plus, Mazara and Brinson are coming up soon. Think more likely TEX signs a stopgap-RH’ed OF bat like a Marlon Byrd until one of those guys are ready.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
6 months 19 days ago

Can’t see John Henry flip flopping his entire philosophy so quickly.

And Dombroski’s history suggests a prospects-for-Ace trade is much more likely.

I’m guessing he gets his Ace through the trade route, and while Boston fans (and fangraphs) will scream about the prospect price, in the end it turns out to be a good deal.

mike sixel
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mike sixel
6 months 19 days ago

Sure would be nice if the Twins got a Catcher….they really need a catcher.

mike sixel
Guest
mike sixel
6 months 19 days ago

Oh, and thanks, this is a fun read!

cubs rock
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cubs rock
6 months 18 days ago

they’ve got one, he plays DH/1B

Jon
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Jon
6 months 19 days ago

Desmond to Mets is not happening. I just don’t see them investing ~$85M in a player who’s only a marginal at best improvement over Wilmer Flores at SS and has posted 4 straight seasons with a declining OPS and increasing K’s (.845 113 K’s; .784 145 K’s, .743 183 K’s; .674 187 K’s)

Dooduh
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Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

Yeah I don’t see the fit unless he’s looking for a 1 year pillow deal.

Dooduh
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Dooduh
6 months 19 days ago

and certainly not if a draft pick is involved.

Oakland Pro
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Oakland Pro
6 months 19 days ago

Utley to the A’s, and that’s it? Lame, Cameron.
A’s don’t need a second basemen – Lawrie, Wendle, and Ladendorf all play there. And why the hell would Oakland pay Utley $8MM? Juan Uribe can at least play multiple positions and wasn’t trash in 2015 for the same price.

Instead, there are three options to upgrade – LF, 1B, or C.
Option 1: Sign a left fielder, move Canha to 1B, and Vogt splits time catching.
Option 2: Sign a first baseman, move Canha to LF, and Vogt splits time catching.
Option 3: Sign a backup catcher, move Canha to LF, Vogt to 1B, and Phegley starts full time. (Phegley did project to ~3.5 WAR over a full season without platoon splits)

One of those three and a bullpen overhaul, and the A’s contend in 2016.

Phil
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Phil
6 months 19 days ago

Uribe really doesn’t play anything but 3rd these days.

TRN
Guest
6 months 15 days ago

Regardless, that move makes little sense, and it the idea that there’s enough demand for washed-up 2nd basemen to get him an $8 million contract is obviously ludicrous. I’d put Retirement as the odds-on favorite to retain the service of Utley next year.

The Ghost of Johnny Dickshot
Member
The Ghost of Johnny Dickshot
6 months 19 days ago

I’m not a Royals fan but I would love to see them keep Gordon at all costs. He was there from the beginning, is a very good player, and he needs to retire a Royal. Now, if Yost keeps batting him 8th that is a crime but that’s a topic for another day.

The Ghost of Ron Santo
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The Ghost of Ron Santo
6 months 18 days ago

I would love to see Gordon sign with the Cubs, trade Soler & others for a guy like Carrasco, and rotate Bryant & The Thing in LF.

Stuck in a Slump
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Stuck in a Slump
6 months 19 days ago

At those prices, does anyone else think that the Indians would be crazy to pass on Fister and Napoli? Let’s say that the rumors come true and the Indians and Marlins match up on a trade that is essentially Bauer for Ozuna, Fister would then make a lot of sense on a one year deal. Now let’s consider what the Indians are doing right now, they’ve just gotten rid of all the terrible IF defense and replaced them with potential GG winners in any given year… Except that they still have Santana and no one else to man 1B. Santana isn’t the worst possible 1B, but he’s hardly good, and with most outs coming at 1B, wouldn’t improving the defense there be prudent? Now enter Napoli, a RH power hitter that the Tribe needs and a good defender at 1B predicted for a 1/10 contract?

Now, if both Fister and Napoli perform decently, and the addition of Ozuna in the OF (which should upgrade the lineup and the defense), this team should be highly competitive in the AL Central for what? 20-25 million for one year? And if not, RH power and pitching are always in demand at the deadline, so it’s not like the cost will be truly sunk. Granted, this will pretty much eliminate any money that the team would have to spend elsewhere, but the team isn’t really weak elsewhere. They have Ramirez to play between 2B and SS, Santana would be the backup 1B, you would have Almonte and/or Chisenhall as your 4th OF’s. Walter’s could be a solid bench bat and back up at 3B or the OF, plus Naquin is likely to be called up at some point as well.

This just makes too much sense for the Indians to not push hard to sign those two and make a trade for Ozuna.

cubs rock
Guest
cubs rock
6 months 18 days ago

Stick a fork in Fister, he is done. His FB velocity was something like 86 last year. This isn’t a cutter, it’s a fast ball. He was effective at 88/89, but 86?

Stuck in a Slump
Guest
Stuck in a Slump
6 months 18 days ago

It’s not impossible to get by with bad fastball velocity, Buehrle clocked it at 83 and still managed to be league average by fWAR. I’m also not sold that this is the new norm for Fister, last year could have been due to a minor injury and/or a change in mechanics. I honestly haven’t seen enough about his velocity drop to really know what might have been the issue, but the spike in BB/9 and velocity drop both point to possible injury or mechanical problems.

The Indians also have a solid track record of fixing pitchers in recent years. Some one is going to give him a chance to replicate his career numbers, and they’ll probably pay him close to the estimated value for that opportunity. Why shouldn’t it be a team like the Indians that has plenty of fall back options in case he falters?

rwperu34
Guest
rwperu34
6 months 19 days ago

Anybody add up how much $/WAR are going for on there two lists? I”ve been estimating $8m for 2015. My estimations are nearly identical on Price and Greinke, much lower on the rest of the pitchers, and much higher on Heyward.

Steven
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Steven
6 months 19 days ago

Trade for James Shield contract and Cashner plus $5 million a year for thre years for dickey plus , Thole plus revere plus Smoak

chuckb
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chuckb
6 months 18 days ago

I can’t wait to hear how your fantasy team did this year.

larry29
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larry29
6 months 19 days ago

I’m so confused to the angle the mets should be taking right now, all I know is I’d love the mentioned rp signings here but want no part in desmond. I don’t see it happening but fowler could be a great fit

francis
Guest
francis
6 months 18 days ago

I’d like to see them also sign a starter. Wheeler is really out until the all-star break, and that’s if everything goes perfectly. And it’s not like there’s minor league depth anymore. They traded something like 10 of them away last year.

Bad timing, but there are lots of decent starters out there and no good defensive SS. You can’t just pretend Desmond or Cabrera will be good defenders.

They also need to seriously look at converting a starter to a 7th or 8th inning role. That could be Niese, or it could be Matz, but if they are going to have to sweat out every 6th and 7th inning like they did this year, they’re in for a long season.

whateverfor
Guest
whateverfor
6 months 19 days ago

While the Orioles are losing a lot of talent this offseason, that also means a lot of money is coming off the books. Chen/Davis/Wieters/Parra/O’Day/Pearce made 34 million last year, I’d expect the Orioles to spend way more than 8 million of that even if they don’t raise payroll at all.

jtmorgan
Guest
jtmorgan
6 months 18 days ago

They have a projected $15MM payroll bump just from arbitration raises most notably to Machado, Britton, Tillman, and Gonzalez.

Dave T
Member
Dave T
6 months 19 days ago

So what trade or trades is Cameron assuming if the Cardinals sign Lackey?

The Cardinals already have 5 other certain (if healthy) starters under contract for 2016 – Wainwright, Lynn, Martinez, Garcia, and Wacha. In fact, those five pitchers are also under team control for 2017, with guaranteed contracts for Wainwright and Lynn, a $12 million team option for Garcia, and 1st arb years for Wacha and Martinez. Behind those 5, the team has some additional options for the back of the rotation (and injury fill-in starts) in 2016 – namely Tim Cooney, Marco Gonzales, and Tyler Lyons. There are also some other minor league starters who could be in the mix by opening day 2017, headlined by Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver.

The Cardinals may give Lackey a qualifying offer, but they’ve also shown a propensity to let older players leave and take the draft pick. Kyle Lohse and Carlos Beltran are two examples in recent years. There’s also the question of whether Lackey would want to come back to a crowded Cardinals rotation if he can find a less crowded situation elsewhere and get similar money. And, given the Cardinals other starting pitching options, it seems unlikely that the Cardinals would be the top bidder for Lackey in any case.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan
6 months 18 days ago

Why does he care how crowded it is when he would be guaranteed to get his starts

Dave T
Member
Dave T
6 months 18 days ago

Lackey’s desire to come back is a secondary point – the main question is why the Cardinals would pay up to sign him. It seems like a weird allocation of resources. And I get that the Cardinals wouldn’t be paying Lackey $12 to $15 million per year to be a reliever.

My point, though, is that I don’t think that Lackey would be guaranteed to get his starts, unless the Cardinals either trade away a pitcher or go to a 6 man rotation. Lackey had the 4th highest FIP of the 5 of those guys who pitched over 120 innings this year (Lackey’s FIP was .3 runs lower than Wacha, and Wainwright is coming back after missing most of 2015).

And even if the Cardinals do trade away a starter and re-sign Lackey – which raises its own questions of how you sequence those moves, since each is likely dependent on the other – Lackey still might be pushed out of the rotation by young starters who are ready by Opening Day 2017 – meaning that the Cardinals might trade Lackey away after the 2016 season.

There’s a good chance that this deal will be Lackey’s last major league contract, and I assume that any player in his position cares about 3 things, in some combination: the dollar value of the contract, being on a team with good playoff chances, and being in a city that he likes. I absolutely believe that part of the conversation between Lackey’s agent and a team will be getting an understanding of how he fits with an organization’s plans for the term of his contract. And I also believe that most players in his position would rather not sign where it looks likely that they could be traded 12 months down the road, other things being equal.

dave Cameron
Guest
dave Cameron
6 months 18 days ago

Carlos Martinez is a little guy who throws hard and missed the end of the season because of a sore arm. How confident can somebody be in his health going forward?

Lanidrac
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Lanidrac
6 months 18 days ago

Good enough not to waste money on a relative fossil like Lackey when you’ve also got guys like Lyons and Cooney as backup.

Mike
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Mike
6 months 18 days ago

I don’t see the Dodgers signing Zobrist to play 2B when they have Peraza, Guerrero, and Barnes on the roster.

I don’t think they will sign an outfielder when they already have both Crawford and Van Slyke,

I also think AJ Ellis will be signed and traded.

These are things I think.

francis
Guest
francis
6 months 18 days ago

It depends on their manager. I don’t know what was up with Guerrero last year. He was smacking the ball all over the place but Mattingly just kind of made him disappear.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 18 days ago

The Dodgers had those 3 this year and still none of them played 2B regularly. Throw in that Zobrist is way better than anyone else they could stick out there and the FO connection to him, and deep pockets….

Mike
Guest
Mike
6 months 18 days ago

They also had Howie Kendrick. And Peraza could very well be as good or better than Zobrist over the next 4 seasons since he has plus-plus speed both offensively and defensively and Zobrist is 34 and coming off a down year. I can only see Zobrist joining the team if the Dodgers manage to trade both Guerrero and Ellis.

Eric
Guest
Eric
6 months 18 days ago

Methinks JA Happ gets more than projected here. It will be interesting to see whether six weeks of great performance will outweigh six years of decidedly less than that…

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
6 months 18 days ago

Theo said he wanted to improve outfield defense. The Cubs can offer him CF which is something he desires. He fits right in with the Cubs timeline.

Then one or two mid level pitchers. The front office knows Lackey. They know Shark.

I think that’s a much better plan than another huge pitching contract (Cueto) and bringing Fowler back hoping he can repeat his career year for four more.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
6 months 18 days ago

Jason Heyward I mean

TRN
Guest
6 months 15 days ago

And by career year I mean the one with his worst wOBA since is cup of coffee in 2008.

francis
Guest
francis
6 months 18 days ago

I think the Yankees go all-in on Price. They have no lefty starters.

Dooduh
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Dooduh
6 months 17 days ago

I’m thinking this too.

francis
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francis
6 months 18 days ago

I wish there was an age column on that spreadsheet.

Shawnuel
Guest
Shawnuel
6 months 18 days ago

After this evening’s trade with Tampa Bay, I am not sure if the Mariners will splurge on a CF or not. I would prefer to see them grab Parra over Span. Parra would be adequate in CF until Powell is ready. He then becomes the LF.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
6 months 18 days ago

What did you think of that trade?

manuscript
Member
manuscript
6 months 18 days ago

I haven’t seen this comment yet, so forgive me if it’s been here…the Brewers won’t be signing ANY of the top 50 free agents? Not even worth a mention next to teams who MIGHT sign one utility piece?

They have shed the contracts of Aramis, Lohse, G. Parra, Broxton and others. The current payroll stands at $51.4M. Following seasons in which the team entered the year with $103.6M and 104.7M in 2013 and 2014 respectively, they aren’t going to spend any money?

Please tell me this is a glaring WHOOPS, guys/dave.

wildginge
Guest
wildginge
6 months 18 days ago

They should go with an even lower payroll if they can somehow get a buyer for Braun, and reluctantly move Lucroy.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
6 months 18 days ago

Why would the Cardinals resign Lackey when they already 5 very good starters and good depth behind them?

Mike B
Guest
Mike B
6 months 18 days ago

You are on crack if you think Ben Zobrist is getting $19 million a year during ages 35-39

Joel
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Joel
6 months 18 days ago

Cubs sign Zimmermann and Spahn, letting Fowler go because of the added years needed to sign him.

On a limb I think the Cubs trade Castro to SD for Kimbral (other pieces involved).

francis
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francis
6 months 18 days ago

Warren Spahn ?

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 16 days ago

Castro to SD for Shields.

Dooduh
Guest
Dooduh
6 months 16 days ago

Kimbrel will go to NYY for prospects. Yanks will try to create “super bullpen.”

Mike N
Guest
Mike N
6 months 18 days ago

No Phillies? I know they’re not going to be major players but… another Harang, Billingsley, or J Williams?

Gus
Guest
Gus
6 months 16 days ago

So, I’m curious about the Christian Bethancourt timeline in Atlanta, and whether Wieters makes sense there. I’d dig Wieters in Seattle, but I also want Zunino to sprout wings and fly. Still, I’d do 4/64 in Seattle. Somebody from Goose Creek has to pan out.

bobbleheadguru
Guest
bobbleheadguru
6 months 15 days ago

Tigers do not need CF. They need LF. Also, Avila already declared they need TWO starting pitchers and a relief pitcher.

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