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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Here are baseball’s top 20 free agents to be

If it feels like last year’s free agency just ended, that’s because it did. The “winter” technically stretched into early June, when Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel finally signed with the Braves and Cubs, respectively.

But it won’t be very long until we fire up free agency yet again, and, despite some rumors to the contrary, there’s a ton of talent on the table after the 2019 World Series wraps.

Here, we’ll take a look at some early free-agent power rankings (20 players for 2020). But like so much of life, it gets complicated. The market will be drastically affected by what happens with various opt-outs and option clauses. For this list, we’re going to leave off guys whose options are likely to be exercised or whose opt-outs aren’t. This currently applies to Kenley Jansen, David Price, Corey Kluber, Anthony Rizzo, Starling Marte, Nelson Cruz, José Quintana, Yu Darvish and Elvis Andrus, among others. But as always, stay tuned!

We will, however, include a few others who aren’t necessarily as likely to remain attached to their current contracts, and have noted those with an asterisk (*). All ages as of Opening Day 2020.

So, what thoughts do we have concerning this list?

 


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Report: Red Sox unlikely to retain Mookie Betts and/or J.D. Martinez

Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are unlikely to retain outfielder Mookie Betts and/or DH J.D. Martinez. One or both are likely to be traded this winter. The Red Sox purportedly do not have the payroll flexibility to afford both given the recent signings of pitchers Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi.

The Red Sox currently have a payroll over $236 million, exceeding the competitive balance tax threshold for a second straight year. Last year, the CBT threshold was $197 million, this year it’s $206 million. The Red Sox will pay a penalty on the $30 million overage, 30 percent ($9 million) plus a 12 percent penalty ($3.6 million) for exceeding the CBT threshold between $20-40 million. To a layperson, these are huge penalties. To a billionaire, they are drops in the ocean. Even to a team, it’s the cost of a free agent reliever.

John Henry, who is the principal owner of the Red Sox (and The Boston Globe), has a net worth of $2.7 billion, according to Forbes. Henry and the Red Sox could keep both Betts and Martinez if they really wanted to. The CBT, of course, was designed to give team owners a reason to limit their investments in their teams, so it’s working exactly as intended.

Ever get the feeling we’re on the verge of a major strike in a few years’ time?

QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:30 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: cheap owners, j.d. martinez, mookie betts, red sox

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Future Star Who Got Away From Each MLB Team

Athletics: Max Muncy (released), 9.9 WAR
Also: Joey Wendle (traded for Jonah Heim)


Muncy in two seasons as an Athletic: .195/.290/.321, 5 home runs, -0.2 WAR
Muncy in two seasons as a Dodger: .262/.383/.561, 68 home runs, 9.9 WAR

Muncy as a Dodger is a top-10 hitter in the sport; he displays power, patience at the plate, and capable multipositional flexibility for the team most suited to make use of that fluidity. Of course, every team could use a 30-homer hitter with elite on-base skills, but perhaps only the Dodgers could have coaxed such improvement out of Muncy, who has hit at every level since joining the club in 2017.

 


 

 

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