MLBTR Chat With Mark Polishuk
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Mark P
9:21
Hi gang, off to a bit of a late start for the Sunday night chat this week, but better late than never.
Greg
9:23
Good deal for Adam Jones. Surprised he signed that low?
Mark P
9:24
A little.  Tim, Jeff, and Steve had him at one year/$8MM in their top 50 predictions (https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/mlb-free-agent-predictions-2019...), but it quickly became clear that teams just weren't providing any sort of extra money for veteran players
Still, Jones should have a decent shot at that extra $2MM in incentives.
Arther
9:25
Any chance the jays can unload smoak, pillar and Morales?
Mark P
9:27
From most to least likely to be dealt....Smoak, Pillar, Morales.  Smoak is the best hitter and will get look from any team needing a 1B boost at the deadline.  Pillar was only okay defensively last year, so teams will need to see him look more like his old elite-gloved self for him to garner any interest.  Morales is only a DH at this point, and he's the most expensive, and his bat is only decent-to-good now, so he's a tough sell.
Dark
9:28
Would expansion be a valid topic for the players association to bring up during the negotiation of the next CBA? Seems like more competition for players and more roster spots would help a good deal with the current FA freeze.
Mark P
9:29
The league has stated that expansion won't seriously be explored until Oakland and Tampa's situations are more settled.  The A's seem to be making decent progress on their new ballpark, while the Rays are more or less back at the drawing board.
In short, probably unlikely we see expansion as a major part of the next CBA talks
Red Monster
9:30
The Reds have  glut of OFers  do you see them trading one? If so who needs OF help?
Mark P
9:31
I'm not sure "glut" is technically the right word, since so many of Cincy's OFs are still unproven and/or defensively limited.  I can see the Reds keeping everyone and letting things sort themselves out over the course of the first few months.
Deal
9:32
Why do you think Matt Wieters only received an offer from just one team?
Mark P
9:33
He's been pretty bad the last three seasons, and wasn't even any great shakes in 2015.
Cody
9:33
Do you like the direction the Rangers are heading? Hoping to rebuild the farm and be competitive pretty soon.
Mark P
9:35
I do, the Rangers had a quietly solid offseason.  They still need to figure out exactly what they have in guys like Mazara, Guzman, Calhoun, etc., so they didn't go overboard with any signings this winter.  Still a lot of future flexibility
J.H.
9:36
Which one of these guys is more likely to be a Philly by the season opener: Kuechel, Kimbrel, or Robbie Ray?
Mark P
9:36
Keuchel is my pick of the three.  Slight chance on Kimbrel, and no chance on Robbie Ray --- D'Backs will keep him until midseason, at least.
boo Jays
9:37
Bichette up at the end of April or beginning of Sept?
Mark P
9:38
Definitely not end of April.  Bichette still hasn't played even a game at Triple-A, don't forget.  I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't debut until 2020, and we're having the same Vladdy-esque service time arguments about Bichette at this same time a year from now
Mike trout
9:39
Any chance I should sign extension before season? Asking for a friend
Mark P
9:41
I mean, if you like it in Anaheim and are excited by the Angels' future, go for it.  My general answer when anyone asks me if they should take $400MM+ is YES.

That said, I'd be very surprised if a Trout extension happened this spring.  I'm not just earmarking him to Philly like so many others, but simply saying that Trout is probably correct in waiting at least a year to see where things sit with LAA
Amari
9:42
Alex Anthopoulos is catching all kinds of heat for the offseason he’s had. Say the wheels fall off and ATL finishes 4th after their main divisional rivals bulk up: Would it cost AA his job?
Mark P
9:43
No chance.  I suspect the Braves' lack of spending is an ownership call, not AA's call.
Mike
9:43
Why haven't the D-backs signed Adam Jones earlier????What happens to marte now? Super utility? Or does Wilmer Flores take on that role?
Mark P
9:45
D'Backs are setting themselves to have a lot of flexibility.  Flores can play anywhere in the infield, Marte can be a 2B/SS/CF if need be, Jones can back up any of the three outfield spots (but should probably stick to corner OF).
This seems like a wiser course than, say, the Mariners and Dee Gordon last year, when the M's didn't seem to have much of a backup plan when Gordon struggled in center field
Phillies outfielders
9:46
Do the Phils roll with their glut of outfielders or does someone get traded before spring is over?
Mark P
9:46
Yeah, Harper's getting dealt to the Dodgers, you heard it here first.
9:47
Seriously, Philly is another team whose "glut" isn't really a gut since so many of their depth guys are coming off rough seasons.  Williams, Quinn, Altherr might be good enough to be considered depth, or they might end up being completely extraneous parts
Lou4hof184
9:48
Why did the tigers trade for Cameron  Rupp? Will he make the team
Mark P
9:49
Catching depth.  He has a decent shot at the backup job, especially if Detroit sees Hicks as more of a first baseman than a true backup catcher at this point
Billington
9:49
Kimbrel saying he won't sit out the season, what does Mark say?
Mark P
9:49
Mark sez yeah, obviously he wasn't going to sit out the season.  That seemed like a pretty empty threat.
aka22
9:51
Would you rather have Adam Jones or Nick Markakis? I feel like Atlanta went after the wrong guy.
Mark P
9:52
Both Jones and Markakis had 4.3 fWAR over the last three seasons.

So, with all things being relatively equal, Atlanta might've wanted to just stick with the familiar player
Enrique Martinez
9:52
Dbacks atleast contenders for a wild card spot am i right?
Mark P
9:53
It's unlikely, since Goldy/Corbin/Pollock are all pretty significant losses.  Not to mention additional guys like Descalso or Buchholz that were good for the team last year.
9:54
I can't totally write it off, though, since the National League as a whole is so deep, and all those teams will be beating up on each other all year
Financial Flexibility
9:55
So...what do you think happened with the Braves and their offseason?
Mark P
9:58
I also think the Braves could've or should've done more this offseason, BUT, I'm not as down on their inaction as most.  

Don't forget, the Braves are ahead of schedule by at least a season.  It might be that AA doesn't want to make any truly huge moves (dealing top prospects, etc.) until he's absolutely sure his team's improvement is sustainable.  It's true that the Braves have enough prospect depth that they could've dealt SOME of them for a proven player, yet from what we've seen of trade talks, rival teams are trying to take advantage of that depth by asking for the moon.
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