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Xander Bogaerts Boston Red Sox

Jon Heyman ranking the free agents in the Post:

6. Xander Bogaerts 

The Red Sox are said to have gotten nowhere even in recent overtures, but he will have some great options. The Dodgers would make perfect sense, as might the Cubs, who seem very interested in adding a big piece and have the flexibility to move young star Nico Hoerner to second base, which becomes a more important position with the new shift ban.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies

Trout and Harper have been in the league for 20 years combined and have exactly 0 World Championships between them. We can never get away from the notion that baseball is not only a team sport but that the two halves can be complete mismatches on a single team with great hitters and lousy pitching or vice versa.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 12
Aaron Judge New York Yankees

Aaron Judge hit more home runs (41) in a 86-game span this season than any other player in the American League hit all season long

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 12
Brandon Nimmo New York Mets

I agree with the prediction. He's going to get paid far more than any fan would think he should because the CF opportunities are so low.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 12
Edwin Diaz New York Mets

Keith Law agrees with you, Bob.

New York Mets' Edwin Diaz pitches during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
By Keith Law
Nov 6, 2022

371

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The Mets were going to end up hunting for a new closer, or high-leverage reliever, if they lost Edwin Díaz to free agency. He was the best reliever in baseball this past year, worth 3 WAR by both major sites’ methods, and his FIP of 0.90 was the fourth-lowest this century for any pitcher with at least 50 IP. He’s great. The Mets’ decision to give him five years and $100 million is anything but.

Díaz’s season was incredible, but relievers who do this just don’t repeat it. The three players who had lower FIPs than Díaz did all saw theirs go up by over a full run the next year. Eric Gagné never came close to that level of dominance again. Aroldis Chapman was still elite, just not as much as so in his peak season, for the next two years and then dropped to merely above-average. The third, Craig Kimbrel, did it one more time, five years later, and then headed over the cliff.

The list of the best relief seasons of this century is full of good pitchers who had their best years and never matched it, as well as some flash-in-the-pan types. Almost nobody has held something close to this kind of performance for more than three consecutive years. Even those who got to three straight years did so before free agency.

Only five pitchers this millennium have thrown at least 50 innings with a sub-2.5 FIP in four or five consecutive years: Kimbrel in 2011-14, Greg Holland in 2011-14, Kenley Jansen in 2013-17, Chapman in 2012-16 and Andrew Miller in 2014-17. (Pedro Martínez did it too, if you needed more reasons to worship at that altar.) Miller is the only one of those relievers to do any of it during the years covered by a free-agent contract. All were substantially worse in the five years after those runs of excellence.

This century, there have been, by my count, 20 contracts of four or five years handed to free-agent relievers, not counting the new deal for Díaz. Jansen, Chapman and B.J. Ryan received five-year deals, and the remainder were all for four years. One of the deals, Raisel Iglesias’, is still underway with 1.6 WAR in year one — although most of that came after the team that signed him, the Angels, dumped him and the contract on Atlanta midway through year one. Jansen’s and Chapman’s immediately followed the ends of those five-year periods I mentioned above.

Of the other 19, nine of them resulted in 4 WAR or less from the pitcher over the course of the deal, regardless of teams. That includes Brett Cecil (minus-0.5), Justin Speier (0.8), Drew Pomeranz (1.8, and out for all of year three due to injury), and Scott Linebrink (1.8). Only three of the deals resulted in an average WAR of at least 2: the Kimbrel deal originally signed with the Padres, the Miller deal with the Yankees and Mariano Rivera’s contract from 2001 to 2004. That Rivera deal is the only four- or five-year contract given to a reliever who produced at least 10 WAR over the course of the deal. One out of 19, and it belongs to the greatest short reliever the game has ever seen. Do you feel lucky? I sure don’t.

I’m thrilled for Díaz, whose road to riches was not straight: He failed as a starter in the minors, moved to the pen, exploded on the majors, went to the Mets in a trade that many people derided (for reasons unrelated to him) and then had a miserable first season in Queens. He was the best reliever in baseball this year, and was set to be the best reliever available in free agency by far. We can certainly look at this as back payments on the years he was wildly underpaid by baseball’s regressive salary structure. It’s great for him.

But for the Mets, this is the sort of profligate spending they are supposed to be avoiding. All of modern baseball history says this deal won’t work out for them. There’s probably a 25 percent chance the deal is a disaster, giving Díaz some credit for being better in his platform year than most of the relief pitchers who’ve received four- or five-year deals in free agency before, although the deals for Jansen (five years, 6.4 WAR), Billy Wagner (four years, 5.3 WAR, just 0.1 in the last year), and Chapman (five years, 6 WAR) didn’t work out that well for the signing clubs, with Jansen and Chapman both coming off five-year periods of elite performance and consistent workloads. Wagner’s deal was with this same franchise.

I suppose everyone wants to believe that this time will be different. I just don’t think thumbing your nose at history is good business. The base rate for relievers is that they don’t last — when viewed over four-year periods, they either get hurt, lose effectiveness or both. As much as I enjoy watching Díaz pitch, I don’t see any reason to believe he’s the exception to one of the clearest base rates we have in our sport. Relievers should be paid more at their peaks, but deals of four-plus years for free agent relievers are the riskiest investment we have.

theathletic.com

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Cole Sulser Pittsburgh Pirates
Dropped from 40-man roster
November 11, 2022
Sulser cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Sulser was claimed off waivers from Baltimore in mid-October, but he won't remain on Pittsburgh's 40-man roster through the offseason. The right-hander was also with the Pirates earlier in the season and had a 3.63 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 19:9 K:BB across 22.1 innings between the two teams.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Terrance Gore New York Mets
Returns to free agency
November 10, 2022
Gore rejected an outright assignment to Triple-A Syracuse and elected free agency Thursday, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
ANALYSIS
Gore joined the Mets on a minor-league deal in June and joined the big-league club at the end of August.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Zack Collins Pittsburgh Pirates
Parts ways with Pittsburgh
November 10, 2022
Collins rejected an outright assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis and elected free agency Thursday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Collins was claimed off waivers by the Pirates in September but won't stick with the team through the offseason. He played in 36 games between Toronto and Pittsburgh last season and had a .155/.231/.320 slash line with four home runs and 11 RBI in 108 plate appearances.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Chris Bassitt New York Mets

I can't remember... did the union try to get rid of the qualifying offer during the lockout?

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12




Declines qualifying offer
November 11, 2022
Bassitt will decline the $19.65 million qualifying offer that was extended by the Mets on Thursday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.
ANALYSIS
The veteran right-hander recently declined his portion of the $19 million mutual option for 2023, so it's hardly a surprise he also won't accept the qualifying offer. Bassitt will look for a mult-year deal in free agency after he finished last season with a 3.42 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 167:49 K:BB across 181.2 innings. The qualifying offer could affect his market price, since whichever team signs him will now need to give up a draft pick as compensation.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Ji-Man Choi Pittsburgh Pirates
Requires elbow surgery
November 11, 2022
Pirates GM Ben Cherington said Friday that Choi will undergo minor surgery on his right elbow, Justice delos Santos of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The 31-year-old was acquired by Pittsburgh from Tampa Bay on Thursday, and his new team likely already knew about the procedure when it traded for him. Choi played through the elbow issue last season and finished the campaign with a .233/.341/.388 slash line, 11 home runs and 52 RBI in 113 games, and he's expected to be healthy in time for spring training in February.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Blake Treinen Los Angeles Dodgers

Rotowire:

Likely to miss 2023 season
November 11, 2022
Treinen underwent surgery on his right-shoulder labrum and rotator cuff Friday, Juan Toribio of MLB.comreports.
ANALYSIS
Treinen fought through multiple shoulder injuries in 2022 and underwent surgery in order to manage the lingering pain. The Dodgers didn't provide an immediate timetable for his return, but considering the rehab process typically takes around 10 months for this surgery, it is reasonable to think Treinen will miss the entire 2023 campaign.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw (P) LA - Nov. 11
https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=9276

Kershaw agreed to a one-year, $20 million contract with the Dodgers on Friday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Kershaw inked a $17 million deal for 2022 in the spring and will now be back with the Dodgers for a 16th season.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Franmil Reyes Chicago Cubs

Franmil Reyes (DH) - Nov. 11
https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=13314

Reyes became a minor-league free agent Friday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Reyes split time between the Guardians and Cubs in 2022, recording a .638 OPS over 473 plate appearances -- a significant drop from his .846 OPS mark in 2021.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12
Corbin Burnes Milwaukee Brewers

The baseball guys at The Athletic gathered in front of a virtual hot stove to make off-season predictions.

Milwaukee Brewers

It’s purely speculation, but there’s logic in trading Corbin Burnes. He’ll be due around $11 million through arbitration, and Brandon Woodruff will see a similar amount. The Brewers’ staff regressed in 2022 — they were arguably baseball’s best in 2021 — but they still would have Woodruff, Aaron Ashby, Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer and Adrian Houser (granted, they need better depth after that). It’s not a perfect comparison, but would the Brewers have received a better return if they dealt Josh Hader away earlier than they did? Probably. Milwaukee doesn’t function as the kind of organization that extends players in their prime; it tried to hit on players ahead of time, like Peralta. Milwaukee still has Burnes for two more seasons under team control, but in a winter that doesn’t feature many big-name starting pitcher options, this could be the time to fetch the best return. -Will Sammon

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 11
Teoscar Hernandez Seattle Mariners

Another off-season prediction from the staff at The Athletic:

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays will trade Teoscar Hernández. One suggested flaw of the Blue Jays is that they’re too right-handed and while hitting righties wasn’t an issue — actually, hitting left-handers was — having a predominantly aggressive, right-handed lineup might make them too easy to game plan against. Hernández is one of the most dangerous power hitters in the game but he’s a year away from free agency and now might be the time for the Blue Jays to move him to create space for a left-handed outfielder who might offer different skills than he does. The Seattle Mariners, who need offense and have some starting pitchers to spare, could be a good trading partner. -Kaitlyn McGrath

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 11
Jose Abreu Houston Astros

The staff at The Athletic, sitting in front of their hot stove:

Seattle Mariners

The youthful Mariners sign José Abreu to a two-year deal. Sure, he’ll be 36 in January and his power dropped in 2022, but he still had a 3.9 fWAR and his influence will benefit his teammates. A middle-of-the-order bat, Abreu will help lengthen this lineup immensely. -Corey Brock

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 11
Ramon Laureano Oakland Athletics

Interesting prediction at The Athletic:

The A’s probably won’t do anything too bold in the traditional sense. They’re unlikely to splurge on a free agent and Mark Kotsay’s job as manager is safe. They could look to trade either Ramón Laureano or Murphy, but Laureano’s value is extremely low and the A’s might not believe that Shea Langeliers is ready to be a full-time major-league catcher. So I’m going to make the boldest prediction possible for this team, one that will upset fans (my apologies in advance): The A’s will announce that they are moving to Las Vegas before the 2023 season. Outgoing Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf admitted that it’s unlikely that the city council will vote on a term sheet this year and Rob Manfred recently said that despite Schaaf’s efforts, a deal that would keep the team in Oakland “doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.” Manfred could just be applying pressure here, and Schaaf’s response was to say she’s confident a deal will get done next year. As an East Bay resident, I selfishly want the A’s to stay and hope this prediction looks dumb in hindsight. But despite both sides clearing some hurdles, not enough was accomplished in 2022 to make me believe the Howard Terminal project will come to fruition. -Steve Berman

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 11
Andrew Benintendi New York Yankees

The staff at The Athletic, making hot stove stove predictions:

Miami Marlins

Andrew Benintendi ends up a Marlin. There are only three lefties on the currently projected depth chart — Jazz Chisholm Jr., Joey Wendle, and Jesús Sánchez — and the latter two are borderline everyday starters at this point in their respective careers. Throwing in an everyday left-hander with experience hitting in pitchers’ parks, who can make a ton of contact and take walks while playing good defense in the outfield might make an outsized impact on this team, especially considering the fact that Benintendi’s decline in power may make him more affordable. Someone like Joc Pederson or David Peralta could help similarly without being as well-rounded, but none of the three will single-handedly turn this lineup around. -Eno Sarris

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 11
Vincent Pasquantino Kansas City Royals

The Athletic on three players the Royals might want to keep around for a while:

Kansas City Royals

The Royals will get one of their young players signed to a long-term extension that locks in their arbitration years in exchange for a couple of years on the back end (or some team options). This is admittedly a vague bold prediction. But it takes two to tango, as they say. It may not be the perfect time for Bobby Witt Jr., whose talent remains evident but whose on-base percentage was under .300. Witt may not want to sell himself short; the Royals may desire more data points to mitigate the risks. And Witt is still really young. It may be easier to pursue a deal with Brady Singer and/or Vinnie Pasquantino. Singer, 26, would be an obvious candidate. Pasquantino, 25, debuted in June and will be on the other side of 30 when he hits free agency, so perhaps there’s no rush. But if the Royals believe in Pasquantino, a deal could provide cost certainty in their long-term planning. -Rustin Dodd

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 11

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