Top 50 MLB Free Agents Chat
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Tim Dierkes
12:57
Today we published our Top 50 MLB Free Agents list!  Here it is: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/11/mlb-free-agent-predictions-2021...
12:59
This is always a huge undertaking.  Steve Adams and Connor Byrne joined me in monthlong deliberations.  Jeff Todd also popped his head in when there was a break in the action at the outdoor gear shop he now runs.
1:00
If you appreciate the effort that goes into a post like that, consider an ad-free subscription here: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/membership
Leo
1:00
Do you expect the White Sox to go after Bauer and/or Springer?
Tim Dierkes
1:01
Yes, I find it plausible for the White Sox to go after one of those guys.
1:02
One reason we didn't like the Bauer-White Sox idea initially is that he is looking for a data-driven team when it comes to pitching.  It seems that the next Sox pitching coach will be just that, so the match is starting to look better.
Bronson
1:02
Whats the link with Bauer and LAD? Is it just the money they can offer as well as a competitive team, or do you think his UCLA ties make him inclined to sign in LA?
Tim Dierkes
1:02
From Bauer's standpoint, it's a great fit: a team he's said he wants to play for, a team that can afford him, and one that is advanced on stats/tech.
1:04
From the team's standpoint, he's a total luxury.  But Gerrit Cole might have been too, and they bid big on him.  And Mookie arguably was not a guy they badly needed.  Teams like this will sometimes strengthen a strength.  And perhaps the Dodgers would use some of their rotation depth to improve the bullpen and/or acquire Francisco Lindor.
Jon
1:04
All of the projections seem somewhere between a little and very high, considering how much unknown there is due to the pandemic. Do you think the market is so bad that some of the bottom 50 have to take minors deals, or just about everyone gets less than you predicted? Are you hearing anything about how early discussions are going?
Tim Dierkes
1:04
To be honest, we backed off on a lot of them in the last few days.  It's tough to read the tea leaves with limited examples, but the Brad Hand situation at least suggests the relief market will be slow.
1:05
Things like the Yankees picking up Zack Britton's option and the Marlins/Cubs picking up Starling Marte and Anthony Rizzo suggest that some players could see semi-normal markets.
To your question...I could see a few guys in our top 50 getting minor league deals, yes.
Train
1:05
DJ to Blue Jays for 4 for 64, that seems waaaaaay off from what I was thinking. What was the reasoning for that choice?
Tim Dierkes
1:06
Financially, we had him somewhere like 4/84 before I backed it down in the last few days.  So if you want to make the case that if 4/68 is correct, the Yankees would just re-sign him, I wouldn't argue.
1:07
On the Blue Jays match, the idea would be to strengthen the infield defense by bringing in a Gold Glove 2B, moving Biggio to 3B, and also of course boost the offense as well.  So it's just a fit I like with a team that could afford it.
Guest
1:07
With so many likely financial cuts and really good players falling through the cracks, could we see a team (like the mets) just sweep that middle tier and get a ton of guys on one year deals? seems like a huge opportunity
Tim Dierkes
1:08
Yes, it is a huge opportunity.  Seems like there are only a handful of teams like the Mets or maybe Blue Jays that may shake off the short-term losses and snag a bunch of players at a discount relative to pre-pandemic contracts.
James
1:08
MLBTR projects the Yankees to let LeMahieu walk.  Is that a length of contract thing or are you expecting the Yankees to attempt to reign in payroll this year?
Tim Dierkes
1:08
DJLM walking perhaps made a bit more sense when we were up past $80MM.  But yes, mainly I do think they will rein in payroll somewhat this winter.
Jays fan
1:09
Does a reunion with Happ and the Jay's make sense? He had decent numbers when healthy and with how he feels about the Yankees maybe add fuel to his fire to perform next yr.  Maybe a 1yr 7mil?
Tim Dierkes
1:09
Yes, I think that reunion works.  Happ may not even end up getting that much money.  The Jays may be aiming higher than the back of the rotation type, though.
Cole
1:09
Its obviously incredibly hard to predict, but with no in person Winter Meetings this year, do you see the stove heating up sooner or later?
Tim Dierkes
1:10
The Winter Meetings had already ceased to be an offseason catalyst, with teams just doing things on their own terms and GMs texting each other all the time.  I would think this will be a very slow offseason, as teams win when they wait.
Guest
1:10
Would morton actually play away from Tampa?
Tim Dierkes
1:11
I think so...his signing with the Rays was something of a surprise, as landing on the East Coast was said to be a big thing for him.
Cubs
1:11
Would La Stella, Profar or Wong be a realistic target for the cubs at 2nd base?
Tim Dierkes
1:12
That wouldn't shock me.  They could easily give Hoerner some more minor league seasoning; I believe he skipped Triple-A (assuming Triple-A baseball is played).  And it could be a way to add a high-contact guy.
Jon
1:12
How strongly did you consider assigning Hendriks to the Dodgers? Seems like the one thing they're missing is a high-strikeout reliever to join their already-solid bullpen
Tim Dierkes
1:12
Hendriks to the Dodgers seems absolutely viable to me.  We had Trevor May there for a while but then moved him to the Giants.
pakkap
1:12
bauer seems to be a pain in the rear end in the clubhouse, certainly one on social media, doesn’t seem to be teachable, and is antithetical to the LAD free agent and pitching approach. they also already have ck, buehler, david price (remember him?), urias, and may, plus gonsolin and ferguson, and with gray and at least three other sp prospects nearly ready. why the HELL would the world series champions give bauer that contract?  ridiculous.
Tim Dierkes
1:14
You're basically asking, "Why would an awesome baseball team decide to get more awesome?"  It's a thing that does happen sometimes.  I also think the Dodgers, more than most, are very willing to take a guy who would start for many teams and make him spend time in the bullpen if there's a better option.
Stevie Buckets
1:14
Only one big splash for me and my $14 billion in Free Agency?
Tim Dierkes
1:15
I'd say that's more a function of distributing free agents around most of the 30 teams for the sake of the list.  We kind of try to appease a bunch of teams rather than have one team dominate the list.  For a while we had Gausman at 4/60 and to the Mets, but I backed off that when he got the qualifying offer.
Ed
1:15
Seemed like a majority of contracts were smaller than I expected...is this a weak FA class in the second-third tiers or slashing payrolls or both?
Tim Dierkes
1:15
It's both.  But it's worth highlighting your point: this is a weak group of free agents in any year.  Usually the #2 starter available is better than Stroman/Gausman.
Guest
1:16
I saw the JT prediction to the Mets, you don't think the Phillies would match that offer? They have a ton of empty payroll coming off (i.e. Arrieta, Robertson, etc..)
Tim Dierkes
1:16
I generally feel that if the Phillies were going to get it done wit JTR, they would have already.  Doesn't rule them out, of course.  But the Phillies have many needs...catcher, shortstop, bullpen, probably an SP, possibly a CF.
R.D.
1:16
Saw the prediction post and a few  items stood out to me. With Ozuna's notable decline in the OF, why does it make sense for Washington (or any other NL team) to give him a long term deal? Shouldn't the Nats go after someone who could protect Soto and fill the other OF spot? Springer seems like a good bet.
Tim Dierkes
1:17
I dig Springer-Nats, I think that's viable.  Ozuna was honestly hard to place, so it was more about him than about the Nats specifically.  I think he'd make for a big bat at a semi-reasonable price for him, and if they had to tolerate his possibly shabby LF work, it would be for one year at most until the universal DH arrives for good.
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