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.
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.
- Jake Arrieta, SP, Cubs (source)
- Lorenzo Cain, OF, Royals (post)
- Alex Cobb, SP, Rays (post)
- Wade Davis, RP, Cubs (source)
- Greg Holland, RP, Rockies (source)
- Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (post)
- Lance Lynn, SP, Cardinals (post)
- Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (post)
- Carlos Santana, 1B, Indians (post)
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