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Free Agency 2019 - 11/8/2018 1:52:56 PM   
SoMnFan


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The free agent most likely to ...: Superlatives for the 2018-19 class

David Schoenfield
ESPN Senior Writer

What will happen this offseason? Nobody really knows. But while we wait to start finding out where the biggest available names will land, let's preview what might happen with this list of superlatives:

Guy most likely to sign the biggest deal: Bryce Harper. We know it's going to be Harper or Manny Machado, though the $500 million contract that once appeared possible for Harper will happen only in Scott Boras' most vivid daydreams. What's interesting is how closely their two careers have mapped so far, at least via FanGraphs WAR -- Machado: 926 games, 175 home runs, 30.2 WAR; Harper: 927 games, 184 home runs, 30.7 WAR.

Machado has been the more consistent performer the past four seasons, averaging 36 home runs and 159 games, and he plays a premium defensive position, but the bet here is Harper gets the bigger deal. Boras is the expert at waiting out the market and getting his clients the big money, as he did last offseason, when Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez both waited until February to sign. Expect Machado to sign first and Boras to top that deal with even more guaranteed money.

Guy most likely to be the biggest steal: Josh Donaldson. The calf injury that wrecked his 2018 season -- he hit .246 with eight home runs in 52 games -- and his age (he turns 33 in December) will eat into his offers, but he's one season removed from hitting .270/.385/.559. True, he missed time in 2017 as well, but estimates of a three-year contract deal at around $55 million point to a player who could produce 4 to 5 WAR per season at the market rate for a 2-WAR player.

Guy most likely to be the biggest bust: A.J. Pollock. Because he's a plus defender in center field and, given Adam Jones' defensive decline, the only legit starting center fielder on the market, there is going to be a lot of interest in Pollock. He'll also be 31, an age when center fielders often lose a step, his durability is a concern, as he has reached 500 plate appearances just once in his career (back in 2015), and he has hit much better at home in his career. The past two seasons, he has hit .242/.310/.435 on the road compared to .280/.336/.517 in Arizona. I can see a team giving him the Lorenzo Cain deal (five years, $80 million) but ending up with an injury-prone player who struggles to hit in a new park.

Guy who most helped himself in October: Nathan Eovaldi. This is the pitcher every team will want -- he isn't so good that he'll price out the small-market teams, plus he's had two Tommy John surgeries -- but the cutter he broke out in 2018 to help complement his 100 mph fastball suggests that there is some untapped potential here. The ability and willingness to start or relieve like he did in the postseason only enhances his value.

You have to think the Red Sox have the inside edge to re-sign him, however, especially after his teammates gave him a standing ovation in the clubhouse after his magnificent -- but ultimately losing -- effort in the 18-inning game in the World Series.

The other guy who earned a lot of money in October: Joe Kelly. After his par-for-the-course, up-and-down regular season (4.39 ERA), Kelly dominated in the postseason with his 100 mph heater, as he finished with 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings and just one earned run allowed. He appeared in all five World Series games and didn't allow a run. In fact, Kelly now owns a 2.49 ERA in 47 playoff innings. He hasn't been able to maintain that focus in the regular season, as he'll battle the strike zone at times, but he does have a 3.64 ERA the past two seasons after moving to the bullpen.

The guy who hurt himself the most in October: Yasmani Grandal. For the second straight postseason, Grandal found himself benched in the World Series -- this time because of a sudden inability to catch the baseball in the earlier rounds. His career postseason average of .107 in 75 at-bats doesn't exactly scream "clutch," either.

The Dodgers offered Grandal the $17.9 million qualifying offer, and it will be interesting to see if he takes it or instead tests free agency for a multiyear offer. He's still one of the best-hitting catchers in a game currently lacking many of them (.241/.349/.466, 24 home runs), but those October yips behind the plate will make teams hesitate.

Looking for a starting pitcher who could put your team over the top? Patrick Corbin's name should be at the top of your list. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Guy most likely to put a team over the top: Patrick Corbin. Yeah, yeah, I know relievers are the popular kids these days, but ask the Red Sox if they win the World Series without David Price. Ask the Astros if they win last year without Justin Verlander. Good starting pitching is still valuable!

Corbin had a breakout season in 2018, with a 3.15 ERA and 246 strikeouts in 200 innings, and there's a clear reason to buy into it not being a fluke: his slider. He threw it more than ever -- actually, he throws two sliders, a hard one and a softer one -- and he threw sliders to the edges of the strike zone, inducing chase swings as the ball dipped below the knees. There might be concern about the long-term health of a guy who throws sliders 40 percent of the time, but Corbin has the ability to be the difference-maker for the Yankees, Nationals or Dodgers.

Best player likely to be involved in a blockbuster trade: Corey Kluber. The Indians have starting pitching depth to deal from, and with Kluber signed through 2021 (including two team options), he'd bring in a nice haul of young players and prospects as the Indians look to add depth elsewhere and trim payroll a bit. Nolan Arenado is in the final year before hitting free agency, but it seems the Rockies will keep him and make a run at a third straight postseason appearance.

Player most likely to be involved in the most trade rumors: J.T. Realmuto. He wants out of Miami, and with two years left until free agency, the Marlins should acquiesce and find him a new home. After all, there are about 25 teams that would be interested in adding a star catcher. Maybe the most intriguing possibility: the Astros. They declined their team option on Brian McCann, and Martin Maldonado is a free agent. Would Houston deal away prized prospect Kyle Tucker?

Guy most likely to be the player nobody noticed in December, but everyone will wish they had come summer: Jesse Chavez. The 11-year veteran has a 4.45 career ERA, but after going from the Rangers to the Cubs in July, Chavez pitched better than ever: 39 IP, 26 H, 3 HR, 5 BB, 42 SO, 1.15 ERA. Maybe it was just the best 39 innings of his life; maybe it's a new level of ability. The Rangers used him as a multi-inning reliever -- he pitched 56 innings in 30 games with them -- but Joe Maddon used him for shorter stints (39 innings in 32 games). His walk rate was easily the best of his career in 2018, and while he's always had a big repertoire of pitches, he threw fewer changeups and curveballs -- less soft stuff, in other words.

Guy who looks like the perfect fit for the Yankees: Jed Lowrie. We know the Yankees will be going after starting pitching, but they also have a hole in the infield, at least until Didi Gregorius makes his return from Tommy John surgery sometime in late summer. In the meantime, the Yankees can slide Gleyber Torres to shortstop and sign Lowrie to play second. If Miguel Andujar struggles again defensively at third base, the Yankees can slide Lowrie to third base when Gregorius returns and use Andujar at DH (with Giancarlo Stanton moving to the outfield) or use Andujar as trade bait for pitching help. Lowrie turns 35 in April, but he's coming off his best season. He's the type of low-key veteran who won't be fazed playing in New York, and he won't break the payroll.

Guy most likely to be called most underrated: Marwin Gonzalez. He's hit .274/.349/.467 the past two seasons. That's not far off Machado's .278/.339/.505 line. And he'll cost about $250 million less, and he comes with positional versatility!

Guy most likely to be involved in a big deal by A.J. Preller that won't work out: Dallas Keuchel. Preller has done a nice job of stocking the farm system, but when he decides to go big, the results have been ugly:

--The Matt Kemp trade. The Padres are still feeling the pain from this one, as they'll pay Hector Olivera $16 million the next two seasons.

--Signing James Shields. At least Preller redeemed himself by trading Shields for Fernando Tatis Jr.

--Signing Wil Myers to an $83 million extension after 2016. It hasn't been a disaster, but he now looks like a guy without a position.

--Signing Eric Hosmer. Only $119 million left on that contract.

Anyway, rumors have the Padres going after a starting pitcher. That could mean Corbin or Keuchel or Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi -- or maybe Preller trades some of the minor league talent for Kluber (bringing Kluber back to the team that drafted him). Whatever the deal, I already feel bad for the player who comes to San Diego.
Post #: 1
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/8/2018 1:56:18 PM   
MDK


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This will be a good thread to discuss signings by all 29 teams actions this offseason.

Note 29 since the Twins have no desire to participate in such shenanigans.

_____________________________

The Mauer era is over. The Mauer haters are happy. The Mauer lovers are sad. And those in the middle........Que Será, Será

MARA!!!!! Buy your rakes now and get to work.
Post #: 2
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/8/2018 2:08:36 PM   
SoMnFan


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Same thought

It'll be fun to watch the other teams get better

Wait ... I forgot ... our owners have some convinced that they are willing to spend money to win.
Hehehehehehehehehehehehehe.
I always love that one.
Post #: 3
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 8:18:09 AM   
twinsfan


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Are signs pointing to the White Sox for Harper?

Nov. 8: Bryce Harper's name and No. 34 ... in black-and-white colors ... and bright lights ... inside Chicago's United Center. Intrigued yet?


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Post #: 4
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 8:51:40 AM   
SoMnFan


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That'd be awesome.
Another guy heading there to die.
He can work on is stats all year there.
It'll be great.
Post #: 5
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 9:35:46 AM   
Trekgeekscott


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From: United Federation of Planets
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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Same thought

It'll be fun to watch the other teams get better

Wait ... I forgot ... our owners have some convinced that they are willing to spend money to win.
Hehehehehehehehehehehehehe.
I always love that one.


Well this is the offseason to prove that.

They should have lots of room to spend on free agents.

_____________________________

All of us are entitled to our own opinion. None of us are entitled to our own facts. - Alan Page
Post #: 6
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 11:12:59 AM   
McMurfy


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From: Portland, Oregon
Status: offline
Here is the Theme Song Video for this thread as the actual, in demand Free Agents sign elsewhere.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uEE3ycDH9_8

_____________________________

Here’s what really irks me.


No one cares.
The losing?
No one cares.

Not the players
Not the Coaches
Not Dick and Bert
Not the Owners
Not the Front Office
And Not most of the fans.
Post #: 7
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 11:29:43 AM   
twinsfan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: McMurfy

Here is the Theme Song Video for this thread as the actual, in demand Free Agents sign elsewhere.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uEE3ycDH9_8

I never liked how this was a Tim Rushlow lead vocals song. Always seemed to me that Brady Seals was a better fit on that one.

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Post #: 8
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 1:10:40 PM   
SoMnFan


Posts: 83561
Status: offline
Hmmmm
Could get rid of some moldy cash here ... hehehehehehe

Kris Bryant won the Rookie of the Year award in 2015, an MVP award the next season, and he will forever be remembered in Chicago for making the last play to clinch Game 7 of the Cubs' 2016 championship, grinning as he released the throw to first. At that time, it was easy to envision him spending his career with the franchise that had drafted him second overall in 2013.

But it's possible that the Cubs will trade him, perhaps as soon as this winter. As part of their early off-season discussions, sources say the Cubs have indicated to other teams they are willing to discuss trade proposals for almost all of the players on their roster, including Bryant, who struggled in 2018, batting .272 with 13 homers in 102 games. Bryant went on the disabled list twice with left shoulder trouble.

Past efforts to reach a long-term agreement with Bryant have not advanced -- the Cubs made a significant offer last winter, without a deal being concluded -- and the third baseman, who turns 27 in January, is about to get much more expensive as he moves toward free agency eligibility after the 2021 season.


Buxton and Sano for him now, give him the big deal he's looking for.
hehehehehe
Post #: 9
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 1:13:00 PM   
SoMnFan


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Kluber needs to move as well

Wish we were a real team.
These types of deals would be fun.
Wish we were a real team.
Post #: 10
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 2:28:28 PM   
McMurfy


Posts: 11880
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From: Portland, Oregon
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Kluber needs to move as well

Wish we were a real team.
These types of deals would be fun.
Wish we were a real team.



Instead we’re a Wooden Team, wishing we were a Real Team.

_____________________________

Here’s what really irks me.


No one cares.
The losing?
No one cares.

Not the players
Not the Coaches
Not Dick and Bert
Not the Owners
Not the Front Office
And Not most of the fans.
Post #: 11
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 2:32:07 PM   
Trekgeekscott


Posts: 35083
Joined: 7/16/2007
From: United Federation of Planets
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: McMurfy

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Kluber needs to move as well

Wish we were a real team.
These types of deals would be fun.
Wish we were a real team.



Instead we’re a Wooden Team, wishing we were a Real Team.


Wooden.

they use wood for bats.....

So Wood is good....Right?

_____________________________

All of us are entitled to our own opinion. None of us are entitled to our own facts. - Alan Page
Post #: 12
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 2:56:00 PM   
SoMnFan


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Will Twins prioritize power hitting in free agency?

By Phil Miller

November 9, 2018 — 8:08am

The numbers line up remarkably uniformly. The five highest-scoring teams in the American League in 2018 are also the five teams that made the playoffs.

The Twins had the sixth most.

The six teams that had the highest batting average with runners in scoring position? Five playoff teams, plus the Twins. Slugging percentage? Same six teams.

But there’s one column in which the Twins sharply diverge from the October Five: Home runs. Each playoff team launched at least 200 homers, led by New York’s record-setting 276. The Twins had 101 fewer than that, finishing 12th in the league with 166.

Which means their offense had to work much harder to keep up with one-swing offenses that rule the game today. The average AL team scored 41.0 percent of its runs on homers in 2018, led by the Yankees’ Stanton-and-Judge fueled attack that racked up 50.8 percent of its runs by trotting around the bases. In the postseason, where crushing an occasional mistake is often the only way to counter elite-level pitching, that proportion rose to 41.9 percent.

Minnesota’s offense, on the other hand, scored just 35.4 percent of its runs the easy way, a percentage better than only the Rays and Tigers. In a sport where home runs have becoming increasingly important, where batters see launch angle and exit velocity as their keys to success, the Twins’ offense became less power-centric. That they finished sixth in scoring despite the power outage might be an under-appreciated accomplishment, even though the Twins scored 77 fewer runs in 2018 than 2017, nearly half a run per game.

All of which partly explains why Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and perhaps Tyler Austin (pictured) loom so large in the Twins’ hopes for 2019. Sano hit 13 home runs in his circus of a 2018 season, or 15 fewer than his All-Star year of 2017. Buxton didn’t reach the seats once in his 28-game cameo, after whacking 16 a year earlier. The Twins’ 40-homer decline last season can be largely explained right there.

The decline and departure of Brian Dozier hurt, too; After receiving 36 homers from the leadoff spot in 2017, the Twins ranked 13th in 2018 with only 12.

Austin hit nine homers in just 35 games after joining the Twins in August, a pace that could place him among the team’s leading sluggers over a full season. And don’t be surprised if the front office prioritizes power hitting as they survey the free-agent market and consider trades.
Post #: 13
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 3:58:45 PM   
Mr. Ed


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From: Minne-so-ta
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quote:

Will Twins prioritize power hitting in free agency?


Kicking tires and making it look like you're making an effort

Priorities 1-100

< Message edited by Mr. Ed -- 11/9/2018 4:00:21 PM >


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“Terrible thing to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won't have to be afraid all the time.”
Post #: 14
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/9/2018 5:41:17 PM   
ronhextall


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Kfan reporting Mauer officially retired.

Lavelle was on to confirm/announce.

< Message edited by ronhextall -- 11/9/2018 5:46:51 PM >
Post #: 15
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/12/2018 6:29:06 PM   
twinsfan


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Ryu was the only MLB player to accept the $17.9 million qualifying offer.

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Post #: 16
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 8:35:31 AM   
SoMnFan


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Suggested off-season blockbuster deals for each team

Minnesota Twins sign Josh Donaldson, Daniel Murphy and Nathan Eovaldi.

Hey, that's two hitters and a pitcher! The Twins are going to be one of the fascinating teams of the offseason. Their current payroll is about $70 million or $58 million less than last season. They played it cautiously in free agency last year, with smaller deals for the likes of Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn and Fernando Rodney. That seemed like a decent idea, but it didn't work out. The lesson: Go bigger. They need a third baseman. Murphy could play second or first or DH (with Miguel Sano slotting in at first or DH). Eovaldi plugs a hole in the rotation. Thank me later when they edge out the Indians for the division title.



I got a good laugh out of the thought we'd actually make some major moves.
Post #: 17
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 8:53:52 AM   
TJSweens


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Donaldson would be great. Murphy would be a solid pickup even if he starts next year at 34 years old. I'll pass on Evoldi. Looks like another in the line of Phildo, Lynn and Odorizzi.

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RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 9:54:27 AM   
CPAMAN

 

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Shouldn't this thread be labeled "tire kicking 2019"?

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Minnesota professional sports can't be awful forever, can they?
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RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 9:55:06 AM   
CPAMAN

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: CPAMAN

Shouldn't this thread be labeled "tire kicking 2019"?


Either that or "Dumpster Diving 101"

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Minnesota professional sports can't be awful forever, can they?
Post #: 20
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 9:55:47 AM   
CPAMAN

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MDK

This will be a good thread to discuss signings by all 29 teams actions this offseason.

Note 29 since the Twins have no desire to participate in such shenanigans.

quote:

[


Correct.

_____________________________

Minnesota professional sports can't be awful forever, can they?
Post #: 21
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 10:28:23 AM   
MDK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

Donaldson would be great. Murphy would be a solid pickup even if he starts next year at 34 years old. I'll pass on Evoldi. Looks like another in the line of Phildo, Lynn and Odorizzi.


Eovaldi throws a lot harder than the three stooges you noted.

He was rather pedestrian for much of his career but pitched lights out for Boston.

Good control, good velocity and good movement.

But I think because of his success this past season, someone will give him a huge contract and he may back slide to his mean.

_____________________________

The Mauer era is over. The Mauer haters are happy. The Mauer lovers are sad. And those in the middle........Que Será, Será

MARA!!!!! Buy your rakes now and get to work.
Post #: 22
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 10:40:07 AM   
TJSweens


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Evoldi's 50 innings with Boston is quite an outlier. Never been one to pitch many innings. I think they should aim higher for a starting pitcher.

_____________________________

Baseball must be a wonderful game to survive the fools who run it. - Harold Kaese
Post #: 23
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 11:05:08 AM   
SoMnFan


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Am I thinking of someone else, or wasn't he like untouchable for Boston this post season?
I'd think he'd be hard to pry away from them. Anyone. Especially those if us who aren't willing to dip into ma and pas cookie jar. Ever.
Post #: 24
RE: Free Agency 2019 - 11/14/2018 11:26:32 AM   
TJSweens


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This is why I think any team that signs Evoldi is buying high. His last 76.1 IP with Boston are far and away the best of a 7 seven year career and way outside his career norms of a 4.16 ERA and low innings totals.

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Baseball must be a wonderful game to survive the fools who run it. - Harold Kaese
Post #: 25
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