Chat With MLBTR's Steve Adams: 4/7/20
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Steve Adams
3:39
Greetings all -- we tried out a theme last week and it went fairly well... let's see how we do this week with a different one. This week let's focus on next year's class of free agents ... earning power, potential extensions for pending FAs when talks resume, good/bad fits, which clubs might be more limited than we'd think for financial reasons, etc.

Here's a list of next year's class:
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/03/2020-21-mlb-free-agents.html
3:40
We can still grab some questions on the potential Arizona plan and other current topics, but I'll focus much of that chat on that train of thinking
(Just realized I hadn't hit "publish" on the actual chat post yet when I sent those first two comments, ha ... that'd explain the lack of questions!)
Guest
3:40
Do you think MLB will really start in May in Arizona only?
Steve Adams
3:42
We can get one of these out of the way early on -- I'm immensely skeptical. There are myriad obstacles, ranging from weather to logistics to the looming question of what would happen if an active player tested positive. Would his whole team go into quarantine? That alone poses so many obstacles. There's also lost revenue for owners, who won't concede to that without a fight, plus the fact that Arizona only recently just issued a stay-at-home order and probably has a later virus peak than many other states.
Sam
3:42
Do the 1 year deals expire
Steve Adams
3:43
Yes -- one-year contracts signed this past offseason would expire. And players going into their final arb year would be free agents. The Dodgers get particularly screwed there, with Mookie Betts reaching free agency before he even plays a game for them
Other clubs do as well, of course, but that's a pretty tough blow.
Sad Mariners Fan
3:43
Does a state tax bracket have any real bearing on where a FA signs?
Steve Adams
3:45
In extreme cases it can, but I think a lot of the tax jargon we hear is a way for agents to talk up their deals (or disparage those of other agencies).
Mookie Betts
3:45
If there is no season, what happens to players like me? Do we get a year of service time, or am I back in LA on the same (or renegotiated, perhaps) deal?
Steve Adams
3:45
He's only back in Los Angeles if they outbid the market for him.
3:46
And there's probably a decent chance they could do that -- a lot of smaller-budget teams will probably be less inclined to spend next winter with all the lost revenue. The Dodgers' deeper pockets could help them in that regard even more than it would in a traditional offseason setting.
Rangers29
3:46
Speaking of the class of FA's, if the Rangers are a Middling team this season with a superb pitching staff, can you see them making big signings on the hitting side? (Springer would look really good in a Rangers uni)
Steve Adams
3:47
Yep -- they're not getting the expected revenue boost from the new park, but they can realistically anticipate a spike in 2021. Outfield has been an issue for quite some time, and they've had a lot of left-handed-leaning lineups. Springer adds balance, fills a critical need and should be within their budget. I can absolutely see that fit.
Hello
3:48
Is it just me or do I see the cardinals going after Matt Boyd next off season?
Steve Adams
3:49
I don't see starting pitching as a major need there with Mikolas, Flaherty, Martinez, Hudson, Kim, Cabrera, Woodford and probably some others I'm forgetting
Reyes
Mookie Betts
3:49
So I would become a free agent even if there is not a single baseball game played this season?
Steve Adams
3:49
Correct
TIM
3:50
Will J.T. sign with Phillies or go free agent?
Steve Adams
3:51
I have to imagine that he's so close to the open market by the time that the season starts -- if it does -- that he just plays out the remainder of the season. The Phillies might still beat the rest of the field to keep him on board, but it's going to cost well over $100MM barring an injury -- quite possibly north of $120MM. I'm skeptical they can beat Posey's $159MM guarantee and Goldschmidt's $26MM AAV, but Jon Heyman reported not that long ago that both were talking points from JTR's camp.
Jays Fan
3:52
James Paxton would look pretty nice in a Jays uni, no?
Steve Adams
3:53
Sure -- makes a nice top 3 with Ryu and hopefully Nate Pearson. Fans would love the Canadian component. But I also think he can command something similar to Ryu's deal -- if not more -- should he come back healthy, and that's a pair of real big bets on a pair of lefties with some lengthy injury histories.
Marcus Semien
3:53
Where does he even go anyway?
Steve Adams
3:56
A few clubs that I think will be looking for SS help and could afford a big splash: Reds, Twins, Angels (if Simmons leaves), Yankees (Gleyber back to 2B), Phillies. Mets maybe if Rosario doesn't improve. The A's, of course, but it's tough to see a $100MM+ contract there, and Semien could get there with a good 2020
Rick Hahn
3:56
How would you grade my offseason?
Steve Adams
3:57
The Nomar Mazara trade does nothing for me, I wouldn't have paid Keuchel that much. But I like the Grandal and EE signings. Gio was a fine price. Cishek was a good deal.
3:58
Too much money to extend Abreu, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that was Reinsdorf directly. Somewhere in the B range
Grandal was a great fit there and filled what I considered a huge need.
Upcoming Free Agents
3:59
Do you see players now signing earlier and for less money in light of this year when their pay is going to get severely cut?
Steve Adams
4:01
One second -- sorry ... had a spill/glass breakage in our apartment, haha. Joys of quarantine!
4:03
And back, haha -- fiance knocked over a glass on the overcrowded counter that was once my workspace and is now home to her extra monitors and teaching equipment. Extra bodies and stuff in small spaces. Fun!
4:04
To the question:
4:05
I do think some guys will sign early -- jumping at early multi-year pacts rather than holding out for that best-case deal with the extra year. Ownership is reluctant to pay players in the first place ... that'll be doubly so after a season of kneecapped revenue (especially for non-star players)
Dwigt
4:05
Are teams going to be spending much less this offseason due to the lack of revenue? On the flip side, would this be a chance for the big market teams to get some really good value long term contracts?
Steve Adams
4:07
I think yes to both of those. You're not going to see Mookie signing something like 5/125 or something, but it's reasonable to think there'll be some more difficulty in drumming up competition for the top names with sky-high asking prices. Maybe that'll help the Dodgers to finally land a big-name free agent with the shorter-term, high-AAV offers they've tended to prefer.
Jason
4:08
Adrianza from Twins great UTILITY Player , FA next season one year deal or two ?
Steve Adams
4:10
I can honestly say I have yet to think about Ehire Adrianza's earning power! ...But I can't see more than a year. Even Brock Holt wasn't able to get a good multi-year deal this winter, and he's a better hitter who's more playable in the OF
Adrianza has only had one decent year at the plate, and it was during the juiced ball explosion
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