Free Agent Picks
It’s that fun time of the year when I am wrong on almost every pick. With that said I will still give it shot. While it may appear there is minimal logic (which there is,) I have my reasons. Okay here we go…
Carlos Correa: Detroit, 11 years. Not a sexy pick. Not an uncommon pick. Carlos made it very clear he doesn’t want the Yankees, and that he doesn’t want the Yankees to want him. At least not the fan base. Evena fellow as cocky as this must Realize how bad of an idea that was when he made the statement. I can’t think of an environment that is worse to be hated in, aside from Philadelphia. Bryce Harper had to win the MVP to get them off his ass. For now… Carlos Correa does care about the money, rightfully so. Detroit Tigers on an 11-year deal.
Marcus Stroman: San Francisco, 4 years. The San Francisco Giants were good last year. Do you want to know the secret to this success? PITCHING! VERY GOOD PITCHING! They ranked second in baseball in ERA. I am sorry for the caps, but my Lord, how stupid are the New York Mets? Unless the rumors are untrue, making it so clear that they are not signing Marcus is CRAZY to me! Nonetheless – Marcus to SF on a 4-year deal.
Zack Greinke: Los Angeles Angels, 2 years. We just asked the question, “how good does your pitching need to be?” Let’s find out. Greinke to L.A in a Noah Syndergaard-type deal is good for Zack, and safe for the Angels. They appear ready to compete should they add a few bats. Greinke is still serviceable and at times very good at age 38. I think a 2-year deal in the $18 million dollar range.
Clayton Kershaw: Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 years. The savings from not signing Corey Seager be passe don to re-sign some other current Dodgers. One of them, Clayton Kershaw. Clayton may retire if his only suitors are teams not in contention. While we know that won’t be the case, it sounds like he is saying “Dodgers or nothing.” That of course could change. It will be interesting to see what’s out there for him given the age, loss of velocity and some injury concerns. Clayton Kershaw is still the best pitcher of our generation and will warrant big money. At age 33 he has plenty of years left. He stays home on a 4-year deal with the Dodgers.
Andrew McCutchen: Pittsburgh, 2 years. A homecoming in Pittsburgh seems possible, and maybe likely. A low-risk, inexpensive pick, that would play well with the city. Pittsburgh sells more tickets. The team upgrades the offense and the outfield. A reunion would be great for the town. I am not sure how great it would be for Cutch if winning is important, but this makes sense. AT 35 years old, there aren’t many years left, so again, how important is winning? A 2-year deal seems appropriate.
Nick Castellanos: Philadelphia, 5 years. The Cubs are said to be spenders this offseason. There’s a lot of former Cubs out there. Rizzo, Baez, Bryant, Schwarber and Castellanos all figure to land somewhere on big money deals. Castellanos, however, isn’t returning to Chicago. Castellanos bargaining power, even a player-friendly free agent offseason isn’t enough to meet the 8 year demands him and his agent are seeking. Must we remember Nick was a .270 hitter with slightly above average pop, with a well below average glove up until recently. It is smart to parlay this into something bigger. Strike while the iron is as there’s a drive into deep left by Castellanos and that’ll be a home run. Phillies will cave some, probably with trade clauses and such, but they won’t give him 8 years.
Kris Bryant: Seattle, 5 years. The Cubs should be in on Bryant, but they won’t. One could argue that dishing Bryant temporarily to grow the farm system, and then bringing him back was sensible, but Kris’ agent is Scott Boras, this may mean more. It may sting, and it may be too much. He may be in FU mode after that. Maybe he should be grateful, but maybe he’s not. Kyle Seager I likely gone, opening doors to for the upstart Mariners. You can’t spell no postSEAson without Seattle. Welp, 2021 was different. Kris Bryant to Seattle on a 5-year deal. Book it.
Kyle Schwarber: St. Louis, 4 years. No team in baseball has a bigger left-handed deficiency than the St. Louis Cardinals. The impending season begs of a left-hander hitter as the season begs of the universal DH. The St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher, Jack Flaherty may have helped blaze that trail, but it seems the DH is coming to a team near you. Schwarber’s defensive liability will not matter much if he does not have to play the field. If the DH is a thing and Kyle is still sitting out there, a 4-year deal makes sense on both sides.
Javier Baez: Seattle, 5 years. Houston will surely miss out on Carlos Correa, but it’s safe to assume they won’t make much of an effort at Correa. It is assumed that he is gone. The Yankees will be more interested in Trevor Story and Corey Seager. Adding Baez (another big strikeout guy) is not a great idea. Houston plays better in terms of contact hitters, and protection. I like Baez in Houston on a 3-year deal. Here’s the problem. I don’t think Javy will accept a 3-year deal. While I think this makes sense, it is unlikely. Plot twist: Javy Baez to the Seattle Mariners on a 5-year deal, reuniting with his infield bestie, Kris Bryant.
Trevor Story: New York Yankees, 6 years. The New York Yankees are calling. Pickup. Trevor has never won a Gold Glove, but he’s been near-worthy on more than one occasion. He is not a liability on defense and brings plenty of bat and hustle. His splits could be better, but it’s not like the guy is hitting .200 away from Coors. He is still a formidable young hitter with pop and wheels. This makes a lot of sense for a team that NEEDS TO WIN. The injury and monetary risk are less than Corey Sager, and they avoid signing Carlos Hitler, while filling a need with star power.
Chris Taylor: San Francisco, 3 years. Few players have made themselves more money in a shorter period than Chris Taylor did this postseason. He has gained heavy interest from many teams. The list of interested teams continues to grow. With the possibility, and likeliness of Kris Bryant leaving, Taylor is a perfect fit. Same division, climate, and playing a lot of games in all too familiar ballparks. Chris can play anywhere on the infield and with the DH coming in hot, he plays at least 150 games.
Albert Pujols: St. Louis, 1 year. Nothing fits better than St. Louis, MO. Albert and Tony Larussa have always been very fond one of another, but there may be too many bats in Chicago for Al to get adequate playing time. Assuming the St. Louis Cardinals do not call up Nolan Gorman, Albert would get plenty of clock as DH, which would be ideal, and certainly would fill in well for Paul Goldschmidt on off-days.
Freddie Freeman: New York Yankees, 5 years. Against the grain we go! I have Freddie to the New York Yankees on a 6-year blockbuster deal. I won’t speculate numbers, but they will have to be very large numbers to pull Freddie from the World Champion, Atlanta Braves. He is well decorated with MVPs, Sliver Sluggers and Gold Gloves. He has nothing to prove in Atlanta. It will probably boil down to what the Braves’ future look like, and what they are willing to share with Freddie. A healthy Ronald Acuna Jr. added back in to a very solid, young lineup in a weak division seems like the way to go. However, if the Yankees knock his socks off, he may bolt.
Anthony Rizzo: Boston, 4 years. The Red Sox signing Anthony Rizzo is a no-brainer. Back to where it all started. The short right field porch, the love for the bright lights and the big stage; and he performs just fine in the AL East. This is not just a sentimental pick. Rizzo can provide real value at a fraction of his glory days price.
Carlos Rodon: Philadelphia, 3 years. The Philadelphia Phillies will be forced to sign another arm, with the rest of the division getting better. Rodon is like Steven Matz – turning in his best season when it matters, as he enters free agency; and he will likely receive a similar offer. 3 to 4 years, low risk, high reward with median annual commitment. Aside from a bad stretch 2019-2020, which wasn’t many games, Carlos is a consistent low 4’s ERA guy, that is serviceable. Certainly, worthy of a spot in the rotation.
Seiya Suzuki: Philadelphia, 4 years. The general restrictions that apply to signing international players do not apply here. The age clause does not limit Suzuki’s earning potential. If you’ve done the work and compared him to Ohtani you see the potential. He’s very disciplined at the plate, with a stellar glove and some pop. Without knowing what the market is, I believe he will end up in Philadelphia.