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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Phillies, Wheeler agree to 5-year deal (source)

I’m not a fan of the Phillies decision making.

A source told MLB.com on Wednesday that the Phillies and Wheeler have agreed to a five-year, $118 million contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:59 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, zach wheeler

Monday, December 02, 2019

Five Best MLB Free-Agent Bargains

Part of the fun in the early offseason is the optimism teams have about signing the franchise-changing free agent. The rumor mill could lead you to believe two dozen clubs have a genuine shot at signing Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg or Anthony Rendon.

That isn’t reality. But there’s still hope for teams that don’t want to dole out nine-figure contracts to free agents. DJ LeMahieu (two years, $24 million) and Josh Donaldson (1 year, $23 million) were perhaps the two best signings last winter. Both signed for less than 10% of one (1) Bryce Harper or one (1) Manny Machado.

So where are there bargains to be found this winter? Let’s have a look.

So, are these the best options of this nature, and, if not, who is?

QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:57 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: avisail garcia, corey dickerson, dallas keuchel, didi gregorius, free agents, yasiel puig

Friday, November 29, 2019

2019 Non-Tender Candidates - MLB Trade Rumors

As we do each year at MLBTR, we’re providing a list of players whose teams could potentially elect not to tender them a contract, thus sending them into the free-agent pool earlier than expected. It should be emphasized that we’re not indicating that each of these players is likely to be non-tendered (though that’s certainly the case with some of them). Typically, we list any player for which we can envision at least a 10-20 percent chance of a non-tender.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2019 at 05:33 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, non-tenders

Stephen Strasburg’s projections through 2026 | MLB.com

Those numbers might seem conservative, as projections often are, and Strasburg did throw far more innings (1,187 1/3) over the past seven seasons. But he did that at ages 24-30, not 31-37, and his health record should cause some concern.

There was, of course, the 2010 Tommy John surgery. But that led to just one of Strasburg’s 10 career stints on the injured list, including seven from 2015-18 before he remained on the field this past season. Going back to ‘15, Strasburg ranks only 34th in the Majors in innings, and his history of injuries is probably the biggest reason to for caution. As Russell Carleton—who now works in the Mets’ front office—wrote for Baseball Prospectus a few years ago, the best predictor of pitcher injury is past injury.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2019 at 09:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, nationals, stephen strasburg

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A position-by-position look at the free agent market

Patrick Corbin was an exception last offseason.

Amid a slow free agent market — some stars didn’t sign until after the start of spring training — Corbin’s search for a new home was over in December when he received a $140 million, six-year contract from Washington.

That worked out pretty well for both team and player. Corbin was a key part of the Nationals’ starting rotation this year, and he threw three scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 of the World Series, helping the team win its first World Series title.

Now, another offseason is in full swing. It’s hard to say whether teams will be more aggressive in pursuing free agents, hoping to land the next Corbin, but the Atlanta Braves already made a significant move, signing reliever Will Smith away from San Francisco.

A consideration of the free-agent market of the moment.


Wednesday, November 06, 2019

One Free Agent Every MLB Team Should Sign

For a sample of this approach:

Arizona Diamondbacks

2019 Record: 85-77, 2nd Place in NL West

Positions of Need: CF/2B, RF, RP

Target: The Diamondbacks have a solid rotation and good, young hitters. Then there’s Ketel Marte, who can start at either second base or centerfield but not both. This free-agent class is thin at both positions, with perhaps their best option being the only non-National to homer off Gerrit Cole this postseason: Eric Sogard. Sogard isn’t a season-altering signing, but the 33-year-old nicknamed “Nerd Power” for his signature sports glasses is coming off his best season yet (.290/.353/.457, 2.6 bWAR). He’s from Phoenix, went to Arizona State and could be just the right guy while Arizona waits for prospect Joshua Rojas, whom it acquired in the Zack Greinke trade.

So, would you agree with these assessment, and, if not, what would you do instead?

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:00 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Moustakas, Grandal go onto free agent market

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal declined their mutual options with the Milwaukee Brewers, becoming free agents.

Moustakas, who turned 31 in September, is a free agent for the third straight offseason after earning $18.7 million in a pair of one-year deals.

He hit .254 with 35 homers and 87 RBIs this year for the Brewers, earning his third All-Star selection. After starting the season at second base, he moved across the diamond to third when Travis Shaw slumped.

 

QLE Posted: November 02, 2019 at 12:30 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, free agents, mike moustakas, yasmani grandal

Friday, November 01, 2019

Cole, Rendon among 131 free agents on market

NEW YORK (AP) — Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon became a free agent Thursday, a day after homering to spark Washington’s seventh-inning comeback in Game 7 of the World Series.

Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole also went free after warming up in the bullpen but never getting into the season finale.

And Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP, could be joining them in the next few days. He has the right to opt out of his contract, which has $100 million over four years remaining.

Baseball’s business season starts shortly after the final out.

For those wanting something to follow this off-season.

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 01:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, free agents, gerrit cole, hot stove

Friday, October 25, 2019

Ranking MLB’s Top 50 Free Agents

Eleven autumns ago, we at SI.com debuted the Reiter 50, which would become our annual ranking of the top 50 free agents available. That first list was topped by a certain hard-throwing 28-year-old—the same one who just last week walked off the mound, at 39 and in pain, after throwing what was certainly his final pitch for the club that signed him way back then.

The end of Carsten Charles Sabathia’s career was, first and foremost, a reminder of both the passage and ravages of time, as he was not just best but the last remaining active player from that first list. But it also spoke to the franchise-altering potential of the right free agent. Free agency, as an institution, has changed since 2008; owners are more tight-fisted now, and around a third of the league’s clubs each winter can be expected to barely participate at all, preferring to rebuild from within until they judge the time to be right. Still: for the cost of only (a lot of) money, teams might add a Sabathia, or a Scherzer, and never regret it.

This year’s postseason has affirmed the continuing value of elite starting pitchers, and this winter’s class is likely to include at least two of them. The class, in fact, is distinctly tiered: genuine superstars, from No. 1 to No. 3; plain-old All-Stars, from No. 4 to No. 12; really strong contributors, from No. 13 to No. 21; and needs-based pieces with potential, down to the bottom, although it gets a little thin around No. 40. Clubs looking for starters will find them, if they spend, and there are also generally a lot of solid-to-elite infielders—although not many shortstops. Relievers? Your options are limited.

A few notes: I’ve made educated guesses about what options will or will not be picked up; perhaps the player who is most likely to join this list is slugger Edwin Encarnacion, as the Yankees might choose to buy him out for $5 million instead of keeping him aboard for four times that. Each player’s listed age reflects how old he will be during the 2020 season, and we’re using the Baseball Reference version of Wins Above Replacement.

So, what do we make of this list?

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 12:57 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, lists

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Mark Shapiro cites Phillies, Padres as cautionary tales for spending on free agents

In our current era of austerity baseball, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins are an owner’s best friends. They are happy to go out and toe the company line, justifying putting the bare minimum of effort needed to cobble together a major league roster. It is no surprise, then, that the Blue Jays just finished in fourth place for the third consecutive year after back-to-back appearances in the ALCS.

At Pitch Talks in 2018, Atkins said, “When you’re talking about free agency, you’re talking about aging players. And the trend of overpaying a player’s aging curve has come to an end across baseball.”

In late 2018, Shapiro defended the Jays’ decision not to call up top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. when rosters expanded in September, saying the decision “has nothing to do with business.” Guerrero had absolutely crushed it in 2018, batting an aggregate .381/.437/.636 in 408 plate appearances in the minors, including a 1.120 OPS at Double-A and .978 at Triple-A. He would continue to crush it in the Arizona Fall League.

In late February this year, Atkins set the ground work for the Jays to manipulate Guerrero’s service time, saying of the then-19-year-old, “I just don’t see [Guerrero] as a major league player.” Guerrero was held down in the minors until the Jays gained their extra year of contractual control, then brought him up in late April. He was no Pete Alonso, but had a fine rookie season, batting .272/.339/.433 with 15 home runs and 69 RBI in 514 plate appearances in the majors. Not bad for a 20-year-old. But the Jays were less interested in his age-20 season and more interested in his age-26 season. You know, in 2025.

“Why sell our team using star players when we can brag that our players’ dads were ones instead?”

 

QLE Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cheap owners, free agents, mark shapiro

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?

 


Friday, December 11, 2015

IT’S THE CUBS’ WORLD NOW

Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of the Cubs’ signing of Heyward, that this ratchets up the rivalry.

But if anything, I believe it dampens it. Even before Friday, the Cubs were a better team than the Cardinals in just about every way. Now that the Cubs took the Cardinals’ best player, the gap between these teams have widened. If anyone needs to prove this is a rivalry, it’s the fading Cardinals.


 

 

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