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Friday, April 17, 2020

Five Soon-to-Be Free Agents With the Most to Lose From a Postponed Season

At the end of January, back when the pandemic had yet to become a pandemic, I took the bold step of ranking Mookie Betts No. 1 on my way-too-early list of next winter’s top free agents.

Oh, what an innocent time it was.

Less than three months later, the context for my free-agent rankings has completely changed. It was written under the assumption that baseball would begin as usual, giving players such as DJ LeMahieu (No. 5), Trevor Bauer (No. 3) and George Springer (No. 2) the chance to boost their value in a contract year. Now we don’t know if there will be any baseball this year.

Let’s highlight the five upcoming free agents who have the most to lose from a drastically shortened or canceled 2020 season.

 


Friday, January 31, 2020

Way-Too-Early Ranking of Next Winter’s Top Free Agents

Most of the top free agents this offseason have already signed, a refreshing change after the last few stagnant winters. Now, with players reporting to spring training in just a few weeks, let’s turn our attention to the best players available on the open market after next season.

This list includes only unrestricted free agents, because we don’t know now if Giancarlo Stanton, J.D. Martinez or Dellin Betances will opt out of their current deals. The same is true with Anthony Rizzo, Carlos Santana and Corey Kluber, whose clubs have the option to keep them for another year.

Here are the top five free agents slated to hit the market next winter.

This is what happens when the hot stove moves quicker than you were expecting, isn’t it?

QLE Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: d.j. lemahieu, free agents, george springer, j.t. realmuto, mookie betts, trevor bauer

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The All Decade Team

Second base: Jose Altuve, Astros

Hey, another six-time All-Star and a former MVP. But unlike Posey and Votto, who have faded of late, Altuve’s still a high-end performer. The diminutive 29-year-old’s fresh off his sixth straight outstanding season after beginning his career as a fairly non-threatening hitter. Between 2014-19, Altuve hit .327/.380/.497 with 114 dingers and helped his team to a championship. He ranked fourth in the majors in fWAR (32.4) and fifth in stolen bases (179) during that span.


Sunday, December 08, 2019

Did last year’s MLB free-agent class live up to the money?

The 2018 free-agent period was highly anticipated until it actually happened.

In comparison, this offseason already looks like it’s going in fast forward. We’re days away from the 2019 Winter Meetings but Yasmani Grandal (Chicago White Sox) and Zack Wheeler (Philadelphia Phillies) cashed in on deals that were larger than all but three of the free-agent pacts that were signed last offseason.

Although it was slow to develop, there were still a number of big-money deals signed before last opening day. But they weren’t all winners. In fact, the bargain bin proved to be quite productive, as six of the eight players to lead the 2018 free-agent class in bWAR did not sign the top-10 biggest deals of the offseason.

Here is a look at those that did, reviewing the player and the deal after the first year.

A consideration of last year’s free-agent class, as this year’s class begins to be signed.

 


Friday, December 06, 2019

Ahoy, San Diego: 2019 Winter Meetings Preview

Commentary on what to expect from the Winter Meetings- here is a sample of this approach:

Major League Baseball vs. Minor League Baseball

One thing a lot of people don’t know about the Winter Meetings is that it’s put on, primarily, by Minor League Baseball as an organization and the vast majority of the people on the ground at the Winter Meetings either run or work for or are trying to sell stuff to minor league teams. Almost every team’s owner comes and brings along some staffers. Coaches, trainers, scouts, and other team employees who spend most of their year out in the bushes as opposed to back at the big club’s home base attend meetings and hobnob with one another.

Normally that’s all pretty routine. This year, however, it probably won’t be thanks to Rob Manfred’s plan to contract 42 minor league clubs and rearrange a great many more of them across levels and leagues.

As we noted earlier today, that scheme has set off a political firestorm and is no doubt the top agenda item and point of concern for every single minor league official and employee at the Winter Meetings. There are, reportedly, already meetings going on in San Diego about all of this. Expect some news about it at any point in the next week. At this point I’d expect anything from Manfred totally scrapping the plan, to him doubling down on it, to reports of general acrimony and possible legal action and everything in between.

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:21 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, free agents, hall of fame, managers, minor leagues, rule 5 draft, trades, winter meetings

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 | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: avisail garcia, corey dickerson, dallas keuchel, didi gregorius, free agents, yasiel puig

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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