Tag Archives: Free Agency

It’s Winter Meeting season and I couldn’t be happier

It’s that time of year again ladies and gents. Winter meetings are just a few short weeks away. A time when the finest of baseballs front office members pack their bags and head down to sunny Orlando, Florida with the hopes of signing the biggest and best free-agents on the market and conducting any other league-wide transactions.

Let me start by saying this. It’s gonna be a wild one this time around and hopefully it’ll give me that little fix of MLB that I’ve been craving since the Astros hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy above their heads.

Where Will Giancarlo Stanton Land?

Derek Jeter the new owner of the Miami Marlins is cleaning house. Everyone’s on the chopping block unless your name is Christian Yelich. Jeter’s in full rebuild mode and for good reason. The Marlins finished just under .500 on the season at 77-85, but were a better team than their record shows. After the tragic death of Jose Fernandez that team just wasn’t the same and for good reason. He was such a huge loss to not only that team, but to the sport itself. RIPJF. Right now Stanton is sitting on a mountain of money equivalent to $295 million over 10 years. He has a buyout clause after the 2020 season if he so wishes to use it. He’s no doubt one of the top trade pieces of the last 10 years. He has pretty much everything teams are looking for especially after coming off a historic year. A good bat who can either DH or play the outfield depending if he’ll end up in the AL or NL, and he is a longterm guy with at least 3 seasons left under contract, granted he doesn’t want the buy out. The teams that have been the most outspoken about trading for Stanton are the Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers. I heard the Red Sox were in the mix for a little, per usual as Dave Dombrowski loves to destroy franchises by trading away and spending everything his teams own and then failing to win a World Series (circa Detroit Tigers 2012). Stanton has all the money he could ever want and coming off a year like that he’ll go wherever he wants, and I think that’s back home to beautiful Southern California.

Most likely landing spot: Dodgers, they have too much in the farm system and plenty of money to spend.

 

Where will Japanese two-way superstar Shohei Otani land?

Survey says… Whichever team has the most money!

Yep, you guessed it. Cue the music ladies and gents get my guy Frank Sinatra on deck.

NEEEEWWWW YOOOORRRRKKKKKK

That’s right Otani is almost a lock in New York in my opinion. It’s not a matter of if he comes to the MLB it’s a matter of when. A guy who throws 100 from the mound and rakes at the plate just screams like a guy that Brian Cashman wants on his roster. Complement that with the youth that team has and that’s going to be a scary looking roster. The Yanks are real close, they have almost everything they need to win number 28 and it was very easy to see that as they fell to the world champs in Game 7 of the ALCS. Rebuilding year? Not so much. The Yanks are close and Otani will only secure that even more. When Judge wasn’t striking out 9,000 times they hit top to bottom like one of the best teams in the MLB. Their bullpen was awesome in the postseason and David Robertson looked like a young stud once again. When almost everyone in your bullpen throws 95+ Larry Rothschild definitely has plenty of options. Tanaka looked like the guy he was back in Japan, Severino showed flashes of greatness but was just a little too inconsistent at times, stacked with that lineup? Watch. Out.  Who knows whether Otani will pan out as a two-way stud, but there’s no better place to make a name for yourself than a team that’s one of the most glorified franches in all of baseball, that happens to be right back up there on the verge of yet another World Series.

Most likely landing spot: Did I stress it enough? Oh yeah, Yankees.

 

Where will all the top Free-Agent’s land?

After the 9 players to receive qualifying offers turned them down, they’re going to enter into the free-agency pool.

The top guys that headline this are former Cubs’ Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis. Arrieta and Davis who are 31 and 32, respectively, are the premium pitchers of this year’s class. Arrieta who reinvented himself in Chicago has won a Cy Young and thrown two no-hitters in his tenure in Chicago. Davis was nearly perfect on his saves last year and was at the top of the league in ERA and saves. Those will both be huge losses for the Cubs to overcome this offseason but I have full faith in my guy Theo to keep us on the right track after making three consecutive NLCS appearances, and ending the 108 year World Series Drought.

Next we have to look at the Royals and how differently their going to look next time they take the field. They’re getting gutted harder than Brad Pitt in Moneyball when he lost Isringhausen, Giambi and Damon. Poor Dayton Moore, that’s a huge blow. Guys like Cain, Moustakas and Hosmer have been the core of that squad for years and in 2015 brought the Royals their first championship since 1985.

Most likely landing spots: Arrieta, Phillies; Cain, Rangers; Cobb, Mariners; Davis, D-Backs; Holland, Royals; Hosmer, Cardinals; Lynn, Cubs; Moustakas, Angels; Santana, Red Sox

 

How much Friggin’ money is J.D. Martinez going to make?

Talk about someone who is going to cash in this offseason and that’s J.D. The former Tiger who was traded to the Diamondbacks last season carried that squad to the postseason only to get swept by the Dodgers. Quite honestly I don’t know how that D-Backs team didn’t put up a fight against the Dodgers because I thought for sure they were a lock in the NLCS vs the Cubs. That lineup with Martinez, A.J. Pollock, and Paul Goldschmidt. Add on Greinke, Robbie Ray and Archie Bradley it amazes me they were so flat in the postseason. Can you imagine if that Dansby Swanson trade hadn’t backfired and he was still on that team too? Good lord. I’ve heard from the most bias Detroit sports fans that, “J.D. will always be a Tiger, he told me, ME PERSONALLY, that he wants to finish his career as a Tiger,” but that ain’t happening sorry dudes. He wants to win and even with that super team back in 2012 they still couldn’t do it so he’s not coming back. He’s going to the Nationals. The Nats have the money and a playoff talent caliber team to entice J.D. to come across the country. Plus the Nationals are going to be looking for Bryce Harper’s long term replacement after he skedaddles and comes to the Windy City. Perfect fit. Who knows, maybe he’ll be the guy to push D.C. past the point of choke return.

Most likely landing spot: Nationals

Offseason Day 1 Starts Right Now

I know what you’re thinking. We’re all thinking it. It’s the worst combination of four words in the human language.

Football season is over.

Let us take a moment of silence for a fantastic NFL season. Honestly one of the best seasons of the past decade that I can remember. The regular season brought us teams that no one expected to do well like the Rams and Jaguars, and gave us one of the greatest underdog victories the Super Bowl has ever had to offer.

But now that it’s all over it’s time to talk offseason moves.

As a Bears fan this post will be mostly Bears related.

First off I want to start by talking about the future of the team. I believe in Ryan Pace and I like the vision that he has put in place for this team. He knows this team is young and I like the style of offense for Trubisky to develop under.

He is a phenomenal athlete and I believe that the west coast style offense will be the best system for him to get acclimated under. It is all about quick throws and there is always a hot route in case the pocket collapses.

I also like the move of bringing in Mark Helfrich as OC. I like the RPO scheme that he specializes in and ran at Oregon. I believe it is the future of football. With Trubisky being a good athlete, teams will have to be mindful of him as a runner as well making him that much more dynamic.

I fully believe in Trubearsky and I am all in on Ryan Pace and the rebuild. I expect the Bears to make strides at contending in two years time.

They have a great young defense who finished in the top half of the league and get their DC back in Vic Fangio who I believe was one of the best moves Pace made so far this offseason. A familiar face at the coaching position is always a good thing for a young defense.

With that being said the Bears are two years away from contending if and only if they continue to make the right moves. So let’s talk about this offseason and the moves they HAVE to make.

The Bears are in a great spot in the draft sitting at 8. It’s a spot where they can do just about anything they want. They don’t need a QB so the potential for Darnold, Rosen, Allen and Mayfield aren’t even on their minds, which is a huge plus.

What I hope to see from the draft:

OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame — Round 1

Protecting Trubearsky (copyright pending) is going to be a KEY next season. For him to develop properly he will need to have 100% trust in his line. The Bears already have a good interior line, one of the best, with Guards Kyle Long and Josh Sitton, and Center Cody Whitehair. In 468 pass-blocking situations, Sitton only gave up 6 QB hurries. On the other hand, their Tackles this year were miserable. Bobbie Massie and Charles Leno, Jr. gave up 73 QB hurries. It is clear the Bears need to get more athletic at the Tackle position because defensive ends are only getting bigger, stronger and faster.

Quenton Nelson is a fierce blocker. Plug him in on the line and he immediately makes them better. He can pull, trap and is a good enough athlete to stop speedy pass rushers. This will be huge for the Bears because there is nothing better than a good offensive line to protect a young and inexperienced Quarterback.

If they go with the defense and Tremaine Edmunds, ILB Virginia Tech, is there, I wouldn’t be upset with that pick either. He’s a versatile athlete who can play multiple positions. Edmunds is a great pass rusher as a linebacker due to his great speed. He had 14.0 TFL for a total of -52 yards. He had a whopping 60 tackles and 49 assists this past year. Not to mention the 5.5 sacks he had this year as a linebacker. It is no wonder scouts are foaming at the mouth over this guy.

I would also be okay if a guy like Minkah Fitzpatrick, S Alabama, fell and the Bears snagged him. Minkah is a flat-out beast. I have been following Alabama football since I was probably 12 years old and Minkah has been one of the cores to the Alabama defense that has awarded him with two National Championships. In his junior year contest Fitzpatrick finished with 60 total tackles, eight of those for a loss. He corralled just one interception and had 7 pass deflections.

I have seen a lot of mock drafts, per Matt Miller and Mel Kiper Jr., that the Bears will take Calvin Ridley, WR Alabama, with the eighth pick. If this happens I will cut all ties with Pace and lose all trust in his vision. If they take Ridley in the draft they will have wasted every bit of progress they’ve made so far. There are far more needs in the draft than a wide receiver that early. There are plenty of receivers in this draft and the Bears could end up getting a steal at that position much later.

Talking about receivers, let’s shift gears toward free agency. The Bears biggest FA targets should be WR’s. There are a lot of talented proven veterans in the league that could immediately impact the Bears terrible receiving core, like Jarvis Landry, WR Miami Dolphins. The 25 year-old is my number one target. He is a guy with great hands, who will make plays for Trubisky in the 50-50 balls. He is simply put a pass catcher. Only AB and Julio Jones have caught more passes since coming in the league. He’s not a No. 1 guy, so the Bears will be able to save money on him as well. His downfall is that he is a little slow. Only a 4.77 40 guy, he lacks explosiveness and at times fails to create lots of space.

Next acquisition is Paul Richardson, WR Seattle Seahawks. Richardson is by no means a flashy guy. But he works hard. He has been a great option for Russell Wilson and is coming off a career best year where he caught SEVEN touchdowns. He started 13 games this year and caught 44 of his 80 targets for 703 yards. A really good year for him might draw his price up, but I am sure the Bears will not overspend on a guy like Richardson.

Finally, my third FA target is Jimmy Graham, TE Seattle Seahawks. I know what you’re thinking, why wouldn’t he be my number one target? A proven guy who has had great success on both the Saints and Seahawks. His production went down significantly after his trade to the Hawks but he had a great season last year corralling 57 receptions for 520 yards and 10 Touchdowns. Graham is a big body and one of the best most reliable tight ends in the league. So after hearing all this you’re probably wondering why he’s target number three. Well, he’s 31 years old and has battle injuries throughout his career. Getting Graham would be big for the Bears because of the style of Offense that Nagy runs. Look at Travis Kelce, Nagy practically made his career. The Bears already have a good young tight end in Adam Shaheen who shows lots of promise in the near future. If the Bears can get Graham on a team friendly deal he could be a great weapon for Trubisky. Shoot, I mean Trubearsky (copyright still pending) and a good person for Shaheen to learn under and split downs with.

The time is now for the Bears to make some noise. The potential in the pot is about to boil over, and this could be the year where things start to shift gears in the Windy City.