2021 MLB offseason - news and notes

Yelling At Clouds

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I think I have kind of decided that for me, the baseball postseason is pretty much meaningless. Sure it'd be nice if the Yankees won, but I just don't think it proves anything except that a team made the postseason and then beat the 3-4 teams they faced.

Also Boras isn't really right about the ATL deadline moves, those teams were trying to save a bit of money because they weren't going anywhere but absolutely no one including the Braves thought those players were difference makers. No one else wanted those players, there was no competition for them which is why ATL didn't have to give up much.
Yeah, I agree with Boras overall on this, but the Braves are a weird example. Shouldn’t he be glad that they didn’t go into the tank and trade off Freddie Freeman when they were sub-.500 at the deadline?
 

B H Kim

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Maybe a separate thread - but which would people prefer: boom and bust cycles like the Marlins, Rays and Astros, or steady competitiveness with a decent shot to win the division or WS most years like the Yankees and Cardinals?
As a Nationals fan, I'd easily take the last four years (mediocre, won the World Series, bad, worse) over the prior six (4 division titles and two competitive second place finishes, but never advancing in the playoffs) any day.
 

VORP Speed

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Maybe a separate thread - but which would people prefer: boom and bust cycles like the Marlins, Rays and Astros, or steady competitiveness with a decent shot to win the division or WS most years like the Yankees and Cardinals?
Rays have been one of the most consistently good teams in baseball since 2008. Top 3 record in the league over a decade and a half.
 

lexrageorge

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Boras is right about tanking and the draft, but is 100% incorrect about the Braves.

I do know the best part of the Red Sox success since 2004 has been the fact that they won 4 actual trophies.
 

soxhop411

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I honestly cant tell if MLB is trolling with this "offer"
CARLSBAD, Calif. — Major League Baseball on Wednesday made an updated proposal for baseball’s reserve system, including a revised approach to eliminating salary arbitration.

Overall, the proposal is similar to the one the league made in August, people with knowledge of the discussions said. Like August’s proposal, Wednesday’s would grant players free agency at the age of 29 1/2 and do away with arbitration. The most significant change between the two versions is how player salaries would be determined prior to free agency.

In the August proposal, MLB offered to use a predetermined sum of money that would be distributed to eligible players, those who had reached at least three years of service time. This time, MLB is offering to pay players based on performance, specifically on a calculation of wins above replacement, or WAR. There are multiple variants of WAR, but MLB proposed to rely on FanGraphs’ version, or fWAR. A player’s career WAR would be part of the calculation, weighted for recency. Whether a player has been in the majors for three-plus, four-plus, or five-plus years would affect the calculation.

Performance already greatly influences the current arbitration system, under which players who have reached three years in the majors can go to a hearing to fight for a higher salary than the team proposes. But the current system nonetheless allows flexibility and room for players to argue to a third party for better salaries.
Using fWAR would create its own biases. The metric likely would hurt relievers, as the market has always valued them higher, though on shorter deals, than fWAR suggests it should. Some strong defenders would be helped by the defensive component of fWAR, but the potential will exist for teams to game those numbers, which currently do not account for defensive opportunities in extreme shifts. Pitching fWAR, meanwhile, is mostly based on strikeouts, walks and homers, potentially hurting pitchers who thrive on soft contact.

MLB sees its proposal as, in part, a way to do away with the acrimony of the arbitration process — which can be uncomfortable for clubs and players alike — and as a way for younger players to be paid more, one of the union’s stated goals. However, the overall trade-off for players under the league’s proposal likely would be steep: Typically, the sport’s best players reach free agency prior to age 29 1/2, because they often arrive in the majors at a young age.
https://theathletic.com/2950283/2021/11/11/before-free-agency-mlb-proposes-paying-players-based-on-fangraphs-calculation-of-war/
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Strange format alert: Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game is a full 9 inning game, regardless of the score. East team is up 6-5 and batting in the bottom of the 9th.
 

jon abbey

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Strange format alert: Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game is a full 9 inning game, regardless of the score. East team is up 6-5 and batting in the bottom of the 9th.
They do this in spring training games sometimes too, so that both managers can better slot out all nine innings beforehand.
 

crow216

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Berrios locked up by the Jays for 7 years, multiple sources. No $ amount yet but for Berrios to sign right now probably indicates a big one. I'd guess at least $150M.
 

OCD SS

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I guess wait for the terms? I've been assuming that the FAs who are rushing to sign are getting large signing bonuses ala Mookie so they can hold themselves over during a lockout and teams are using this to get players to sign quickly at more reasonable money.

If the players aren't getting a good chunk of money up front, then I'm with you and don't really get it...
 

moondog80

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I guess wait for the terms? I've been assuming that the FAs who are rushing to sign are getting large signing bonuses ala Mookie so they can hold themselves over during a lockout and teams are using this to get players to sign quickly at more reasonable money.

If the players aren't getting a good chunk of money up front, then I'm with you and don't really get it...
Berrios is still two years from FA, so that's a big part of it. And I wouldn't be shocked if there's an opt -out after year 4 or 5.

EDIT: only one year til FA for Berrios. I was right about the opt-out though :)
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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It’s $130m, more than 10x his career earnings to date. 27 years old, career 108 era+, 3.95 era. He’s a really good pitcher but there is risk in him waiting for FA; what if he gets hurt? Can’t fault him for locking in $130m now.
 

moondog80

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Berrios only had 1 year of Arb left, so this is buying out that year + 6 FA years. As MLBTR notes, figure an arb figure of $11M for 2022, then $20M/ year.
Yes, you are correct. My bad. Though really only buying out 4 years when you consider the opt-out.
 

radsoxfan

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Thor to LA

Pretty high $ on a 1 year "prove it" type deal. I guess it was always going to be above the QO though.

Also not the best use of a draft pick. If NG stinks it's a waste and if he's good you only get 1 season.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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The Angels can’t offer him a qualifying offer a second time after the season. So they wouldn’t even get draft compensation for losing him after a good season.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Eh, not really any such thing as a *bad* 1-year deal, though. And, despite recent results, now is not really the time for the Angels to be enacting some grand long-range plan. I don’t really see the downside for them.

Now, that said, it’s also true that Thor’s fame has outstripped his actual on-field results for a little while.

EDIT: I think they’re trying to copy AA’s strategy with Atlanta. It’s worked out well for him!
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Yeah I guess risky isn’t the right word. Just feels like a really expensive lottery ticket where the prize isn’t much more than the cost of the ticket.
 

sgfeer

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Eh, not really any such thing as a *bad* 1-year deal, though. And, despite recent results, now is not really the time for the Angels to be enacting some grand long-range plan. I don’t really see the downside for them.

Now, that said, it’s also true that Thor’s fame has outstripped his actual on-field results for a little while.

EDIT: I think they’re trying to copy AA’s strategy with Atlanta. It’s worked out well for him!

He and Harvey were more interested in being the Dark Knight and Thor than pitching
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Wow, $21 million for a guy who hasn't pitched in two years, hasn't been good in even longer, who has made in through a complete season twice in his career. What a country!

Its no wonder that the owners feel the need to use collective bargaining to beat down player salaries because they are certainly incapable of doing it through self-restraint and common sense.
 

scottyno

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Not that big of risk, especially for a "big-market" team. Poor reward though.

Can't wait for Trout to be injured again, them being in 3rd place in July, and trade him to a contender for prospects.
The reward is them potentially having some pitching to go with 3 of the best players in baseball including maybe the 2 best and them making the playoffs and making a run, that seems like a pretty big reward.
 

Daniel_Son

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May 25, 2021
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Eh, not really any such thing as a *bad* 1-year deal, though. And, despite recent results, now is not really the time for the Angels to be enacting some grand long-range plan. I don’t really see the downside for them.

Now, that said, it’s also true that Thor’s fame has outstripped his actual on-field results for a little while.

EDIT: I think they’re trying to copy AA’s strategy with Atlanta. It’s worked out well for him!
Just out of curiosity - why do you say that? I don't watch a ton of Mets baseball, but since breaking into the league, he's had 4 elite years, one decent year, and then TJ surgery. Seems like as sure a bet as any to come back strong - and it's not like the Angels have much in the pitching department anyway.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Jeez, here I thought I was defending the deal.

I guess I was thinking he has been more decent than amazing other than 2016, but in looking again I may have been a bit harsh. We agree that it’s a good move for the Angels.
 

sean1562

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The reward is them potentially having some pitching to go with 3 of the best players in baseball including maybe the 2 best and them making the playoffs and making a run, that seems like a pretty big reward.
I agree with this post.

They lose the Pujols deal and need to save money for the inevitable Shohei mega contract. Kinda precludes signing any of the other top FA pitchers. Their payroll with this deal next season is 147 million. Their second round picks the last ten years or so have been pretty awful. Our best supplemental pick was JBJ like ten years ago. Some franchises probably just don't value them all that much. Mike Trout is 31 next season, their top prospect is a MLB ready middle rotation guy, why not shoot for the moon and hope Noah is the 1B to Shohei's 1A?

edit: What they really need is Jo Adell and/or Brandon Marsh to not suck.
 

crow216

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Teams will pay a lot extra if they think there is a chance they are getting an ace for cheap. There is no downside except money and on a 1 year deal, Syndergaard could pay huge dividends. If he's any good, you've got a pretty awesome trade chip or a great boost to your season. If he's not, I bet he's still tradable unless injured.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The downside is he’s hurt and you just flushed $21M. The Angels gave Matt Harvey $11M in 2019 and he gave them a 7.09 ERA and a -0.6 WAR, and some good ammo in the “no such thing as a bad one year contract!” argument.

This seems like a good deal for Thor, not sure it’s great for the Angels. Ohtani, Thor, Canning, Sandoval? Seems like they’ve still got a lot of work to do.
 

scottyno

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The downside is he’s hurt and you just flushed $21M. The Angels gave Matt Harvey $11M in 2019 and he gave them a 7.09 ERA and a -0.6 WAR, and some good ammo in the “no such thing as a bad one year contract!” argument.

This seems like a good deal for Thor, not sure it’s great for the Angels. Ohtani, Thor, Canning, Sandoval? Seems like they’ve still got a lot of work to do.
That's true of any pitcher though. They need a ton of help at pitching and have potentially the best lineup in baseball, I'd be prettty surprised if they don't go after another one of the short year high dollar pitchers, they can afford it and their window may be closing in a few years. Mike Trout isn't going to be MIKE TROUT forever.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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Mike Trout is 31 next season, their top prospect is a MLB ready middle rotation guy, why not shoot for the moon and hope Noah is the 1B to Shohei's 1A?
It is hardly the moon. It may not even be the stratosphere. Ohtani is an incredible talent that enjoyed an extraordinary 2021 season but Shohei’s 2021 FIP would have been the fifth-best of Syndergaard’s career and— strictly as a pitcher— his 2021 fWAR would have been the fourth-best of Syndergaard’s career, barely bettering Thor’s abbreviated rookie season. There is risk given Syndergaard’s 2020 Tommy John surgery but there is also a significant potential reward that the Angels’ addition is the best pitcher on their 2022 staff.
 

jtn46

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I could see a humble Syndergaard having some success, he throws too many types of pitches and features a sinker, if a team could basically just do what the Astros do to everyone and get him to be a high RPM 4-seamer, low breaking ball guy he certainly has the arm for it. It's a lot of money to make that gamble but if the Halos have money to burn why not?
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Sure there's risk with Syndergaard. But he pitched at the end of this season, albeit poorly, so he's apparently healthy. If LAAA gets the Thor with a 2.93 career FIP for anything close to a full season, then $21M will have been very well spent. It's just for one year, so zero long term risk. If there's any legit criticism, imo, it's that they didn't get a 2d option year to justify the cost of giving up a draft pick.
 

sean1562

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What do people think Justin Verlander will get? The guy hasn't really pitched since 2019 and will be 39 years old. Who would you rather gamble on, Verlander or Noah?