Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams 8/9/22
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Steve Adams
11:00
Greetings all! Should have about an hour today, as usual. Let's get rolling.
Guardians Fan
11:01
Thoughts on the guardians recent split with the Astros and do you believe they can make a real push for the AL Central?
Steve Adams
11:03
It'd be nice if they'd done ... well, anything, to improve at the deadline. I know they're selling this as a huge youth movement and whatnot, but it felt like they just bypassed so many avenues to improving. I wonder how much freedom the front office actually had to add payroll... my guess is not much, if any.

They have enough talent to go on a run and take the Central, sure, but the Twins went and got better (quite a bit better) while the Guards and Sox did nothing. Injuries, health etc. are always going to play a role, but I'd still take Minnesota over Cleveland in the Central.
Les Gomez
11:04
Could you see Steve Cohen taking on a bad contract this winter (ie Rendon) to lessen the cost for an impact player (ie Ohtani)?
Steve Adams
11:06
Take on a bad contract, sure. Take on Rendon to get Ohtani? No. I don't think Ohtani will be moved. The reason he wasn't traded last week was generally because owner Arte Moreno was against it, and I don't see why that'd change in the winter. Maybe next deadline season.
11:08
Also, as great as Ohtani is, taking on the remainder of that Rendon contract is just too much to ask a trade partner. Rendon has four years and $152MM to go. A team isn't taking on $152MM (plus Ohtani's salary) for one year of Ohtani. It's not at all akin to the Corbin/Soto rumors (which still didn't make much sense)... Corbin is owed $59MM over two years before free agency. Soto is controlled through 2024.
JBJ
11:08
Did I get claimed or am I now a FA?
Steve Adams
11:08
Sox released Bradley over the weekend. No one was ever claiming that salary.
Change my mind
11:08
Astros the team to beat in the AL.
Steve Adams
11:09
I agree, so no need to try to change your mind.
Harry Carey
11:09
What do you think the Cubs can do to compete for the NL central next season?
Steve Adams
11:12
I'm not really sure there's a plausible path for them to take. With enough breaks it's possible for any team to contend (see: 2022 Orioles), but the Cubs have two starters for next season (Stroman, Steele). They'll probably lose Contreras. They'll need a catcher, a center fielder, some corner infield help, a better DH option, and multiple relievers/
11:13
I still think they should be willing to add a big-name shortstop, slide Hoerner to another spot, look at some mid-range plays in the rotation (similar to the Stroman deal) and hope it's enough to really propel them to the point where it makes sense to upgrade at the trade deadline.

At the same time, based on their recent history of moves, I have a hard time seeing it happen.
Bledcam
11:14
Do you expect the Rangers to be more active in free agency or via trade this offseason? I'm expecting a push to acquire pitching.
Steve Adams
11:15
I doubt they're closed off to either, but they've built an improved farm system, still have a pretty clean payroll outlook even after last year's half-billion dollar infield splurge, and probably don't want to deplete the minor league talent too much by trading for short-term upgrades. I lean free agency over trades, but that does not (and will not) preclude them from looking at some controllable pieces on the trade market.
CJ
11:16
Steven Kawn! Rookie of the Year?
Steve Adams
11:18
Kwan has been really good, but he wouldn't even crack my top three in the AL (Julio, Adley, Pena)... he might not be a top-five finisher when you think of some of the relievers (Felix Bautista, Jhoan Duran) out there. Plus George Kirby in Seattle's rotation. Joe Ryan in Minnesota. I like Kwan as a player but he's not a ROY candidate for me. It's Rodriguez's to lose by a wide margin right now.
James Click
11:18
How much will Verlander cost in the off-season? Is 3/120 realistic?
Steve Adams
11:19
I do think there's a case for him to command 3/120 -- or perhaps something like 2/90 to give him a new AAV record if teams are wary of a three-year commitment.

I'm working on the latest edition of our Free Agent Power Rankings right now, and Verlander has jumped firmly into the top 10.
Dawg
11:20
If the Giants win their last 51 games, they will make it to 107 wins.  I'm not sure why they weren't bigger sellers. Rodon and Pederson are both under contract for just the year... as is Belt, etc.   Couldn't they have built some prospects?
Steve Adams
11:22
Rodon's player option is a notable roadblock to trading him. If he were on a straight one-year deal, he'd have had more value. The player option means that if he has an injury/collapse, like he did last year, the acquiring team is on the hook for $22MM. I don't find it surprising that the Giants found offers to be so tepid that they just preferred to hang onto him and make a qualifying offer.

Pederson is similar... I think fans love the guy for the JOCTOBER narrative, and he was on fire earlier this year. But he's a platoon corner outfielder with awful defensive ratings who's had to take one-year deals under $8MM in each of the past two offseasons. It's pretty clear that front offices don't value him as a huge difference-maker, so the offers probably weren't very good.
Mark
11:23
Hurry up with those free agent power rankings! I wanna see what my teams gonna do in the offseason lol
Steve Adams
11:24
They're not going to make any predictions -- those come with our offseason Top 50 -- they're just a ranking of the top 10 free agents, by earning power, as we see them.

Spoiler alert: Aaron Judge is #1.
Heyward
11:24
With the Heyward news yesterday---isn't it about time to give this guy a break?   So what about the contract----how about someone highlighting the Baseball Academy he is building in Chicago for the the youth as a full athletic and wellness building.
Steve Adams
11:27
Heyward has gotten tons of breaks. The Athletic just ran a column today about how he was worth the contract! (I ardently disagree, but to each their own)

Tim Dierkes and I were talking about this earlier today. Joey Gallo probably got more criticism in one year in New York than Heyward got in seven in Chicago. The whole "World Series speech" thing seems to have granted him a disproportionate amount of good will.

Heyward, by all accounts, is an awesome guy, great teammate, superb leader, etc. It doesn't change the fact that his contract is one of the worst free-agent blunders in history and very arguably had years of ripple effects that prevented the Cubs from ever repeating that World Series win.
Convince Me
11:27
...that Contreras won't take the QO at one year $18M+............... he's getting nowhere near that AAV on the open market and won't get more than three, maybe four years....
Steve Adams
11:28
JT Realmuto got $23.1MM AAV. Yasmani Grandal got $18.25MM
11:29
An $18MM AAV should be firmly in play for Contreras, and even if his AAV were "only" something like $15MM, he'd probably still get 4-5 years at that rate, which is a hell of a lot better than 1 and 18.5 or whatever it'll be. I'd put something like a $60MM floor on a Contreras free-agent deal. Rejecting the QO is a no-brainer.
11:30
Even if he rejected and got "screwed" into taking a one-year deal, how much lower than $18MM is it going to be? Maybe he has to "settle" for something like a year and 12-15MM late in the offseason ... you're not going to gamble when the downside is losing $3-6MM and the upside is gaining something like $40-70MM?
Grandal
11:31
You just found a contract worse that Heyward's.......
Steve Adams
11:31
Not even close.
Houzer
11:31
Should the Tigers be heavily in on Clev and/or Manaea this offseason?
Steve Adams
11:32
I don't know that it needs to be either of those two, specifically, but they should be in on notable rotation pieces, yes.
Braves Fan
11:32
Isn't a little unfair to call Heyward one of the worst "free-agent blunders in history", at least if process is included in the assessment?  I seem to remember that contract (young, athletic position player with elite fielding/floor without any concerning injury issues) being seen as a relatively good free agent investment at the time.
Steve Adams
11:36
If you want to call the thinking behind targeting a 26-year-old free agent outfielder sound, sure, I suppose that's fine, but the result is one of the least-valuable free agent signings ever.
Giants Fan
11:36
Would you say the market for Judge next year is Yanks 1 Giants 2 end of list?
Steve Adams
11:37
Nope. Padres can easily fit Judge into the mix next year ($128MM guaranteed on the books). Dodgers will be in there. Mets. Tons of teams are going to be at least on the periphery. Judge is a special player and every team is going to want him, to an extent.
Curious George
11:39
Do you think Judge’s next contract is north of 400 million?
Steve Adams
11:39
He'll be 31 next season. To get to 400 he'd need either a contract over a decade in length or a $40MM+ AAV. I don't find either plausible. 300ish though, sure.
Could Dodgers have topped Padres for Soto?
11:40
Would May plus Lux with Jackson and Cartaya have done it?  Isn’t Soto worth almost any price at his age with his track record of hitting?
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