Free Agent Chat With Tim Dierkes 11-10-15
Welcome to our Top 50 Free Agents live chat! I'm your host, Tim Dierkes.
First big free agent to sign?
That's not too predictable, but I'll throw out Alex Gordon as an answer.
Nice Mark Shapiro avatar, is Maeda an impact starter? Would he make sense for the Blue Jays. Seems like the time is right for them to make that kind of splash and would cost less
Hmm, Mark Shapiro and Peter Weller. Separated at birth? From all accounts I've read, Maeda is not an impact starter. I believe he's fairly undersized and profiles as a #3 or 4. I do think he makes sense for the Jays though, in that he could cost around the same as Mike Leake and have a touch more upside.
What big name free agent could you see the white sox signing?
I see them as a dark horse on Jason Heyward. The fit is really strong there. Obviously they'd have to step waaay outside of their comfort zone for a contract, but they did that on Robertson so you never know.
The Pirates really only sign one guy out of the top 50? Seams like they could get a couple at least.
I wouldn't look at it that way. The question is more, "How many of these guys are they likely to be in on?" And to that I'd say any starting pitcher Brett Anderson on down is reasonable enough.
How likely is it that heart overcomes $$$ to keep Zobrist and Gordon in KC?
Chances of retaining both? Probably less than 5%. Each player almost has to cost $15MM+ per year, and it's really hard to see both staying when they need to add starting pitching.
Who is your prediction for "waited too long and over-estimated his value and signs for the first one or two year deal he gets come spring" candidate.
I'll nominate Ian Kennedy. Gallardo seems possible too.
Is Price to the Cubs really as much a done deal as we're hearing?
Absolutely not. At the GM Meetings, the Cubs seem to be pushing back on the idea of jacking up their payroll, which could be read as a sign they're not as likely to pay David Price $30MM a year as some of us have made them out to be. While I picked the Cubs for Price, I have no idea if they have an appetite for the largest contract ever given to a pitcher.
Heyward to the mets?
That's a rough fit to me, a $200MM contract is a big leap forward from where they've been, and he's an imperfect fit for their roster.
Odds that Detroit walks away with O'Day *AND* Soria?
Probably another less than 5% type thing. I can't recall a time where a team signed each of the market's top relievers, which in this case would cost at least $40MM. I know they've got money to spend, but they also want to add two starters and maybe an OF.
Do you see a chance that John Hart and Coppy make a move for a quality hitter like zobrist, etc. in order to fill 3B?
I'm not sure Zobrist profiles as a regular third baseman. He's not a good fit for a team that won't be fully trying to contend until 2017, either. The one sliver of a chance for this match is that Atlanta is probably the closest MLB city to where the Zobrists make their offseason home, Nashville. So maybe if he decides to take an extreme discount to go there, like 3/40.
If the contest launched last week how many people would've picked Twins on me? What a bizarre fit.
I think it's possible that out of 4-5K entrants, fewer than ten people would have made that pick, and possibly zero. That said, I like the general philosophy of seeing value, getting the player, and sorting out the exact fit later. Guys get hurt, performance drops off, trades get made, etc.
Any chance the Indians sign any of the top 50 free agents?
I could see them on Freese, and/or a lefty masher type like Steve Pearce or Mike Napoli. Or an outfielder of that ilk like Chris Young.
Why did you pick the White Sox to sign 3 middle infielders for 4 years when the team wants to get younger and improve defensively
I don't actually think they will sign all three, or even two of the three. But, this is a team that looks to be in good shape right now with just two position players, Abreu and Eaton. I consider their infield to be pretty wide open, and Tim Anderson seems like the only guy to really avoid blocking over the next few years.
You really think the Yankees go after Heyward and trade Gardner? A lot of prospects and the Ellsbury contract seem like a no-no.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. As reasonable as any other fit for Heyward, at least. Some reports are out this week downplaying the idea of the Yankees trading Gardner and/or spending big money, so I'm not sure I'd still make that pick if I published the list today.
I can't speak to how serious they are about not giving out a big contract this winter. I think they should be heavily in the mix for all top players. And I do think Heyward is good enough to move Gardner or Beltran.
What is more likely for the rangers, they trade mitch and sign chris davis or go after Grienke or Price
That's tough, I don't find either of those scenarios likely. I guess the starting pitching one, though not those guys.
Could the Nats trade Werth and sign Heyward to a 7 year deal (with an opt-out after 5)....???
I actually think the Nats are a reasonable enough dark horse for the Nationals. Werth is un-tradeable, so I'd picture a situation more where Harper moves to CF to open up RF for Heyward. And I don't see Heyward signing for fewer than eight years.
That is kind of how I came about the Justin Upton pick for them - Harper to CF, Werth to RF, Upton to LF. They might not want to enter the season having to count on Werth. Adding a big name allows them to still have Big Name/Taylor/Harper if Werth goes down.
Any way the Giants pursue a top outfielder like upton, Gordon, or heyward?
Definitely. It's feeling a bit more likely now than it did to me last week. I still think most of their dollars go toward starting pitching, but we can't deny that LF is wide open and there are some strong free agents for that position.
Sir Galahad the Pure
Do you think the Orioles will stand up and face the peril by actually spend the money to bring in big name free agents like Gordon (Royals) and Zimmerman (Nats)
I don't picture a scenario where they are signing two $100MM-ish players. But to add one, which would be the largest contract in franchise history...I can see that.
Legit or not: Dexter Fowler will be the Indians opening day center fielder.
I'll say no. I kicked that fit around, but giving out the largest contract in team history and forfeiting the #16 pick in the draft, to sign Dexter, doesn't seem prudent.
Do you think Mozeliak and Heyward mutually would want an opt out clause? Seems more with Mo's view of long term contracts
I don't picture any team actually desiring an opt-out clause (though they often work to teams' benefits) because they are all downside risk for the club. However, I imagine most team owners who really want to add Heyward will be OK with it.
Realistic Starting pitcher that Royals could get, who would that be?
I've picked them for lower-level names, the Happ types, with the idea of spreading the wealth around several FAs. But if you wanted to stretch and suggest they'll entertain the five-year, $80MM type pitchers, I could buy it.
Could the Astros sign Chris Davis? Is it a possibility and at what price?
I think most people consider it a solid fit, and they've come right out and said they have payroll capacity. He is a big LH bat that could really change their lineup. I didn't pick them for Davis because of the emerging A.J. Reed, but there's always the DH spot.
Hopeless in Seattle
Who do you think would be the biggest name the M's sign this winter?
I don't think the plan is to bring Dipoto in to have him sign big name FAs (even though the Angels had him do just that). I also think mid-range guys like Fowler are unlikely because they'll want to keep their #11 pick. Still, on paper they are a nice match for Chris Davis.
How can a team in the New York market coming off a WS appearance not afford to keep Cespedes do they think Cespedes is not worth what he will make or can they not afford it?
I'm of the mind that most teams can technically afford most players, at least when we're talking about major markets. If the Mets or Cubs act like they couldn't afford a guy, it's more that ownership wasn't into the investment.
I think the Mets don't consider Cespedes worth 6/140-150, and I agree with that. And he's not a great fit for their roster long-term.
Is it tough getting into the Winter Meetings without press credentials?
I've only been to the Winter Meetings twice, and I was credentialed. But I do think it's a worthwhile experience, at least for one day, if you're not, because there are going to be a lot of famous faces buzzing around the lobby and bars. The credential only gets you into the media workroom, which is where a handful of press conferences and GM chats happen.
Do you trust Billy Beane to say he won't trade Gray when he said the same about Donaldson
There's a bit of a misconception, as the Donaldson thing was an anonymous source and Gray was Beane on record. So, I do trust him on this.
Percentage that the mariners sign span?
Though I see Dipoto as more of a trader, I think their chances of signing Span are as good as anyone's. So, let's say 20%.
Not to make you second-guess your work, but which free agent's contract is furthest away from your Top 50 projections, in either money or years (or both)?
Off the cuff, Austin Jackson. I went 1/12 there last week, but now I am thinking he maximizes value and tries for 2/22, 3/30, something like that.
Speculation has the Yankees trading Andrew Miller and then trading for Craig Kimbrel. They just signed Miller last year. Does this make any sense at all or am I missing something?
Not saying they won't, but I find the rumor odd for multiple reasons. 1. He and Betances formed a great duo, why break that up? 2. Trading him doesn't save that much money. 3. Does he really bring that huge of a return? Whoever liked him could have bid on him a year ago.
Top 5 teams in on Zack Grienke?
Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers. If you wanted to go Astros instead of Tigers I wouldn't argue.
What if guy
If Gordon wants to max out his contract value (IE no home town discount for the Royals) where does he land?
I've seen the Red Sox and Cubs stuff, but those are imperfect fits. I'll say Angels.
Even if I don't get suspended, will Colorado be looking for the fastest way to get rid of me, and in which case, would the Mets kick the tires if they don't have to take on money?
I feel bad even talking about this in a baseball sense, but I guess I will. Reyes is persona non grata. No one's trading for him.
What Cubs position player is most likely to be traded for pitching?
Most likely to be traded in general, Castro. For pitching, Soler I guess.
You really think the Angels are going to give up a draft pick to sign a FA this year? I think they are more likely to target players like Freese, Span, Uribe and Fister
Yeah, that shouldn't really stop a win-now type too much. That would be a pretty disappointing offseason, the guys you're mentioning.
The Rockies signing Austin Jackson for $12 million is an odd prediction. Wouldn't the Rockies at least attempt to use this $12 million to lure any kind of pitching?
The Rockies have never been able to lure decent pitchers for small investments. It's literally the worst place a pitcher can rebuild value. I guess if they threw it at Rich Hill he'd have to say yes.
Am I missing something on Aoki. On base machine, speed, can hit lefties. Why is he getting hosed
Steve Adams and I talked extensively about this when the Giants declined his option, because Steve is president of the Aoki fan club I believe. Steve's comparison of Aoki to Nick Markakis is apt though, and he's a good get at 2/10 if he's healthy.
I think you forget how much money the Cardinals have to spend. I think Heyward resigns with the Cardinals and they go after another bat.
I didn't forget. I just have a gut feeling that Heyward prices himself out of their range, and/or that they choose Davis with the goal of impacting the lineup in a way that Heyward can't.
Rockies signing Murphy to play first base - Maybe it lessens the chance of defensive mistakes and increases the amount of power, especially at Coors. Is this a pipe dream for Rockies fans or a legit possibility?
It's a weird idea, and if I were a Rockies fan I'd be rooting heavily against it. Bad value there.
Which big free agent contract will end up looking like a bargain this time next year?
Rich friggin' Hill.
Better chance of starting 2016 in a Red Sox uniform, Price, Cueto, Zimmerman, Greinke, Gray or Sale (please don't say Cueto)
You already knew I would say Cueto! To me he's a good combo of a slightly lower price tag, potentially shorter term, but still ace stuff.
Dan the man
Stephen Strasbourg for Jose Bautista, One year left for each who says no?
You know what? I have heard crazier ideas. I guess the Jays would be a little less likely to pull the trigger on that than the Nats would. The Nats could replace Stras more easily than the Jays could Bautista, I think.
After observing the QO system for a few seasons now is it an improvement of the old type A type B system and what can/should be done to improve it?
It's an improvement over the Elias rankings. Reason being, fewer players are adversely affected. Every year we used to see Type A relievers affected by it, but since the QO sets the salary so high, only top closers like David Robertson are going to get it (and not a top setup type like O'Day).
I think the whole idea of losing a draft pick if you sign a free agent should be abolished. If you want to award one to the team losing a big FA, I'm OK with that.
Do you see the Blue Jays adding Gallardo or Samardzija?
Sure, they're both viable. Shark being a better pitcher, I imagine they'd be more interested in him. There is the general issue that FAs typically don't prefer to go to Toronto, and that they often need to overpay (as they did with A.J. Burnett). But with so many arms on the market, it seems like they have to sign someone.
Will we have a first to accept the QO? If so, who would that likely be?
I'm going to say no. However, it's more likely now than it ever has been, because more marginal players got the offer. The guy who really needs to look at it is Marco Estrada, because he has/had the least earning power of any of the 20. I think for guys like Estrada, Brett Anderson, and maybe Colby Rasmus, whose value is dragged down by this, a good call would be to try to work out a deal before Friday's deadline. If I'm Estrada and the Jays offer 3/27, I'm probably taking that.
I know they said they weren't going after him, but you gotta believe that if wieters WANTS to go to Atlanta, the Braves would have to atleast be open right?
Of course. He's definitely a good fit for them, and if the price tag is $50MM or less, that's a pretty good buy.
Nationals and Mariners came out as somewhat surprise teams signing big fish FAs the past couple of offseasons. Who is your surprise team to pony up?
I'll say the Astros. Only a surprise in that it's been a long time since they've operated at the top end of the FA market.
You have the Nats signing either Parra or Upton. Do you not see Michael Taylor as a starter for them? He had a .935 OPS in the minors last year
I think Werth is unreliable enough that they could add someone and still wind up giving Taylor 400 PA. I also think Harper is a bigger health risk than people may recall. Good thing about Parra is that you can play him part-time without complaint.
Thanks for joining me this week! We had a lot of questions, so I apologize if I wasn't able to get to yours. If you have a good one, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.