The Bargains of the 2014 Free Agent Class

Free Agency starts today. Well, sort of. Teams and agents are now allowed to start fully negotiating with each other, though they’ve been flirting with each other ever since the World Series ended, and no one really comes close to signing with a new team at this point in the off-season anyway. It’s kind of a symbolic opening, but it does bring with it one reliable event: the release of Top X Free Agent lists and predictions. Everyone does them, even though we’re all basically the saying the same thing — Jacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano are good players — and our predictions are all mostly useless.

We presented our version a couple of weeks ago, ordered by the total guaranteed dollars expected by our readers in our crowdsourcing project. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the prices or the ordering of the players relative to each other, but rather than present another Top 50 Free Agent list, let’s try something a little different. Today and tomorrow, I’ll go through the crowdsourced expected prices and present the players that I think are worth significantly more and significantly less than the crowd expects them to sign for. Today, let’s start with the guys who I’d target as values, if their market price was their crowdsourced expected signing price.

We’ll go in reverse order, because why not.

5. Omar Infante, 2nd Base: 3 years, $27 million

Infante’s heading into his age-32 season and is coming off the best year of his career, which generally doesn’t add up to a huge bargain, but with the Tigers declining to make Infante a qualifying offer and the crowd apparently pricing his age and regression into their expected price, this looks like one of the best deals any team could sign this winter. 3/27, last year, got you Cody Ross, or Jeremy Guthrie, or Jonathan Broxton and some walking around money. I hope it’s not a huge stretch to point out that a quality second baseman who projects as a league average hitter is a better return on that kind of price than the guys who signed in this range last year, and that’s even before accounting for expected inflation that will come from teams getting infusions of cash from the national TV deals.

Infante’s not a star, and there’s not a lot of upside here, but there’s a lot of value in having a very steady everyday second baseman who will give you this kind of production. He’s been worth +8 WAR over the last three years and certainly isn’t trending the wrong way, so a baseline projection is going to come out to around +2 WAR or so, and putting more weight on more recent seasons pushes it closer to +2.5, most likely. For $9 million per year on a relatively short commitment and no draft pick compensation? This is a big win for any team that can land him at this price. If this is his asking price, the Royals should skip negotiations and just sign him tomorrow.

4. Scott Kazmir, Starting Pitcher: 2 years, $17 million

I understand being skeptical about a guy who spent time in independent ball the year before last, and Kazmir’s results were more solid than spectacular in his return to the big leagues, but $8.5 million per year on a short term deal for what Kazmir just did is too light. His velocity came roaring back, and he sat at 92, with his velocity even increasing as the year went on. He ran a K/BB ratio of 3.5 to 1. His xFIP- was 85.

His platoon splits will keep him from being an ace, but Kazmir was a legitimately good starting pitcher last year. Even if you just judge him by runs allowed (holding 100% of his .324 BABIP against him), he was roughly an average pitcher. By FIP or xFIP, he was much better than that. And the crowd is projecting him to get Joe Blanton‘s contract from last winter. I don’t think you want to give Kazmir a long term deal based on one good rebound year, but the annual average value here is just too low. 3/33, or something in that range, is probably more justified based on what Kazmir showed for the Indians in 2013, and a team like the Orioles should be all over this.

3. Chris Young, Outfielder: 2 years, $14 million

It has become all too common to look at a player’s platoon splits and decide that they can’t handle an expanded role, because people simply don’t regress observed platoon splits enough when projecting future platoon splits. Chris Young has destroyed lefties and struggled against righties, but there’s still enough there to suggest that he’s worth giving regular at-bats to, even against right-handed pitching. And if his previously elite center field defense has only turned into solid above average center field defense now, well, his combination of glove, power, and walks still make him a pretty nifty role player.

For $7 million per year, you’re not expecting a superstar, and are just looking for a guy to avoid putting up a zero, and Young looks like a guy who could give you, at minimum, good defense and some thump against lefties. If his bat rebounds and he holds his own against righties, then he’s an average-ish player. This is a little less than Ryan Ludwick got last year, and Ludwick can’t play center field. 2/14 for Young could be a very nifty little pickup for a team that is looking for a center field upgrade, like the Seattle Mariners.

2. Roberto Hernandez, Starting Pitcher: 1 year, $3.6 million

The former Fausto Carmona went to Tampa Bay, bought into going after strikeouts for the first time in his career, and posted the lowest walk rate of his career. However, even with those improvements, the results were kind of terrible, as he allowed dingers like he was auditioning for a spot on Home Run Derby. 21% of his fly balls went over the fence, easily the highest mark of any pitcher who threw 150 innings last year. Of the other 95 pitchers to meet that mark, only Dallas Keuchel also had a HR/FB% over 15%. Even the most homer prone pitchers in baseball don’t regularly give up home runs at a 21% clip.

Betting on walks and strikeouts being predictive is a far better bet than betting on home run rate being predictive, and Hernandez is a decent home run rate away from being a pretty decent pitcher. Not an ace, certainly, but a reliable innings eater who can give you 30 perfectly decent starts. Kevin Correia got 2/10 from the Twins last winter in exchange for having a pulse, so getting Hernandez and a little bit of upside for $3.5 million on a one year deal would be a really nifty bargain for a team looking to fortify their pitching depth without a big commitment. He seems like a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their ground ball preferences.

1. Brian McCann, Catcher: 4 years, $59 million

We can make all the jokes about the Fun Police we want, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that McCann is still a pretty terrific baseball player. He was nearly a three win player last year despite spending a couple of months on the disabled list, and while he’ll turn 30 next year, limiting the commitment to $60 million over four years for a guy like McCann just seems to be pricing in way too much decline over the next few seasons.

McCann might not be able to stick behind the plate forever, but he’s not Victor Martinez or Ryan Doumit; McCann is a legitimate defender behind the plate, and the shift to first base or designated hitter will only come when he shows he can’t handle the workload of catching regularly anymore. For the next few years, there’s no reason why McCann couldn’t be expected to catch 100+ games, and the list of guys who can do that and hit like McCann is remarkably short. Usually, when you’re getting this kind of offensive production from a position where offense is scarce, you’re either making huge concessions on defense or you’re paying through the nose to get it. In this case, neither is really true.

The crowd is projecting McCann to get about what Nick Swisher got last year, except McCann is basically Nick Swisher’s offense in a package that can catch. And Swisher was generally considered a bargain after his original asking price scared off any interested parties; McCann is attracting the interest of nearly every big money team looking for a substantial upgrade this winter. With the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers in the mix, 4/60 seems like it’s not going to even get the conversation started, and really, it shouldn’t. He’s better than that price would indicate.

Everyone expects McCann to end up in Texas, but he seems like exactly what the Red Sox are looking for in a player, and the decision to not extend a qualifying offer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia probably indicates that they didn’t want to risk losing out on going after McCann. I’d imagine that Boston would love McCann at 4/60, but I’d expect the winner to have to go to at least five years and maybe six. He’s a premium player, and even if the last year or two is an overpay, there’s a ton of short term value that would still make 5/75 or 6/90 a worthwhile contract.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Timothy
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Timothy
2 years 8 months ago

Is Mac could be had for that price the Braves will keep him.

Wil
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Wil
2 years 8 months ago

Still don’t think they would. McCann for the Braves isn’t a case of they can’t afford him, they can, it’s that they can’t afford him and expect to keep some of their other young talent under control.

Given that most of their young talent is just that, young, they will keep their cash to spend on their youth. The Heyward’s and Freeman’s of that team are going to become expensive, and quickly.

bjoak
Member
bjoak
2 years 8 months ago

Chris Young has a huge pop-up problem, which is the main reason his batting average sucks. He was ill-suited to play in the coliseum but he is worth a lot more to some team that has a minimum of foul ground.

Anyone know where we can find the square feet of foul ground in each park?

B N
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B N
2 years 8 months ago

Not sure, but Fenway has got to be near the bottom. Around that price, they’d certainly try to reel him in, I think.

Andrew T. Fisher
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Andrew T. Fisher
2 years 8 months ago

Pretty Sure Coors Field Has The Smallest Foul Territory. Seriously

Ian R.
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2 years 8 months ago

You know, we can still read words that you don’t capitalize. It’s really okay.

steex
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steex
2 years 8 months ago

“You It’s?”

I Don’t Understand.

Table
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Table
2 years 8 months ago

Can’t believe Keith Law projected Infante to be worth 1 year 4-5 mill on his recent top 50 free agent list.

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 8 months ago

no way the Yankees “let” McCann get away. and no way he signs for less than 5/80M

Spit Ball
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Spit Ball
2 years 8 months ago

They best hope he can keep on keepin behind the dish. Depending on the AROD situation they have a number of DH/1b types.

RMD
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RMD
2 years 8 months ago

Considering the Yankees finished 23rd in Catcher WAR and the short porch in right would fit perfectly form McCann, I don’t see the Yankees letting him get away.

6 since 2000
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6 since 2000
2 years 8 months ago

I also expect the Jays to be in on the McCann sweepstakes. If anything just to drive the price up on the Yanks/Sox and Rangers

Mr Punch
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Mr Punch
2 years 8 months ago

It’ll be interesting to see if the Yanks’ supposed commitment to fiscal restraint holds if the Red Sox are serious about McCann. I don’t believe NY has EVER lost a player to Boston in a head-to-head, back-and-forth bidding war.

Iron
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Iron
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah but, like the fox with the grapes, any player New York doesn’t get was not because they lost a bidding war, it’s because they ‘weren’t really interested’.

Wobatus
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Wobatus
2 years 8 months ago

The Red Sox outbid the Yankees for Matsuzaka.

Jay
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Jay
2 years 8 months ago

Lackey and Crawford, for two

Tomahawkchopper2010
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Tomahawkchopper2010
2 years 8 months ago

I guess you forgot about the bidding for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston outbid NY for him, and also outbid NY for Carl Crawford.
There really are no back and fourth bidding wars anymore in the era of transparency, so agents ask teams to submit their best offers, and would likely give the players preference a chance to match.
The Yankees certainly win the majority of bidding because they spend 50% more than Boston, even though Boston is top 4 in payroll every year too. But NY is always around 210 million while Boston is around 140.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 8 months ago

I have been startled to see how low Young has been valued lately. Good defensive center fielders should get a lot of leeway with their hitting, and Young’s hitting last year was dragged down by the lowest BABIP of his career, much lower than the league average. If bjoak is correct and it’s related to the amount of foul territory in his park, that is even more reason to think he can improve (change of scenery candidate anyone?).

I think people were less fooled by his platoon splits and more just by his batting average. People are labeling Uggla a terrible disappointment, but if he had the same OPS and a higher average (perhaps one above the Mendoza line) I don’t think people would be as hard on him. I wonder if there is a bit of a market inefficiency around guys who have good OPS and bad batting average due to high K, BB and HR rates.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

Uggla had a .303 wOba (I refuse to acknowledge OPS when discussing player value. OPS is decent estimator, but wOba is pretty much the same thing–except better) which was good for a 93wRc+. Combine that with his minus defense and you’ve got a frustrating player.

The peripherals certainly make him more frustrating to watch than his actual value is, but regardless his actual value is just not that high. The striking thing about Uggla is his batted ball rates from last season (which stabalize much quicker than most other at-bat stats) are just horrendous. I always find that an area that doesn’t get discussed enough on this site is batted ball rates, since they can be pretty good indicators of expected (insert batting stat here). His line drive rate was just 13.2%, and even though line drive rate is the last of the batted ball rates to stabilize, it’s still a large enough difference to be significant), and his three-year IFFB rate is roughly 13.5%.

There’s a reason some players BABIP’s are terrible–you can’t just expect everyone to return to the mean.

That said, I still expect Uggla to be about a 1 WAR player next year, and with the Braves dearth of options at the position next year and with LaStella probably not being ready until after another full season, since LaStella’s defense could use some work, and it’s usually a good idea to be patient with minor leagers whose value is dependent upon plate discipline. Heck, it’s usually a good idea to be patient with minor league hitters period.

Hopefully that was readable and I didn’t over-qualify everything.

Wil
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Wil
2 years 8 months ago

Nah you did a good job.

However I think at this point, if the Braves don’t move Uggla they will probably be pulling pretty hard for La Stella (or even Pastornicky) to take the 2nd base job from Uggla.

If LaStella hits/walks during ST, I think the club would definitely suffer through some defensive growing pains given how bad Uggla has been with the leather. LaStella would also be the perfect compliment to the Braves offense as a guy who never strikes out and walks a ton.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

Pastornicky is basically LaStella minus the walks, so that’s no solution.

But yeah, I think LaStella will offer some value, probably in the range of 1-2 WAR during his rookie season (that said, it’s really hard to predict rookies). And I think he’ll be better than that eventually, but he probably will experience some growing pains.

I certainly don’t think LaStella’s a terrible option; I just don’t think he’s an immediate savior and massive value upgrade over Uggla. LaStella’s upside is limited due to his lack of power/defensive abilities, but you do have to give him one thing: his watchability factor is miles ahead of Struggla’s.

Snowman
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Snowman
2 years 8 months ago

Pastornicky is also worse than Uggla defensively. Definitely not a good answer for anyone.

I do wish the Braves valued walks. At all. But they don’t, going so far as to once threaten to bench Heyward for taking too many. So I really doubt La Stella walking will be a point in his favour.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 8 months ago

That’s kind of my point. 93 wRC+ isn’t good, but for a guy with a .179 batting average, it’s surprisingly high. Others can bat .279 and barely manage that wRC+.

My point is this: take two players. One is Uggla, and another is statistically identical to Uggla but with a .279 average (better K% and BABIP, but much worse BB% and power). Though their hitting is the same quality, put them side by side and even a stat-savvy crowd will probably value the .279 guy higher.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

I agree. Even with all of the sabermetrics we buy in to, we probably still tend to value batting average at first glance too much.

Classic Lynyrd Skynyrd Reference
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Classic Lynyrd Skynyrd Reference
2 years 8 months ago

Chris Young’s hitting profile isn’t exactly the type that’s conducive to having high BABIP’s. High IFFB%’s, FB%’s, and low GB/LD%’s.. Chris Young’s batted ball distribution would indicate that he’s a low BABIP-type player.

Spa City
Member
Member
Spa City
2 years 8 months ago

I agree. But even for Young .237 seems like an extreme. I may be (and probably am) wrong, but I don’t see any reason to think he would not regress to .275 – .290. If so, with his positive contributions as a baserunner and outfielder he seems like a safe bet to be worth $10M. If a team can sign him for 2 years at $7M per, they should immediately sign on the line that is dotted.

Roger
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Roger
2 years 8 months ago

I expect an early steep decline for McCann’s bat based on the injuries and inconsistency. He may very well be what he was in the 2nd half of 2013 (.220, 8 hr) for most of his next contract.

ian
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ian
2 years 8 months ago

Inconsistency being the one bad year he had when he was injured? He’s been one of the most consistent excellent catchers in baseball. I doubt he’s any more likely than any other C his age to suffer steep decline.

Roger
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Roger
2 years 8 months ago

Any C his age is a good candidate for steep decline.

Wil
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Wil
2 years 8 months ago

No more so than any other position player his age.

RC
Member
Member
RC
2 years 8 months ago

McCann’s SLG the past 6 years:
.523
.486
.453
.466
.399
.461

I guess you could look at 2012 and say “inconsistency”. I look at 2012 and say “outlier”.

Roger
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Roger
2 years 8 months ago

He’s hit higher than .238 in 5 out of the last 14 months that he’s been on the field in the past 2.5 seasons.

cass
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cass
2 years 8 months ago

That’s some excellent cherry-picking. I bet he’s also hit very poorly on Tuesdays and Saturday day games as well.

I cannot even imagine why you used 2.5 seasons instead of 3 seasons. Couldn’t possibly be because it supported the argument you wanted to make. Likewise for choosing months as the unit of measurement.

fast at last
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fast at last
2 years 8 months ago

This is the most ridiculous cherry picked stat I’ve ever seen.

TKDC
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TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

To pile on, you also used batting average and the nice round number of .238

Aaron Schafer
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Aaron Schafer
2 years 8 months ago

This sentence just broke my brain.

TKDC
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TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

And whatever you do, don’t hit him 3rd, as a DH, in a retractable dome. He’s terrible in each of those situations!

Wobatus
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Wobatus
2 years 8 months ago

He has had problems in the 2nd half each of the past 3 years. In 2012 it was injury-related. And that could be flimsy. His year by year results have been fairly consistent. And Salty had poor second halves before he had a good one this year. Not sure if catchers in general are more likely to wear down as the season goes along (whether that is reflected in their hitting stats). He’ll be a 30 year old catcher but he should still be in his prime the first few years of the contract. But always something to consider, the wear and tear on catchers.

Wobatus
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Wobatus
2 years 8 months ago

Not flimsy, fluky.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

McCann played through a power-sapping injury in 2012, which is likely what caused that.

Ton
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Ton
2 years 8 months ago

Infante seems like he’s a fit for the A’s opening at 2nd

tz
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tz
2 years 8 months ago

This.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

It’s certainly possible, but a Callaspo/Sogard platoon split isn’t a terrible solution. Sogard’s a below league average offensive contributor but his defense is plus, and Callaspo is an above average hitter against lefties with average-ish defense at second.

Infante would be an upgrade, but probably not one worth the money and commitment. Callaspo’s already signed through next year anyways, and it’s not like you’re going to bench Donaldson against lefties (if you’re going to shift Callaspo back to third base).

Infante may be undervalued, but he’s just not a great fit for the A’s who should be getting 2+ WAR from second base next year with they already have.

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 8 months ago

Royals.

Ivan Grushenko
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Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

I think the A’s are hoping Russell is up by the end of the year, so that would make Infante redundant. What they really need is starting pitchers with Colon leaving and Parker and Griffin ending the year hurt

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 8 months ago

Nolasco still looks like the best value of the FA class. He’s still flying way under the radar. I’ve seen projections of 3/36M to 4/52M range. Surprised projections aren’t more than that. He’s at least as good as EdJax who got 4/52M a yr ago. No comp. Durable.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

I like Nolaso as a solid middle-of-the-rotation on a good team type of guy. Those guys tend to go for a lot of money (sometimes to be a pseudo-ace on a bad team), and I’d think Nolasco will end up getting paid well by someone before it’s spring again.

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 8 months ago

just saw another projection of 4/44M for Nolasco. unreal. I hope teams are as asleep on this guy as the media seems to be.

Will
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Will
2 years 8 months ago

What do you think he’s worth?

To me, I see a 31 year old, 2-3 WAR pitcher. He’s a slightly worse Edwin Jackson, who got 4/$52m.

Last year, Jackson was averaging 3.2 WAR/season over his previous 4 seasons, a decent FIP 3.89, and was 29 years old.

Nolasco has averaged 2.75 WAR over his past 4 seasons, a decent 3.64 FIP, but he’s 31 years old.

Those two extra years of age deflate Nolasco’s value slightly to perhaps 4/$48m, but I still don’t see the “unreal”ness of anyone sleeping on his value- the media, Fangraphs community or anyone else.

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 8 months ago

Will:
I frankly don’t see how Nolasco is any less a SP than EdJax but we’d be splitting hairs comping the two. That was my point. And I don’t think the age difference really plays here bc we’re talking about a 4 yr deal at max and I dont really expect Nolasco to be in decline by 34, tho of course it’s possible.

If EdJax got 4/52 a yr ago, then why wouldn’t Nolasco get at least that or more coming off a yr with a 3.34 FIP in 33 starts (EdJax came off a yr at 3.85 ftr) in what’s being described as a market flush with money and with only a handful of competent SPs available and no compensation attached? That’s why I’m saying that projections saying he’ll get 4/44M seem very light.

RC
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RC
2 years 8 months ago

People just don’t seem to realize yet that an average MLB starter without real bad injury concerns is worth about 12-14M per year at this point (on the FA market).

And honestly, with the way TV deals go, I wouldn’t be surprised if in 10 years we’re bitching about how some innings eater with average peripherals got a 4/100 deal.

tz
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tz
2 years 8 months ago

McCann will probably get a big contract, but with injury clauses protecting the team.

Roger
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Roger
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t think he’ll get injury clauses. I think he’ll get 5/75 or 6/90 like Cameron projects but be worth more like the 4/59 the community projected, or less. I won’t be surprised if an Andruw Jones collapse is coming.

fast at last
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fast at last
2 years 8 months ago

What? Do you understand the purpose of a contract?

Maybe McCann will get 10 million dollar bonus clauses that he can choose to activate at the end of the season.

Anon21
Member
Anon21
2 years 8 months ago

It’s not as outlandish as all that—Felix’s contract has one. The problem with a catcher is that even if you get to tack on an extra year at the end of a contract with a discounted rate, his body is probably pretty broken down by the end anyway.

Wil
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Wil
2 years 8 months ago

Injury clauses for what? He’s had one major injury that sidelined him. It’s not like he has been injury prone, no catcher plays 162 games.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

He’s been very injury prone when it’s come to nagging injuries. When he’s healthy, he’s really good. When he gets nagged he tries to play through it and he get average-ish quickly.

matt
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matt
2 years 8 months ago

You don’t need to agree with the pricing or ordering. It was the FANS crowdsourcing project dude, not yours. You don’t need to disregard our feelings with comments like that or like “$8.5 million per year on a short term deal for what Kazmir just did is too light.”

You don’t know. That’s your opinion. I participated in the project everyday to give my opinion. Don’t shit on it.

Eminor3rd
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Eminor3rd
2 years 8 months ago

How else could he more politely state that he disagrees?

Anon21
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Anon21
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t think you quite grasp matt’s point. Dave doesn’t need to come in here disagreeing with a bunch of fans who collectively determined that every free agent is overvalued. Dave just needs to quietly thank them for the hard work they did filling out a 15-second survey and go quietly contemplate what he has done to deserve such incredible, generous readers.

cass
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cass
2 years 8 months ago

WTF? So just because the fans have given their opinion, Dave can’t make a post pointing out where he disagrees from the consensus? That’s nuts.

fast at last
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fast at last
2 years 8 months ago

Sarcasm.

Anon21
Member
Anon21
2 years 8 months ago

Fucking Poe’s Law.

cass
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cass
2 years 8 months ago

My bad. I didn’t read that carefully enough. Not really Poe’s Law since the “15-second survey” and “every free agent is overvalued” were clear giveaways of sarcasm.

cass
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cass
2 years 8 months ago

Yes, it’s his opinion. That’s the entire point of this article. He’s actually respecting the people who contributed to the project by using it as an estimate of what the players will actually get.

hk
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hk
2 years 8 months ago

Did you really just read in article in which Dave sets out to tell the readers the five deals that he thinks the crowd sourcing missed on the most, then criticize Dave for telling the readers the five deals that he thinks the crowd sourcing missed on the most?

TKDC
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TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

But he’s not doing that. He’s assuming the crowd is right and from there saying what the best deals will be.

Spit Ball
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Spit Ball
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah it’s fun to be an arm chair GM and punch in realistic salaries for players. But this is baseball and the American dream and stuff…. and it’s just not realistic or rational which means Dave’s conclusions are likely correct.

Brandon
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Brandon
2 years 8 months ago

The general consensus of ‘educated’ (read: fangraphs addicts) arm chair GM’s is probably to sign pretty much nobody except for a few undervalued mid-tier players (because let’s be honest, you’re not going to get a 5+ WAR guy as a sleeper) and then hope for the best with young guys and contributions from across the team.

But then again, that’s pretty much what the Rays/A’s/Red Sox (sort of) did, and they all turned out alright.

Carlos Gomez
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Carlos Gomez
2 years 8 months ago

Anyone know where home plate is? I still haven’t crossed it.

Allen Craig
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Allen Craig
2 years 8 months ago

It’s optional.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
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BenRevereDoesSteroids
2 years 8 months ago

Rangers resigned Geovany Soto today, and they say that they plan on him being their primary catcher in 2014. I don’t think anybody would be surprised if this is a smoke screen and they go after McCann anyways.

But 1 year 3.0 million dollars isn’t a bad deal for Soto. He would likely be between a 2-3 WAR player over 120 games or so.

Leon Cornell
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Leon Cornell
2 years 8 months ago

The RS bow out of virtually every costly player (FA,IFA) acquisition lately.
I think they will kick the tires but quickly get back in the Salty picture and get real.
I like McCann but I don’t view him as a [i]premium player [/i]though being an outstanding C isn’t too shabby. But I’m not guaranteeing that kind of money.

Eldin
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Eldin
2 years 8 months ago

Leon, McCann is the last man Red Sox want to see in Yankees uniform. 30+ homers in next 3 years easy. Saltalamacchia and Ross were McCann’s back-ups for a reason :-) Basically, Salty could not sniff a Major League, while McCann was in Braves uniform. B-Mac was hitting in “pitchers” ballpark, and does not get cheapies, neither HRs, nor hits. 7 time all star and 5 time Silver slugger. Ask Ross, he played with B-Mac, and Victorino, played against B-Mac. Listen what they would say

Balthazar
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Balthazar
2 years 8 months ago

To me, Scott Kazmir is the best risk/reward package on the free agent market this offseason. He has his velocity; he showed durability once he got on the mound; he’s a lefty. Time away from the game leaves a doubt-factor that will hold the cost low enough any team could get in on the per annum cost. With so many clubs needing pitching, I suspect he’ll get a third year option, maybe even guaranteed, but still at a low total cost to what looks like a mid-rotation experienced starter. Yes, there are guys whose upside is either higher or more probable, but none whose cost will be as low as Kazmir. Folks will pay more for Nolasco or Garze, but Kazmir may well out-perform either.

Spike
Guest
Spike
2 years 8 months ago

there is still a sizable bust factor with Kazmir. It’s not as if we haven’t seen him be bad. how soon some forget….

Simon
Guest
Simon
2 years 8 months ago

Well, obviously, or he’d cost a lot more.

John C
Guest
John C
2 years 8 months ago

Gambling on any catcher who already has 1,046 career games behind the plate going into his age-30 season is a pretty serious risk, especially when the guy is already starting to get hurt. Anybody who gives McCann a long-term deal is going to be throwing away a lot of money for a short-term gain. On top of that, while he is a really good hitter for a catcher, he’s pretty ordinary by the standards of first basemen, even now. By the time he’s ready to make that move, he’s going to be replacement-level for a first baseman.

hk
Guest
hk
2 years 8 months ago

It seems to me that McCann’s hitting might improve if he played 1B instead of C. I tried to quickly and easily find data to support or reject the idea that catchers hit better once they move out from behind the plate, but I couldn’t find any one way or the other. IMO, McCann would be likely to be worth a $59M/4 deal even if he catches for 2 seasons, then plays 1B for 2.

PackBob
Guest
PackBob
2 years 8 months ago

Perfect for the Yankees.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

I would agree; not saying he won’t get 6/90, I’m just saying I would prefer my team steer far, far away from such a signing. Yuck.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

Is one real injury “starting to get hurt?” He’s a catcher who will be 30, but aside from that, I think it is silly to attribute any additional risk of injury. He’s averaged 131 games since 2006, and some of his missed time has been related to eye issues which seem to be, if you are judging risk, on the low end looking forward. And we’re talking about a 5 year deal. Is a 34-year-old catcher really that unheard of? Sure, there’s risk, but there’s always risk. I’d much rather sign him than what it will take to get Cano or probably Ellsbury (of course this depends on what they actually get).

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Both Cano, and especially Ellsbury, profile to age much better than McCann does.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

First, this is somewhat off point without considering the expected commitments required. Cano is 1.5 years older than McCann and is expected to get 2-4 more seasons. Do you really think the end of Cano’s contract is not riskier than the end of McCann’s? Ellsbury is close in my opinion, but he actually HAS had injury problems and does count on speed for a lot of his value. Again, if I could take the same deal for either, I’d take Ellsbury in a heartbeat, but if he’s 7 years and McCann is 5, I’d take McCann.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Speed players are the ones that age the best. I don’t know why you count Ellsbury being fast as being a negative.

Also, I said nothing about contracts, just that Cano and Ellsbury will both age better than McCann.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

Okay, fine. What you say isn’t really wrong but it is also not very relevant.

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
2 years 8 months ago

I agree with John. McCann isn’t Mike Piazza. He’s not a borderline MVP, year after year, coming off of an elite season. He’s a very good catcher, who will be on the wrong side of 30 during this contract.

Piazza put up almost 20 WAR in his 30-33 seasons, and McCann would justify a nice 5, if not 6, year contract if he can put up that performance in the first 4 years. But I don’t see anything to justify that kind of performance from McCann, given his age and position.

Mr Punch
Guest
Mr Punch
2 years 8 months ago

I suspect John C, above, is right about McCann – he’s unlikely to be a good enough hitter in the out-years of a longterm contract to play first or DH, and least for a team like NYY, Boston, or Texas. (He’s not as good a hitter as, for instance, Mike Napoli.) The bet has to be that he’ll remain mostly a catcher, with a reduced workload.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

I agree, I just don’t see why it is so inconceivable that he can remain a mostly-catcher through age 34 (which would be all of a 5-year deal).

Joebrady
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

As a RS fan, I’d have no real interest in McCann. $60M/4 and he might get higher, is a lot for a guy that everyone refers to as transitioning to 1B or DH. Just working backwards, what do you see his OPS being in 2016-17? I assume it would be less than .800, since his OPS over the past four seasons is .786. What would you pay a DH for a .775?. Maybe, if you were generous, that worth $10M, at most.

That implies that $40M is for the first two years. I’m just not a big fan of ‘he can transition to 1B/DH’. I’d rather pay a little less for a lesser catcher that will remain a catcher.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 8 months ago

I would probably stop at 4/$60m for McCann if I was an NL team, with 5/$75m possible for an AL team that would figure to get more at bats from him on a yearly basis as he gets to DH with some regularity. 6/$90m seems too much term from my perspective.

eastsider
Guest
eastsider
2 years 8 months ago

I remember a year and a half ago we were all wondering if Molina’s $75M/5yr contract was worth it. Looks like a bargain if McCann can get 60/4. They’d have essentially the same contract next year.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 8 months ago

McCann will be a good signing for some team, but he won’t be a bargain.

The other 4 are recipes for disaster. Beware of contract years, pitchers with an injury history and guys who lie about their name and age.

Tanned Tom
Guest
Tanned Tom
2 years 8 months ago

You choose:
A) Robinson Cano for 8 years at $200 mil
or
B) McCann for 5 years at $75 mil, plus
Beltran for 2 years at $25 mil, plus
Infante for 3 years at $25 mil, PLUS
Garza for 5 years at $75 mil

I know some of these guys in choice B might get more money but just talking ball park costs, how can the Yankees re-sign Cano instead of choosing the other 4 (assuming of course they can get them)

mockcarr
Guest
mockcarr
2 years 8 months ago

If it comes to that, they could get Saltalamacchia for less than McCann, put a big deposit down for the right to sign Tanaka and still have enough Cano money left to get another pitcher like Kazmir to go with Beltran and Infante.

Joebrady
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

The comparison makes no sense. You can’t take total dollars for 8 years, and compare them to total dollars for 15 years. The correct comparison is $25M per for Cano, or $51M per for McCann, Beltran, Infante, and Garza.

Eldin
Guest
Eldin
2 years 8 months ago

Tanned Tom made a point that you almost can get a half of team for a projected contract of Cano :-)

Aki
Guest
Aki
2 years 8 months ago

America has lots of problems w/money issues people cant found jobs don’t have food to put on the table to feed there families. These guys want more money, there not worth the money there getting now, “the Government should wake up and get on their case”. Not just baseball, all sports……..

bjoak
Member
bjoak
2 years 8 months ago

I am as concerned about economic disparity as anyone I know, but whenever you hear this argument it is given without any solution. Letting the billionaire owners keep their money might make you feel better, but I have no idea why. Maybe you just don’t want to think about it. I’m not sure what you want the government to do that is specific to baseball either. Tax the wealthy, okay, but I don’t see how this is a baseball problem any more than it is an America problem.

bjoak
Member
bjoak
2 years 8 months ago

Also, this is honestly not a dig, but the fact that you can’t use any of the three “there”s correctly seriously detracts from your message. Do yourself a favor and take the five minutes to look them up and learn them.

Dan Snyder
Guest
Dan Snyder
2 years 8 months ago

Word from the Atlanta Beat writer is that McCann has a bromance for Jeter and would make being a Yankee more than a $ issue. (Although who are we kidding)

Johnston
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

6/90 for McCann? I sure hope not.

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