Remaining Free Agent Speculation and Signings (Trades, too)

loneredseat

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Man. This seems like a crazy bargain. It would seem that either the sox are planning on signing JM or they have crazy faith in their current stock. I think it has to be the former. I'd like to see them give him 3 or 4 years with no opt outs until after year 2, even if it means paying him a little more.
 

HfxBob

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Man. This seems like a crazy bargain. It would seem that either the sox are planning on signing JM or they have crazy faith in their current stock. I think it has to be the former. I'd like to see them give him 3 or 4 years with no opt outs until after year 2, even if it means paying him a little more.
I wish you were right, but I'm pretty sure it's the latter, especially with Whitlock and Criswell looking good.
 

Yo La Tengo

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That Lorenzen only got 4.5/1 makes me think there's more to that late season performance drop off than just being tired after the no hitter.
Like what... an injury? If so, there would be no reason for the Rangers to sign him, since they need pitching for the first few months of the season. Teams figuring out Lorenzen/tipping pitches? Seems unlikely, as he gave up 5 runs in 40+ innings through that no hitter, then immediately gave up 7, 4, 4, 7, 4, 4 runs in his next 6 starts at which point he was taken out of the rotation. He ended up at 153 innings pitched after only 97 the prior year. I think he got worn out.
 

simplicio

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Care to elaborate on your reasoning?
A guy that can average over 6 IP per start at 3.23 ERA/3.84 FIP over his first 20 starts is worth more than $4.5m unless there's something wrong with him beyond "he got tired".
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Man. This seems like a crazy bargain. It would seem that either the sox are planning on signing JM or they have crazy faith in their current stock. I think it has to be the former. I'd like to see them give him 3 or 4 years with no opt outs until after year 2, even if it means paying him a little more.
Or they have no money.
 

HfxBob

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A guy that can average over 6 IP per start at 3.23 ERA/3.84 FIP over his first 20 starts is worth more than $4.5m unless there's something wrong with him beyond "he got tired".
Normally I'd agree, but this has been one strange offseason.
 

Yo La Tengo

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A guy that can average over 6 IP per start at 3.23 ERA/3.84 FIP over his first 20 starts is worth more than $4.5m unless there's something wrong with him beyond "he got tired".
Based on this logic, there is also "something wrong" with Bellinger, Snell, and Chapman as well, as demonstrated by their below market deals. I'm assuming JD Martinez and Montgomery must also have something wrong.

Or, the weird market for free agents + bad advice from agents resulted in unexpectedly low contracts for a number of players.
 

Fishy1

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Based on this logic, there is also "something wrong" with Bellinger, Snell, and Chapman as well, as demonstrated by their below market deals. I'm assuming JD Martinez and Montgomery must also have something wrong.

Or, the weird market for free agents + bad advice from agents resulted in unexpectedly low contracts for a number of players.
I think the agents thought that the market hadn't dried up yet for these megacontracts, when in fact most of the teams had been snakebit and weren't willing to dish out again. Agents probably assumed everyone being like "we're not gonna spend that money" was posturing when it was just facts on the ground.
 

LogansDad

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Lorenzon is 32 and has pitched over 100 innings twice since 2015, has a career FIP of 4.32, doesn't really strike guys out, and outside of 2022 and early 2023 has basically been a 3.7 BB/9 guy, and that was mostly as a relief pitcher.

This contract doesn't surprise me at all.

I think he will pitch fine for the Rangers because their defense is world class. I don't know why people thought he was going to have a huge market, especially after his complete collapse at the end of last season.
 

HfxBob

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I think the agents thought that the market hadn't dried up yet for these megacontracts, when in fact most of the teams had been snakebit and weren't willing to dish out again.
I think it's assuming a lot that being "snakebit" has anything to do with it. Teams have been "snakebit" by free agent busts for decades now.

I think it might make more sense that teams are seeing some revenue projections they don't like.
 

EvilEmpire

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It’s hard to believe that the season is a little over a week away and Montgomery isn’t signed. I can’t imagine he’s too thrilled with that.
He's close enough to the season starting that it would be foolish to sign now and potentially be encumbered by a qualifying offer. I think he'll sign the best deal he has on the table right as the season starts.
 

simplicio

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Lorenzon is 32 and has pitched over 100 innings twice since 2015, has a career FIP of 4.32, doesn't really strike guys out, and outside of 2022 and early 2023 has basically been a 3.7 BB/9 guy, and that was mostly as a relief pitcher.

This contract doesn't surprise me at all.

I think he will pitch fine for the Rangers because their defense is world class. I don't know why people thought he was going to have a huge market, especially after his complete collapse at the end of last season.
To be clear, I don't think he earned a multi-year $20m AAV deal here, but Lugo's 2 years older and got $45m guaranteed after a similar 1 year stint as a successful starter. Projections pretty universally had Lorenzen around $10m for a year or two, and this is a stark enough drop-off from that to make me think there's something else at play beyond market fluctuations.
 

HfxBob

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To be clear, I don't think he earned a multi-year $20m AAV deal here, but Lugo's 2 years older and got $45m guaranteed after a similar 1 year stint as a successful starter. Projections pretty universally had Lorenzen around $10m for a year or two, and this is a stark enough drop-off from that to make me think there's something else at play beyond market fluctuations.
True, but Lorenzen isn't the only one seeing a stark drop-off from projected contract to actual contract.
 

simplicio

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True, but Lorenzen isn't the only one seeing a stark drop-off from projected contract to actual contract.
Among pitchers he really is. Snell/Boras pretty obviously messed up but still got a high AAV out of it; pretty much every other SP and RP matched or beat their Fangraphs projected AAV. Stroman got a little less, Paxton got a bit less but had a medical issue flagged, Kershaw got a lot less but had his surgery after projections came out, and I think that's it.

To put it another way: 21 relievers made more money than Lorenzen this winter.
 

moondog80

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Among pitchers he really is. Snell/Boras pretty obviously messed up but still got a high AAV out of it; pretty much every other SP and RP matched or beat their Fangraphs projected AAV. Stroman got a little less, Paxton got a bit less but had a medical issue flagged, Kershaw got a lot less but had his surgery after projections came out, and I think that's it.

To put it another way: 21 relievers made more money than Lorenzen this winter.
Musical chairs. Wait too long and you're out. Do you think Clevinger is going to hit his projections? JD Martinez?
 

TomRicardo

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You need five good healthy starters. If none of them happen to come via free agency, I don't see that as holding anyone back. Correlation is not causation, and the market is always changing too.
There is no world the Red Sox will have five good homegrown starters that would lead to a championship in the next five years. The Prospect Humping is insanely off the charts people are coming in here and trying to compare Bello, Crawford, and the guys we guess we will start to the '95 Braves.

If you don't draft pitchers, you don't sign free agent pitchers, you refuse to trade blue chip prospects for pitchers, and you don't trade veterans for pitching prospects, you aren't going to have a good rotation. No matter how much nonsense Bloom Logic you and the other Kennedy Pay Pigs put on the board.
 

moondog80

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I don't think Clevinger is getting a job for non-baseball reasons.
Maybe. But Adam Duvall was projected to get 10 mil. Michael Taylor was 9 mil. What would JD Davis have been projected at if he were a FA? More than 2.5 mil, right?

The Boras 3 took their hit in years. The guys who were only projected to get one year in the first place are getting less $$. It's that time of year.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I was 99.5% sure that Montgomery was going to sign here.... about a week ago I really started to think I was wrong, now I'm absolutely certain he's not going to. The MFY's appear to be back in on him and are likely okay with a one year no-QO offer so he'll likely be there. I'll be/am bummed about it, but about a week ago I also started to feel much more bullish about the rotation as it is even with Giolito going down (I didn't have high expectations for him anyhow). Now, I'm not saying- despite the above sentiment expressed by Tom Ricardo- that they're going to be the '95 Braves (can we not always express things in absolute extreme terms anymore or is that a relic of the past?) but I'm expecting a much better rotation just in 3-true outcome true pitching and in better defense to see a team that is still a borderline playoff contender... that means playing meaningful fun games in August and September.
 

CR67dream

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I was 99.5% sure that Montgomery was going to sign here.... about a week ago I really started to think I was wrong, now I'm absolutely certain he's not going to. The MFY's appear to be back in on him and are likely okay with a one year no-QO offer so he'll likely be there. I'll be/am bummed about it, but about a week ago I also started to feel much more bullish about the rotation as it is even with Giolito going down (I didn't have high expectations for him anyhow). Now, I'm not saying- despite the above sentiment expressed by Tom Ricardo- that they're going to be the '95 Braves (can we not always express things in absolute extreme terms anymore or is that a relic of the past?) but I'm expecting a much better rotation just in 3-true outcome true pitching and in better defense to see a team that is still a borderline playoff contender... that means playing meaningful fun games in August and September.
I'm excited for the season, Monty or no Monty. Ownership aside, the new baseball ops crew deserves a chance, and the team should be fun to watch.

Also, the Yankees would be paying 110% tax on his contract, so I'm not so sure they'll bite.

And generally, whatever is up with Lorenzen, at that price I'm pretty confident that money wasn't the reason he's not here. It is entirely logical that the Sox wouldn't bump anyone for him right now the way guys are performing, and that he may not have been willing to go where he isn't guaranteed to start. Or the Sox just see him as another ticking time bomb...or any number of other things.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Can we agree the Sox are NOT in play if Montgomery is waiting on the start of the season to avoid the QO? Because if that's the case, he wants either a 1-year contract or one with a first year opt-out, which Craig should want no part of, since he seems to have pivoted to a development year.
I agree 100%. I don't see much benefit to the Sox in a one-year deal, especially if they can't give him a QO when he leaves.
 

nvalvo

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There is no world the Red Sox will have five good homegrown starters that would lead to a championship in the next five years. The Prospect Humping is insanely off the charts people are coming in here and trying to compare Bello, Crawford, and the guys we guess we will start to the '95 Braves.

If you don't draft pitchers, you don't sign free agent pitchers, you refuse to trade blue chip prospects for pitchers, and you don't trade veterans for pitching prospects, you aren't going to have a good rotation. No matter how much nonsense Bloom Logic you and the other Kennedy Pay Pigs put on the board.
I don't disagree. Especially given that the minor leagues have gotten smaller, it's just not at all clear where all of the innings are supposed to come from.

There is no way that the FO and ownership aren't thinking about this, and it would be very hard to conclude that they've done enough. This is why I still believe that we're about to sign Montgomery.

That said, I stand by what I wrote awhile ago, which is that each of our homegrown and homegrown-ish guys: Bello, Crawford, Houck, Whitlock, Winckowski, Criswell, even Wikelman, Fitts, and Mata, all have some attributes that lead one to think that they could become good SP; they all have deficits of varying kinds, too. But there's a lot of ceiling in that group. We'd be fortunate if two or three of them took that step, so if we're going to staff an actual rotation, that means raising the floor, and a medium-length deal to Montgomery seems to me like a good way to try to do that.

(Although, as Giolito showed us for the seven thousandth time, nothing's ever certain in pitching.)

I was 99.5% sure that Montgomery was going to sign here.... about a week ago I really started to think I was wrong, now I'm absolutely certain he's not going to. The MFY's appear to be back in on him and are likely okay with a one year no-QO offer so he'll likely be there. I'll be/am bummed about it, but about a week ago I also started to feel much more bullish about the rotation as it is even with Giolito going down (I didn't have high expectations for him anyhow). Now, I'm not saying- despite the above sentiment expressed by Tom Ricardo- that they're going to be the '95 Braves (can we not always express things in absolute extreme terms anymore or is that a relic of the past?) but I'm expecting a much better rotation just in 3-true outcome true pitching and in better defense to see a team that is still a borderline playoff contender... that means playing meaningful fun games in August and September.
Maybe he does sign elsewhere, but unless there really is *no money*, I don't see why the Red Sox wouldn't be willing/able to outbid the Yankees on him, given the tax/roster/window considerations — unless Cole and Stroman are in fact more hurt than they are letting on. Is Montgomery really going to prefer 1/$20m (which will cost NY ~$42m) to some sort of sensible 3/$70, 4/$90m, 5/$100m deal like I imagine Breslow's offering? That's a pretty bad bet for him IMO. At his age, he should really just take the largest total deal.

Again, I could be wrong about this: I'm wrong about things all the time. But if he signed elsewhere, the other team that made the most sense was SF — and they've now inked Snell. Maybe the Cubs? Maybe the deep-pocketed-but-bad Mets sign him with an eye to the trade deadline?

And look, if a Heyman-reported rumor that Montgomery was back in contact with the Yankees did *not* arrive while Boras was in a staring contest with the Sox FO, I would say we should call Heyman's neighbors and ask them to do a wellness check.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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And look, if a Heyman-reported rumor that Montgomery was back in contact with the Yankees did *not* arrive while Boras was in a staring contest with the Sox FO, I would say we should call Heyman's neighbors and ask them to do a wellness check.
OK, this made me laugh.

It would make sense if the Yankees are at least in touch with Boras about JM. But signing him would be costly, as has been noted.
 

joe dokes

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I dont see why a 1yr deal for Montgomery is bad for the Sox. They need a pitcher. He's a pitcher.
As for why no long-term deal, I'm with those that are positing that long-term deals for pitchers with the bulk of that term happening post-30 are not in the Sox' plans. Not for "do we have enough money" economics. More about team-building philosophy. I don't know, if that's a plan that can work or how many years that means for a guy who is 30 at signing. But I think that's part of the "plan" that people are demanding to know.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I dont see why a 1yr deal for Montgomery is bad for the Sox. They need a pitcher. He's a pitcher.
As for why no long-term deal, I'm with those that are positing that long-term deals for pitchers with the bulk of that term happening post-30 are not in the Sox' plans. Not for "do we have enough money" economics. More about team-building philosophy. I don't know, if that's a plan that can work or how many years that means for a guy who is 30 at signing. But I think that's part of the "plan" that people are demanding to know.
I think it would be good too. Gives them a period to negotiate with him exclusively as well, though with Boras who knows if that matters. The downside would be if the Sox ownership would want to be more thrifty in 2025 or 2026 if they exceed the tax cap this year.

I also think the deal would likely come with an opt out, which would mean the Sox are at risk of another empty or diminished contract in 2025 if he gets injured.
 

nvalvo

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I think it would be good too. Gives them a period to negotiate with him exclusively as well, though with Boras who knows if that matters. The downside would be if the Sox ownership would want to be more thrifty in 2025 or 2026 if they exceed the tax cap this year.

I also think the deal would likely come with an opt out, which would mean the Sox are at risk of another empty or diminished contract in 2025 if he gets injured.
A one-year deal would not be my preference, but I wouldn't rule it out either. In the plausible scenario is that the team is out of contention at the deadline but Montgomery is healthy, he could be a very valuable trade asset.
 

Yo La Tengo

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A one-year deal would not be my preference, but I wouldn't rule it out either. In the plausible scenario is that the team is out of contention at the deadline but Montgomery is healthy, he could be a very valuable trade asset.
I'd much rather a one year deal than a two year deal with an opt out. And I'm fine with a one year deal- the Sox will either be competitive or not, in which case they would have a valuable trade option. Looking at the FA class next year, and the number of contracts signed this year with opt outs, I anticipate that some of these players (Snell, Bellinger, Chapman, likely Montgomery) might be interested in mid-season extensions in order to avoid this same scenario next year, when there will be even more valuable free agents available.
 

joe dokes

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I think it would be good too. Gives them a period to negotiate with him exclusively as well, though with Boras who knows if that matters. The downside would be if the Sox ownership would want to be more thrifty in 2025 or 2026 if they exceed the tax cap this year.

I also think the deal would likely come with an opt out, which would mean the Sox are at risk of another empty or diminished contract in 2025 if he gets injured.
I was assuming 1yr deal.
 

Otis Foster

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A one-year deal would not be my preference, but I wouldn't rule it out either. In the plausible scenario is that the team is out of contention at the deadline but Montgomery is healthy, he could be a very valuable trade asset.
I've wondered why so many teams have fallen into the opt-out trap. Where's the benefit to the team? At best, you get a positive one year return that is simply a launching pad for another free agent scramble. As noted, there's an argument that this gives you a leg up on a renegotiation, but then you have to deal with The Dark Prince, Scott Boras. That's a question that answers itself.

The only time it makes sense to me is in a Cole-Yankees structure, where the opt-out triggers a reciprocal option for the team to buy the player in for several more years at an enhanced salary. Maybe others have used this device, but they don't come to mind.

(I know, the players will insist that the team opt-in dampens the market just like any right of first refusal, but there has to be a contractual device that offsets the bias in the opt out.)
 

simplicio

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Maybe. But Adam Duvall was projected to get 10 mil. Michael Taylor was 9 mil. What would JD Davis have been projected at if he were a FA? More than 2.5 mil, right?

The Boras 3 took their hit in years. The guys who were only projected to get one year in the first place are getting less $$. It's that time of year.
There's a reason I specified pitchers: they're easier to break and harder to replace. Plenty of clubs have had starters go down this spring, yet Lorenzen is the only pitcher without publicly known issues to underperform his projections by 50-75%. That makes me think there's something we don't know about him, because the demand for pitching around the league hasn't diminished.
 

RS2004foreever

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I was 99.5% sure that Montgomery was going to sign here.... about a week ago I really started to think I was wrong, now I'm absolutely certain he's not going to. The MFY's appear to be back in on him and are likely okay with a one year no-QO offer so he'll likely be there. I'll be/am bummed about it, but about a week ago I also started to feel much more bullish about the rotation as it is even with Giolito going down (I didn't have high expectations for him anyhow). Now, I'm not saying- despite the above sentiment expressed by Tom Ricardo- that they're going to be the '95 Braves (can we not always express things in absolute extreme terms anymore or is that a relic of the past?) but I'm expecting a much better rotation just in 3-true outcome true pitching and in better defense to see a team that is still a borderline playoff contender... that means playing meaningful fun games in August and September.
This is me. The rotation might be better than last year, but '25 looks like a complete mess.
I am interested in what Grissom/Story do, and we have youngish players who will be getting significant playing time.
I will watch - I always do. People underestimate the year to year volatility in baseball and overestimate the effect one player can have.
Still it is frustrating.
 

Yo La Tengo

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There's a reason I specified pitchers: they're easier to break and harder to replace. Plenty of clubs have had starters go down this spring, yet Lorenzen is the only pitcher without publicly known issues to underperform his projections by 50-75%. That makes me think there's something we don't know about him, because the demand for pitching around the league hasn't diminished.
Didn't Snell just underperform his projections by 50-75%? I'm guessing Montgomery will too. Along with Cleavinger. And JD Martinez. Pair this with Bellinger and Chapman and I think you're ignoring the obvious timeline that is working against these players who are signing contracts on the cusp of opening day.
 

HfxBob

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Musical chairs. Wait too long and you're out. Do you think Clevinger is going to hit his projections? JD Martinez?
It may be musical chairs, but total spending on FA's is also way down this year from last year for reasons that aren't clear yet.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Not by AAV.
Obviously, but did anyone expect him to take a total deal worth up to $62 million? Boras was reportedly asking for well over $200 million and the NYY reported offered 6 years, $150 million. I think most of us expected something like the Rodon deal (6 years, $162 million).
 

chrisfont9

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There is no world the Red Sox will have five good homegrown starters that would lead to a championship in the next five years. The Prospect Humping is insanely off the charts people are coming in here and trying to compare Bello, Crawford, and the guys we guess we will start to the '95 Braves.

If you don't draft pitchers, you don't sign free agent pitchers, you refuse to trade blue chip prospects for pitchers, and you don't trade veterans for pitching prospects, you aren't going to have a good rotation. No matter how much nonsense Bloom Logic you and the other Kennedy Pay Pigs put on the board.
It's not prospect humping, it's recognizing that pitching quality is fluid, as is the roster. Also why are you constantly resorting to insulting people?
 

CR67dream

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Obviously, but did anyone expect him to take a total deal worth up to $62 million? Boras was reportedly asking for well over $200 million and the NYY reported offered 6 years, $150 million.
But you're comparing one year of Lorenzen being cheaper than expected to Snell taking the same AAV he demanded in a longer deal. Not nearly the same thing.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I was assuming 1yr deal.
That would be great -- I'd take a year no strings if ownership were not going to claim it was an overspend year that requires getting back under the tax in 2026 or whatever. I feel like even though it's 3/20, he's not going to be desperate enough to sign a one-year deal without some injury protection, whether that takes the form of an opt out or other. I still feel like he must have enough leverage for that.
 

Yo La Tengo

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But you're comparing one year of Lorenzen being cheaper than expected to Snell taking the same AAV he demanded in a longer deal. Not nearly the same thing.
My point is that every contract signed since Bellinger has been for substantially less total dollars than was anticipated. Maybe Montgomery will surprise us and sign a huge, multi-year deal, as was forecasted at the beginning of the offseason. But I doubt it.

The fact that Snell got a higher AAV doesn't change the fact that the value of the contract is 50-75% less than was expected. Put another way, if Snell wanted a 2 year, $62 million dollar deal, I think he could have gotten that on the first day of free agency.
 

CR67dream

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My point is that every contract signed since Bellinger has been for substantially less total dollars than was anticipated. Maybe Montgomery will surprise us and sign a huge, multi-year deal, as was forecasted at the beginning of the offseason. But I doubt it.

The fact that Snell got a higher AAV doesn't change the fact that the value of the contract is 50-75% less than was expected. Put another way, if Snell wanted a 2 year, $62 million dollar deal, I think he could have gotten that on the first day of free agency.
My point is that I'm pretty sure Simplicio was referring to Lorenzen's expected dollar value plumetting in a one-year snapshot, as he was never getting more than a year. That's the 50% drop off I interpreted. Snell would have to have signed for 16 mil for the comparison to be apt.
 

Yo La Tengo

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My point is that I'm pretty sure Simplicio was referring to Lorenzen's expected dollar value plumetting in a one-year snapshot, as he was never getting more than a year. That's the 50% drop off I interpreted. Snell would have to have signed for 16 mil for the comparison to be apt.
The prediction at MLB TradeRumors was 2 Years, $22 million. FanGraphs was at 2/20. Bleacher Report had 3/33. John Heyman and two unnamed experts (HA!) listed 2/20, 2/24, 2/30.