MLBTR Chat With Mark Polishuk
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Mark P
9:00
Hi everyone, the chat is back in its usual Sunday night timeslot.  (No Oscars to contend with this week.)  Let's get cracking!
Craig Kimbrel
9:01
Do I end up with the Nationals? They seem to be the only team actually interested, but I would put them over the luxury tax.
Mark P
9:03
If I'm the Nationals, I go for it.  They'd still only be surpassing the tax threshold ($206MM) at the lowest level, as adding Kimbrel wouldn't put them over the $226MM.  This is their third straight year paying the tax, so the Nats would owe 50 cents in tax for every dollar of overage, but even that amount is still pretty meager for a big-market team trying to win
9:04
Then again, I'm not the Nats.  And they might be wary of getting under the tax again next winter, when they'll have R-Zim and Dozier off the books, but theoretically Anthony Rendon's new contract (knock on wood if you're a Nats fan) taking up a big chunk of that saved money
Bethany
9:04
Who do you think makes it out of the Padres 80 outfielders?
Mark P
9:06
Franmil or Renfroe will be the odd man out, in my opinion.  But between injuries, guys underperforming, maybe a trade, etc., I see the Padres having plenty of room to give all of that OF crew playing time
John Middleton
9:06
Can I say I won the offseason?
Mark P
9:07
(John Middleton being the Phillies' owner, btw)

Yes, though with the caveat that a lot of teams who "win the offseason" have underachieved.  That said, it's hard not to be impressed by what Philly has done to upgrade their team.  Still feels like they'll add another starter, though
Jays for life.
9:08
What team is Bartolo Colon likely to end up if he finds a deal?
Mark P
9:09
"Hopefully my team" --- every fan in baseball.

We might not know until later in the spring, if a team gets a SP injury or just decides it needs more depth.  I've always thought a reunion with the A's made some logical sense, though there hasn't been any hint of a possible reunion
Thanks for the Chat!
9:10
Braves & Padres have tons of highly rated, upper level SP talent but a relatively weak MLB squad. Would a consolidation play for Kluber make sense? His talent/contract would work with the near term timeline for competitiveness. What would a potential deal look like?
Mark P
9:11
It would take a ton.  Despite his age, Kluber is still a top-level ace and controllable for three years on a reasonable contract.  Cleveland reportedly wanted something akin to what the White Sox got for Chris Sale, and that's a justifiable ask, in my view.
I think the ship has sailed on a Kluber deal, however.  Don't forget that the Tribe are still trying to contend themselves this year
Ross
9:12
Do you think Oakland will to try to offer Kyler a major league contract and outmatch a football teams signing bonus?
Mark P
9:14
It's still surprising to me that the A's took the risk of drafting Kyler so highly, so either they just didn't think he'd end up as an elite college QB, or else they had planned for this possible scenario.

Paying Murray something like $30MM seems steep for a totally unproven prospect...until you remember that teams have far exceeded that price to sign international prospects.

Money aside, however, I think Murray simply just prefers to play football.
cody
9:14
Is Josh Donaldson hurt?  Why hasn't he already played?
Mark P
9:15
Braves are taking it very easy with Donaldson, since he missed almost all of last season.  No reason to worry quite yet about his late start to ST
Donny Baseball
9:16
Love these chats and glad you added the Sunday chats. Do you foresee the Yankees trading away both Frazier and Florial for pitching at the trade deadline now that they locked up Hicks?
Mark P
9:17
Both, no.  I'd suspect the Yankees still see the F&F Connection as potential long-term candidates to replace Gardner.  Trading the one they're less certain about is a distinct possibility, tho
Septjet
9:17
Do the PIRATES ever make a major trade again?
Mark P
9:18
i guess it depends on your definition of a "major trade."  Adding Archer and Kela last year were both big moves
Jon B
9:18
Call me crazy....but how much better are the Phils with Harper? How many titles did Washington win with him? Seems like a BIG investment for a few more HRs.
Mark P
9:20
People forget that the Phillies' outfield was brutal last year.  Adding Harper rather than platooning some combo of Nick Williams/Quinn/Altherr is such an enormous upgrade, both now and in the long term.

It's also hard, and unfair, to blame Harper for the Nationals' lack of playoff success.
Benji
9:21
Does any team sign Adam Jones, even to a minor league deal?
Mark P
9:21
He'll end up somewhere by Opening Day, no doubt.  It may take an injury at this point, however, to open up a spot for Jones to land an MLB contract
Bobby
9:21
What type of contract would Castellanos command next offseason?
Mark P
9:23
He'll need to show some defensive improvement, or maybe a willingness to move to first base.  Otherwise, I think it'll be surprisingly underwhelming.
9:25
The market for bat-only players is ice cold, unless you're a true elite bat like JD Martinez (and even he had to wait for a deal).  I like Castellanos a lot, but he'll need another 130 OPS+ type of season to land even a multi-year deal
Ian
9:25
Kimbrel to the reds. 3/60 opt out after 1.
Mark P
9:26
Wouldn't it be something if the Reds made another big splash like that?  Kimbrel/Iglesias would be quite the late-game combo.  I doubt it'll happen due to the money and draft pick cost, though you have to think under-the-radar candidates like Cincy have checked in on Kimbrel since he's still available
James
9:28
Who is the next big free agent to actually make it to free agency and not get extended beforehand?
Mark P
9:29
I'd be pretty surprised if Goldschmidt signs an extension and foregoes testing the market.  STL would have to really overpay to make that happen, and i'm not sure if they're willing to go totally bonkers for such a deal for a first baseman who's already in his 30's.
Beatrice
9:29
Any teams looking to use openers this season?
Mark P
9:30
Tampa, obviously.  I think you'll see several other teams use openers, but on kind of a situational basis, rather than a day-one usage like the Rays
Farhan Zaidi
9:30
Assuming big springs from Evan Longeria and/or Joe Panik, can I trade either one?
Mark P
9:32
Longoria is an under-the-radar immovable contract....not sure how many teams would jump at that money for a player who's in his 30's and already on the decline.  Panik isn't expensive, but if you're a team looking for second base help, there might be other candidates even available in free agency that you can obtain without giving anything up
(Farhan Zaidi is the Giants' president of baseball ops, by the way)
Ozzie Canseco
9:32
Does anyone pick me up?
Mark P
9:33
The Twins!

(rimshot)
g
9:34
How can the Tribe contend with that outfield?
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