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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Free Agents Newsbeat

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Free-agent starters Red Sox may try to sign |

If his medicals look good, Cueto would be a really good fit for the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, red sox

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Angels aren’t ruling out pursuit of Heyward | FOX Sports

They won’t rule him out. With interest like that, I’m just going to put him on their roster.

The Angels aren’t ruling out a pursuit of free agent Jason Heyward, sources tell Ken Rosenthal and me. And if the Angels sign Heyward, they’d likely move Kole Calhoun from right field to left.

It’s important to note the Angels are only in the preliminary stages of their search for an everyday outfielder. But Heyward is among the many possibilities for new general manager Billy Eppler.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, free agents, jason heyward

Monday, November 23, 2015

Figuring Out What To Pay Ben Zobrist | FanGraphs Baseball

Dave is really stretching it.

And then there’s me. I’m the outlier in the group, putting down an estimate of 4 years, $76 million, almost doubling the total guarantee that the crowd expects. Of the publicly available free agent prognosticators, I was the high man on both the years and the annual average value, which is quite likely informed by the fact that I put more stock in the statistical analysis than most others do. The fact that I’m so far off the consensus likely says more about me than Zobrist, and in talking with people in the game, no one thinks I’m going to end up being right on this one.
Maybe there won’t be enough teams to see him as a +3.5 WAR guy to get up towards that 4/$76M guess that I put out there. But it’s really difficult to see as Zobrist as worth less than $50 million, and really, something closer to $60 million should probably be his floor. He isn’t going to be what he was before, but even as he gets older, there are still plenty of reasons to think that Zobrist will remain a productive player for the next couple of years.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 23, 2015 at 03:38 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: ben zobrist, free agents, sabermetrics

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nick Cafardo | Sunday Baseball Notes: Major league teams are closing in fast on game’s top closers - The Boston Globe

Melancon saved 51 games last season, and since the season ended, he has heard his name mentioned as a possible trade chip. Why would the Pirates trade such an important part of their team? Melancon’s performance the last three seasons should net him a sizable contract. And the Pirates just aren’t into those.

“It’s been part of my career in baseball,” said Melancon from his home in Houston. “I’ve been traded four times, so really I’ve been there and done it, and if it happens again, then I’ll deal with it.

“I love the Pirates. I love our group of guys and would love to stay here, but I also understand the business of it.

“Every organization has a different business plan, and if the Pirates feel they need to deal me, then I understand that. Our people haven’t said a word to me about the possibility, so until that changes, I’m assuming I’m starting the year with the Pirates.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 22, 2015 at 08:02 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, notes, trade rumors

Friday, November 20, 2015


Alfonso Soriano may also be available.

The brand name: Dexter Fowler
The substitute: Austin Jackson

Perhaps Fowler’s not at the forefront of this free-agent market, in general, but—especially now that Colby Rasmus has accepted the Astros’ qualifying offer—Fowler is at the forefront of the center-field market, in particular. With a career OBP of .363, Fowler is a worthwhile investment, though scouts do wonder if it’s high time he move to an outfield corner, where his offensive skill set isn’t quite as valuable.

There are other potential value buys beyond Fowler, but you’ve got to be at least a little concerned about the condition of Denard Span’s hip following surgery, and Gerardo Parra’s once-dazzling defense was decidedly less so in his time in Baltimore, which worries some scouts and clubs.

Jackson’s value is inherently tied to the length of his forthcoming contract. If you can get him on a one-year deal, he has the potential to provide tremendous bang per buck (especially if he looks at next year’s free-agent outfield class, as Rasmus did, and is motivated to get to the top of that market). Jackson’s defense isn’t what it once was, but he’s still capable of more-than-adequate coverage in center field. The bet here is on a 29-year-old who is three seasons removed from a .300/.377/.479 slash line making gains in productivity with the right tutelage. Jackson’s ground-ball rate climbed about 10 percentage points from 2014 to 2015, but his hard-hit percentage rose four points. If he can get his walk rate where it once was, Jackson can again be an impactful offensive presence.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2015 at 07:34 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, austin jackson, dae ho lee, free agents, j.a. happ

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Oakland A’s sign Rich Hill: fantasy impact - Fake Teams

I’ve always liked Rich Hill‘s stuff. Unfortunately, he’s had a lot of injury problems. It will be interesting to see how he holds up this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2015 at 06:57 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, free agents, rich hill

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Five teams that should try to sign free agents Price or Greinke | FOX Sports

Does Ken Rosenthal work for Scott Boras and Bo McKinnis now?

We know the obvious suitors for free-agent aces David Price and Zack Greinke — the Dodgers, Giants and Cubs; Cardinals, Red Sox and Blue Jays (at least for Price).

I can think of five other teams that also should be in the mix — teams with expiring contracts, teams that should not wait until next offseason, when the free-agent pitching class (Stephen Strasburg, Andrew Cashner, etc.) will be much weaker.

The 2017-18 class could be somewhat stronger (Yu Darvish, Tyson Ross, etc). But who wants to wait two years and bank on the possibility that such pitchers will be healthy and available?

I am not suggesting that one of the teams below will sign Price, 30, or Greinke, 32 — if I had to bet, I would bet on Price to the Cubs and Greinke to the Giants. But all of them should at least explore the possibility.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Red Sox need an ace, but will they sign a free agent over 30? - The Boston Globe

The short-term boost isn’t worth the long-term headaches of a megabuck 30 plus starting pitcher. Of course, having patience got their last GM replaced.

Red Sox principal owner John Henry told Bloomberg Businessweek magazine in 2014 that he was opposed to the idea of signing players over the age of 30 to long-term contracts. He cited a study showing that many such deals prove to be mistakes.

That comment, a bit innocuous at the time, has come to define Henry’s approach to free agency, particularly with pitchers. The Red Sox made a low-ball offer to Jon Lester that spring, failed to sign him and then traded the 30-year-old lefthander.

Henry, who also owns the Globe, has said several times since that his comment was not meant as some sort of intractable organizational philosophy.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, red sox

Jason Heyward likely to land monster contract | FOX Sports

How does Heyward not end up in Yankees Stadium?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jason heyward, white sox, yankees

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Big free-agent contracts not worth it long-term.

Some of the players who sign for $20 million or more will be worth it in 2016, and some even in 2017. And who knows? Maybe they’ll sustain their value for a half-decade to come. But they’ll be bucking history if they do. So much of baseball analysis and analytics in the past few years has been focused on maximizing the efficiency of one’s payroll dollar, down to the most granular level. If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that little is less inefficient than buying free agents on the open market. Every team about to sign these guys thinks this time it’ll be different, that they’re the ones making the wise long-term move. Every team always thinks that. Next thing you know, you’re staring at the calendar, waiting for it to turn, so you can walk away from that free-agent mistake and move on with your life. In all transactions, buyer beware. But in these transactions, buyer really, really beware.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 06:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Monday, November 09, 2015

What could keep Yankees away from second-tier pitchers | New York Post

Psst, the Yankees are in the middle of a rebuild.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2015 at 01:52 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yankees

Twins win $12.85 million bidding for Korean slugger Byung-ho Park

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Twins submitted the high bid at $12.85 million, which is amusing because the Twins were one of the few teams not linked to Park in various reports. No one saw this coming.

Minnesota now has a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Park, who hit .343 with 53 homers, 146 RBIs, and a 1.150 OPS in 140 games for Nexen this season and has topped a 1.000 OPS in each of the past three years. Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang had similarly amazing numbers in the same league two years ago and went on to hit .287 with an .816 OPS in 126 games as an MLB rookie.

As a first baseman Park would be a bit of an odd fit in Minnesota given the presence of Joe Mauer at first base and Miguel Sano at designated hitter, but Sano played third base in the minors and the Twins have talked recently about getting him some reps in the outfield too.

Where might Yoenis Cespedes sign? - Beyond the Box Score

After donning number 52 for four different teams in the past 16 months, Cespedes is looking to settle down with one team. In a recent interview with ESPN Deportes’ Marly Rivera, the 30-year-old left fielder stated that the contract he’s looking for “has to be six years or more.” A long-term commitment like that won’t come cheap to the organization that picks him up, but despite his wavering performance in the postseason, he’ll be a quality addition for whoever signs him.

Predicting where he’ll end up with perfect certainty given the number of teams in search of a left fielder is a bit tricky, but some make more sense than others. Here are four possible fits for Cespedes, but of course, where he’ll end up is a mystery.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2015 at 09:50 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yoenis cespedes

Why This Free Agent Class May Hit the Jackpot | FanGraphs Baseball

Dave Cameron explains why free agents are going to get paid overpaid this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2015 at 09:47 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, free agents

Inside Baseball: Top 50 free agents, ranked by dollars and projections -

Jon Heyman gets out his crystal ball.

Edit: Here’s a link to his notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2015 at 09:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, notes

Thursday, November 05, 2015

FanGraphs Crowd: The Top 82 Free Agents | FanGraphs Baseball

Players are ranked by total median projected contract value — and then, in such cases where players have received the same median contract estimate, by the total average contract value. A spreadsheet containing the results is available here. Statistics are from 2015. Offensive and defensive value are expressed relative to league average. Defensive value accounts both for defensive runs and positional adjustment. One can read more about both metrics here.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 05, 2015 at 09:37 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

ONE World Sports :: Lee Dae Ho to pursue Major League Baseball

I don’t need to see the translation of his stats to know he profiles as a bench guy at best.

The 33-year-old DH/corner infielder, 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, has been a productive player in Japan over two years with the Orix Buffaloes and the past two seasons with SoftBank.

He is a .293 hitter in Nippon Pro Baseball and is coming off a season in which he hit .282 with 31 longballs—his highest power total during his time in Japan.

His upside includes his ability to get around on fastballs, and he figures to see more of those in the big leagues. The downside is that big league scouts back in 2012 told ONE World Sports Lee wasn’t really a candidate for the majors because of his lack of impressive marks in his overall game.

They also said his power wouldn’t play the way it does in the vastly different ballparks in Asia.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 04, 2015 at 06:40 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, japanese baseball, lee dae ho

Friday, October 02, 2015

red sox - Rich Hill’s message: ‘I can pitch for anybody, against anybody, anytime, anywhere’ - WEEI | Rob Bradford

How much money can he really expect to get? $4-$5 million on a one-year deal?

“I would say so,” said Hill when asked if this was the best he’s ever felt. “With my body being healthy. The way the ball is coming out of my hand. The way I’ve been able to command the baseball. Those are all very big positive things. And being left-handed, I think that’s a huge plus that can be added to any rotation in baseball. You look at the four games and the overall numbers, if you want to just look at numbers, those can’t be overlooked. Just continuing to make pitches and showing this is a real thing.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 10:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, red sox, rich hill

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Peter Gammons: Red Sox could use an “Alpha Dog” to fill top of rotation -

There is a long way to go in all this. Dombrowski may try to move some of the money owed Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, which may not be simple propositions. Ownership may want to restrict pitching contracts. They may look at the fact that four of the top pitchers in WAR are Jake Arrieta, Dallas Keuchel, John Lackey (the ask-out fallout from the Lester offer) and Chris Archer; the work put in the last two months in developing and finding pitchers has been tireless and creative.

Alpha dogs cannot be found at a breeder. Not that easy.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 22, 2015 at 10:13 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, free agents, johnny cueto, pitching, red sox, zach greinke

Monday, September 14, 2015

10 Degrees: Why Yoenis Cespedes may not come back to New York

Great timing for Cespedes.

Six weeks ago, a nine-figure deal seemed optimistic, according to two GMs, two personnel men and two agents surveyed recently by Yahoo Sports. The six now believe discussions with the soon-to-be-30-year-old Cespedes will begin at $125 million and end up perhaps in the $160 million range, a staggering figure for someone who the last two seasons posted on-base percentages of .294 and .301. Baseball, like so many other avenues in life, cannot help but fall into the recency-bias trap.

Friday, June 26, 2015

2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings - MLB Trade Rumors

Tim Dierkes assesses the potential free agents.

We’re about 45% of the way through the 2015 MLB season, and free agency looms for several of the game’s star players.  It’s time for a new installment of the 2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings.

Monday, June 01, 2015

David Price, Doug Fister, Outlook for 2015-16 free agent pitchers could be dimming | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal writes up an update on the next free agent class.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2015 at 12:32 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, pitchers



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