2018-19 Offseason News, Rumors, Trades

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
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I'm definitely seeing this as a market correction. There's not too many teams that has the space to pay what some of these not quite superstars are asking for... and some of the teams don't match up with those players. I don't see how in the world AJ Pollack is worth more than $15M per season, no matter what WAR says. Kimbrell to me isn't worth that. If the idea is to put forth a competitive team year in and year out, you can't be top heavy on contracts... a bad contract can make the team uncompetive for years instead.
Everything you say here is true, but it's all about context. The teams actually can afford to spend a lot more on payroll, the CBA institutes penalties that make it hard to do so over certain levels. More importantly, there is no corresponding market correction for younger players, paying them closer to what they're worth as they contribute more and more value in the pre-arb years.
 

Plympton91

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Oct 19, 2008
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How many teams are not as good as this one:

Gerardo Parra, CF
Josh Harrison, 2B
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
Adam Jones, RF
Mike Moustakis, 3B
Matt Weiters, C
Logan Morrison, 1B
Jose Iglesias, SS

This is ridiculous. Expansion needed to happen 5 years ago.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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How many teams are not as good as this one:

Gerardo Parra, CF
Josh Harrison, 2B
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
Adam Jones, RF
Mike Moustakis, 3B
Matt Weiters, C
Logan Morrison, 1B
Jose Iglesias, SS

This is ridiculous. Expansion needed to happen 5 years ago.
Moustakis is the perfect example of this off-season in a nutshell- last off-season was looking for a close-to-blockbuster deal. Teams realized he wasn’t worth it.
There’s no issue I see here with how free agency has changed. It doesn’t matter if the teams CAN pay player X what they’re asking because profits are sky high.... it’s a matter of why should they? They’re really worth it.
But yeah.... pre-arb years are an issue here
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I mean, there are worse lineups but as I've said before, the inability of veteran players to be optioned hurts their value quite a bit at this point. You're not contending with that lineup above (you're not winning 70 games with that lineup above) so it makes infinitely more sense to shuttle young guys up and down and hopefully unearth some long-term gems. If they changed the rule so veterans could be optioned to the minors (while still making their same salary), you'd see more FA interest immediately IMO.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Dec 4, 2005
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How many teams are not as good as this one:

Gerardo Parra, CF
Josh Harrison, 2B
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
Adam Jones, RF
Mike Moustakis, 3B
Matt Weiters, C
Logan Morrison, 1B
Jose Iglesias, SS

This is ridiculous. Expansion needed to happen 5 years ago.
I dunno, 1 or 2?

Not exactly the strongest example for expansion unless you want the talent pool watered down to where that is a good starting 9. Basically Jones is the only guy I’d want and Gonzalez as a utility guy. Ymmv.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
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Oct 19, 2008
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Yeah, I mean, there are worse lineups but as I've said before, the inability of veteran players to be optioned hurts their value quite a bit at this point. You're not contending with that lineup above (you're not winning 70 games with that lineup above) so it makes infinitely more sense to shuttle young guys up and down and hopefully unearth some long-term gems. If they changed the rule so veterans could be optioned to the minors (while still making their same salary), you'd see more FA interest immediately IMO.
Why is that different from 5 or 10 years ago though? I think the problem is that there aren’t enough teams to support a worldwide talent pool, teams get way too much revenue sharing money and draft perks just for being the MLB version of the Washington Generals, and the luxury tax with associated draft penalties is crimping spending by good owners like John Henry who do want to support their fan base and teams, but now have to balance short-term spending with long-term competitiveness.

All those things have changed in the past 5 years. The ability to option veterans did not. Owners are incentivized not to spend.

I dunno, 1 or 2?

Not exactly the strongest example for expansion unless you want the talent pool watered down to where that is a good starting 9. Basically Jones is the only guy I’d want and Gonzalez as a utility guy. Ymmv.
Parra had the same OPS and a materially higher OBP than Jackie Bradley. Mike Moustakis had a 43 point advantage over Rafael Devers in OPS.

Remember, it’s also February 7th. How much better would that have looked if I’d started on December 1, even still excluding Machado and Harper. Or if today I’d put Machado at SS and Harper in RF? That there is an entire team of successful major league players still out there means that there’s something very rotten going on in Denmark.
 

jon abbey

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Why is that different from 5 or 10 years ago though?
Because younger players are better now (in relation to veterans), so it's just one more strike against the veterans.

Anyway, we have addressed all of these issues at length in the 'Baseball is Broken (off the field)' thread, feel free to take your issues there.

Also I would highly highly recommend looking at a list of FAs from the 2017-2018 season and how they ended up performing last year, a lot of disastrous seasons at any price there.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Some of those guys might be struggling to find worthy contracts, but others are just reflective of the later signing period that's become the new norm. I'm fairly certain both Moustakas and Gonzalez would have already signed in a different off-season but are strategically marketing themselves to the losers of the Machado/Harper sweepstakes.

Back in November there was a daily barrage of hot stove rumors about how 75% of the league wanted to sign Gonzalez... sure, a lot of that was PR work from his agent, but I'm not going to shed a tear just yet that he can't find work.

*
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Dec 4, 2005
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Portsmouth, NH
Why is that different from 5 or 10 years ago though? I think the problem is that there aren’t enough teams to support a worldwide talent pool, teams get way too much revenue sharing money and draft perks just for being the MLB version of the Washington Generals, and the luxury tax with associated draft penalties is crimping spending by good owners like John Henry who do want to support their fan base and teams, but now have to balance short-term spending with long-term competitiveness.

All those things have changed in the past 5 years. The ability to option veterans did not. Owners are incentivized not to spend.



Parra had the same OPS and a materially higher OBP than Jackie Bradley. Mike Moustakis had a 43 point advantage over Rafael Devers in OPS.

Remember, it’s also February 7th. How much better would that have looked if I’d started on December 1, even still excluding Machado and Harper. Or if today I’d put Machado at SS and Harper in RF? That there is an entire team of successful major league players still out there means that there’s something very rotten going on in Denmark.
To your first part, spending for what? Just because they make money doesn’t mean they need to spend it. Personally I think it’s a good thing that the trend has moved away from spending for spending’s sake, like the Pirates when they sucked spending $10 on Burnitz or whoever. But again, ymmv. As to the Washington generals comment, expanding doesn’t help that, it worsens it. You’re going to end up with a shittier product.

To you second I’d take JBJs defense in a heart beat and Devers youth and cost. If you want to throw Machado and Harper on there, sure, but I’m not sure it helps you’re argument. They’re both asking for gigantic contracts and both have flaws that make them probably not worthy of it.

There’s nothing rotten, teams are getting smarter about how they spend their money and about handing out ten year deals or market rate for a guy that might add one win.

The problem isn’t owners making money, it’s the new rules the mlb put in regarding draft and international signings. A lot of these teams have realized it makes more sense to spend on prospects than on replacement level players or to handcuff yourself with a 10/$300 year deal. There’s a divide that has left the middle market - which is pretty much everyone you listed - expecting to get what guys used to get. It’s not up to the owners to make them happy, it’s a business. (I won’t even touch on the fact that I assume you’re insinuating collusion).
 

jon abbey

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Olney:

"On the podcast, we discussed the early offseason price concepts that were presented to teams for Dallas Keuchel (6-7 years, $25m-$30m annually) and Marwin Gonzalez (4-5 years, $60m+)."

Those are both on the high side IMO, Keuchel is losing velocity already and Marwin is so good for roster flexibility but he isn't actually anything special in any of those roles. Of course I also thought 6/140 was too high for Corbin, so I guess you have to try but not a good winter for agents.
 

MikeM

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When does Kimbrel, Machado, Harper etc., start to panic and sign one year deals?
I think after what we saw last winter Harper and Harper already went into this offseason 100% prepared to dig their heels in and be sitting right where they are atm. Heck, I've been skipping over any destination speculation on them all winter long simply because I felt it was mostly pointless until spring training rolled around, and/or they at least got to the full blown and downright ugly collusion talk stage.

I ultimately can't see Kimbrel being as committed though. Nor does it make much sense to me that he would take the 1 year deal in favor of leaving say $35m+ on the table. Not as a relief pitcher, and not in this evolving type market that is heavily trending away from the old flush money down the toilet on the back end model. Strongly guessing that he'll cave and settle on the best multi year offer he can find before going that route.
 

DanoooME

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Mar 16, 2008
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Aaron Nola signs a 4 year contract extension with the Phillies totaling a guaranteed $45M. Deal breaks down as $2M signing bonus, $4M in 2019, $8M in 2020, $11.75M in 2021, $15M in 2022 and a $16M club option in 2023 with a $4.25M buyout. He was an arb-1 guy this year, so this deal buys out his arb and his first FA year with an option on the second. Looks like a steal to me, as long as he doesn't completely fall apart.
 

MakeMineMoxie

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Jul 15, 2005
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The floor of Punter's Pub
Aaron Nola signs a 4 year contract extension with the Phillies totaling a guaranteed $45M. Deal breaks down as $2M signing bonus, $4M in 2019, $8M in 2020, $11.75M in 2021, $15M in 2022 and a $16M club option in 2023 with a $4.25M buyout. He was an arb-1 guy this year, so this deal buys out his arb and his first FA year with an option on the second. Looks like a steal to me, as long as he doesn't completely fall apart.
He gets some security and he's 30 when he hits FA. Seems like a smart move for him & the Phils.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
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Having a legit ace on a contract like that is like having a good starting QB on a rookie deal. Huge advantage from a roster construction standpoint. Makes sense for both sides and the Phillies are almost certainly getting a major "steal" with this contract, similar to the Giants and Bumgarner.
 

adam42381

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Mar 14, 2006
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Kernersville, NC
no surprise here: Blue Jays will manipulate Vlad Jr's service time.


NBC Sports (@NBCSports)
The @BlueJays will keep Vlad Guerrero Jr. down in Triple-A until he can't accrue a full year of service time in 2019, thereby pushing back his arbitration and free agency clock a year. #MLB https://t.co/rso1KB1HlP
I hate it, but can’t blame Toronto for doing this. Jr. has the potential to be a generational talent and may end up a better hitter than his HOF father. It’s the right move within the confines of the (asinine) rules.
 

BoSox Rule

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Jul 15, 2005
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Yeah, Trevor Bauer is a total weirdo. Anything he says shouldn’t really be taken at face value.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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I'm a big fan of Bauer on the field... even the things he has to say about the game. I appreciate that he doesn't speak in cliches like 98% of professional athletes and he has some real insight into his trade (I really hope some team gives him a shot as a pitching coach someday)... but I still wish he'd learn when to say "no comment". He brings a lot of needless scrutiny on himself by making comments that aren't good for anyone. The USA Today article had more detail and less commentary than the NBC Sports one and shows Bauer's warped sense of humor or self-entertainment with his personally made invitations to the Tribe brass to attend the arbitration hearing. If people haven't heard and seen a lot of Bauer, they're going to take this more seriously than they should. I have no doubt there was some ugliness in the hearing. I also have no doubt this isn't going to linger into his job on the field -- especially since his comments regarded the criticism put forth by the MLB Labor Relations Department, not the Indians front office. He's one of the few who will go to arbitration year after year because he doesn't mind the analytical evaluation/criticism and knows he'll probably make more money in the long run.

Also, I know he's occasionally stepped over the line with his twitter interaction, but "Schilling-esque" he is not.

*
 
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KiltedFool

has a terminal case of creeping sharia
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Dec 22, 2005
2,284
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of how Bauer comports himself in general, and I love someone on here commenting that he's afflicted with resting bitch face, that's true. But he's nowhere near Schilling in any way shape or form. He's a little overly blunt and is just skewed enough he doesn't easily relate to people very well without a long acclimation period. Tagging him as Schilling is loading on a bunch of connotation that he flatly doesn't deserve, especially in this group.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
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I guess I'll clarify. I was referring to this incident specifically in which among other things, he - perhaps unknowingly - referenced a transphobic meme (details in the article). So, I guess it wasn't as direct as what Schilling got fired for.

I'll also note for the record that I have no idea what Bauer actually thinks about trans people, and I am not trying to suggest he himself is any -phobic, just pointing out that he referenced something associated with those beliefs in some circles.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of how Bauer comports himself in general, and I love someone on here commenting that he's afflicted with resting bitch face, that's true. But he's nowhere near Schilling in any way shape or form. He's a little overly blunt and is just skewed enough he doesn't easily relate to people very well without a long acclimation period. Tagging him as Schilling is loading on a bunch of connotation that he flatly doesn't deserve, especially in this group.
Some people are just off-putting on social media even though they're fine in most other facets of life. Given that identifying one's "online persona" vs their real one is a relatively new phenomenon, it can be difficult to figure out which is the real one (or how much one affects the other.)

In Bauer's case, he strikes me as a bit awkward/thin-skinned, but not in any kind of detrimental way.
 

edoug

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Jul 15, 2005
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Google Trevor Bauer twitter, he's just a bit more than awkward/thin-skinned. I don't think it's an act.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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5 days away from the first spring training game and there are still a good number of impact free agents on the market. This list isn't meant to nitpick for ranking's sake, but here are 25 guys who were varying degrees of useful last season, probably at least half of them will end up with minor league deals at this point:

Manny Machado, 3B/SS
Bryce Harper, RF
Dallas Keuchel, SP
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
Craig Kimbrell, RP
Clay Buccholz, SP
Jose Iglesias, SS
Denard Span, LF
Gio Gonzalez, SP
Matt Wieters, C
Edwin Jackson, SP
Cameron Maybin, LF
Tyler Clippard, RP
Tony Sipp, RP
Adam Warren, RP
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Martin Maldonado, C
Derek Dietrich, LF
Carlos Gomez, RF
Josh Harrison, 2B
Adam Jones, RF
Evan Gattis, DH
Jose Bautista, RF
Santiago Casilla, RP

*
 

E5 Yaz

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If the Phillies actually caved to Boras this late, that’s hilarious
Considering none of us actually knows how the negotiations have gone to this point, saying the Phillies "caved to Boras" assumes facts not in evidence
 

jon abbey

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Deal seems to be in the $9M range, hard to understand NY not topping that offer if they're not going to end up with Machado, so maybe they will.
 

crow216

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Jul 15, 2005
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Deal seems to be in the $9M range, hard to understand NY not topping that offer if they're not going to end up with Machado, so maybe they will.
You’re more certain than most that New York will not put Andujar back at third.
 

Danny_Darwin

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I guess I would have spent that money on pitching and signed a Josh Harrison type to keep 2B warm until Hiura shows up, but Milwaukee does a lot of things that I wouldn't do. And it's worked out pretty well for them to this point!
 

jon abbey

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You’re more certain than most that New York will not put Andujar back at third.
No, they’re going to almost definitely at this point, I just think it’s stupidly postponing the inevitable.