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Are MLB “Experts” Really Experts?

Tis the season for MLB FA landing speculation.  Many publications have offered their insight, and not wanting to be outdone, MLB.com had 50 “experts” predict where 11 of the top free agents will land this winter.  Bums referred to the MLB.com article, and I was three quarters away from completing this post, so I chose not to comment at that time.  But these are fun prognostication time for many of us.

The Dodgers were prominently mentioned as landing spots for 7 of the 11.  But the one FA where the MLB.com experts predicted would sign with LAD is SS Carlos Correa.  It is clear from the predictions that many of the “experts” believe the Dodgers are in on one of the 4 elite SS.  Besides getting the most predictions for Carlos Correa, they were second for Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner, and third for Dansby Swanson.

The other prominent FA where the Dodgers were considered was Aaron Judge, where they received the third most predictions. Of course there were only three teams that were selected by the group of 50.  Most predicted NYY and not surprising, the second place team was San Francisco.   

The Dodgers received the 4th most predictions for Jacob deGrom, but none for Justin Verlander.  I guess these 50 experts do not take stock into what Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi have heard.

 There were a lot less predictions for Carlos Rodón landing in LAD.  I am with those who do not think there is a chance that the Dodgers will sign Rodón.  He is injury prone, he wants 5 years, he is 30, he received a QO, and his agent is Scott Boras.  What do you think the chances are for Rodón signing with LAD.  If they wanted Rodón, they should have gone after Castillo at the deadline.

Other than JV, the three other players that the Dodgers were not considered by any of the 50: Catcher Willson Contreras, CF Brandon Nimmo, and 1B/DH José Abreu.  Absolutely no surprise there.

The predictions for LAD were logical.  The team needs SP and a SS, and that is where the 50 concentrated; 4 SS and 3 SP.

  

Aaron Judge: Yankees

Other teams receiving votes: Giants, Dodgers

 My pick – NYY

 

Jacob deGrom: Rangers

Other teams receiving votes: Mets, Braves, Dodgers, Giants, Astros, Guardians, Padres

My pick – NYM, 2nd pick Texas

 

Trea Turner: Phillies

Other teams receiving votes: Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox, Mariners, Marlins, Yankees

My pick – Philadelphia

 

Carlos Correa: Dodgers

Other teams receiving votes: Twins, Cubs, Yankees, Braves, Orioles, Phillies, Angels, Giants, Mariners, Red Sox, Tigers

My pick – San Francisco, 2nd would be Cubs

 

 Xander Bogaerts: Red Sox

Other teams receiving votes: Dodgers, Cubs, Giants, Phillies, Twins, Braves, Mariners, Orioles, Yankees, Mets

My pick – Boston

 

Justin Verlander: Astros

Other teams receiving votes: Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Braves, Giants, Angels, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Padres

 My pick – Houston

 

Dansby Swanson: Braves

Other teams receiving votes: Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Phillies, Twins, Cardinals, Orioles, Red Sox, Royals, Yankees

 My pick – Atlanta, 2nd would be Seattle, 3rd would be Cubs

 

Carlos Rodón: Mets

Other teams receiving votes: Rangers, Cubs, Giants, Angels, Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles

 My pick – Texas, 2nd would be NYM

 

Willson Contreras: Cardinals

Other teams receiving votes: Astros, Tigers, Cubs, Red Sox, Guardians, Mets, Yankees, D-backs, Giants, Padres, Rays, Rockies

 My pick – St. Louis

 

Brandon Nimmo: Mets

Other teams receiving votes: Rockies, Giants, Mariners, Yankees, Astros, Padres, Angels, Blue Jays, Cubs, White Sox

My pick – NYM

 

José Abreu: White Sox

Other teams receiving votes: Cubs, Padres, Marlins, Giants, Guardians, Mariners, Rays, Twins, Astros, Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, Orioles, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies 

My pick – ChiSox, 2nd pick San Diego

 

I thought I would go out on a limb and make my own predictions.  I do not think the Dodgers will get any of the 11 FA selected for this exercise by MLB.com.  I do not think they will sign any large FA contract.  If they were not willing to go 3 years for Tyler Anderson, I cannot see them going 3 + years for deGrom, JV, or Carlos Rodón.  I could very well be wrong, but that is how I read what they have done. 

NYM said from the very beginning that Edwin Díaz and Brandon Nimmo would be their top priority to re-sign.  Not Jacob deGrom.  They have already signed Díaz to a record breaking reliever contract.  The Mets will need to sign deGrom or Rodón, so I would not be surprised at all to see Steve Cohen dig deep and sign both deGrom and Nimmo.

Boston has said all along that signing Xander Bogaerts was their #1 priority.  Seeing the expected cost for Bogaerts, Boston has to believe they can afford Bogaerts and maybe Devers.  MLBTR projects Bogaerts at 7 years and $189MM, while Kiley McDaniel projects his contract to be 6 years $168MM.  Boston can certainly afford that level of a contract, and they do not want a repeat of the loss of Mookie Betts that did not go well with the Boston faithful.

The projected salary and term for Dansby Swanson is in line with what Atlanta put out for Matt Olson.  MLBTR predicts 7 years and $154MM, while McDaniel goes 6 years $150MM.  If the Braves pass on that, I would be surprised.  He is an Atlanta kid, and the Braves are his hometown team.  AA has basically stolen Acuña, Albies, Riley, Harris II, and Strider.  They still have 2 arbitration years for LHSP Max Fried before he comes home to the Dodgers where he belongs (with Jack Flaherty and Lucas Giolito).  The Braves can afford Dansby Swanson.  Vaughn Grissom is not the answer at SS.  Why tie up all of the other youngsters when not willing to sign your SS to market rate?

Contreras to St. Louis makes too much sense.  There are two premium catchers that could be available via trade: Oakland’s Sean Murphy and Toronto’s Danny Jansen.  St. Louis does have the prospect capital to make a trade, but Contreras’ projected salary of 4 years $84MM is not out of line.  St. Louis’ projected payroll is just about where it was last year, and they may not want to go over that amount (approximately $175MM).  However, $195MM is not out of line where they have been before (2021 and 2019).

If Nimmo is not re-signed by NYM, I think his next best landing spots would be Colorado or SF.  The massive CF territory of both stadiums calls for a good CF, which Nimmo is.  Can he be for 5 years?  He will be 34 at the end of his projected contract, so he should make it to the end.

The ChiSox cannot let Abreu leave can they?  His contract would still not take them above last year, and they cannot afford to lose his bat.  They still expect to contend.  I keep hearing that they need to keep 1B free for Andrew Vaughn.  Vaughn does not have the bat that Abreu has and he can play LF.  AJ Pollock is gone, and the ChiSox have to be happy about that.  Maybe they will actually get Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert together for a full season this year.  Their window is closing and they have one of the weakest farm systems in MLB.  This is not the year to let Abreu go.

Well I have given it the old college try.  Why not play along?  Give us where you think these FA’s will land.

Before I ponder about what the Dodgers might plan via FA, I need to see where their approach may be leaning.  Cost conscious or go all out to win in 2023?

 

 

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Badger

What’s your take on payroll for ‘23? I just read it’s currently at $177.7m (or $185m, not sure, both numbers are there). It would appear there is room to do something. Replacing what Turner brings is not really possible, nor is replacing the numbers Anderson put up, but replacing their production, about 9 WAR, should be possible if that much money is available. I don’t see them not going all in, not with Freeman, Betts and Kershaw on the roster and all over 30.

My guess is still one of those guys you mentioned above is coming to LA. My pick would be Correa with Bogaerts a close second.

Bumsrap

The Dodgers need to reset their CBT penalty payroll to avoid the player loss penalty aspect of that penalty. The payroll tax part of the penalty doesn’t seem to be the problem.

If they can add Justin and stay under the penalty then they probably will bring him back and most likely at a big salary cut.

Their next free agent they might sign is Heaney and again only if that signing allows them to stay under the penalty.

The Dodgers might try to trade for an elite player late in the 2023 season and will want some payroll room at that point so that they continue to stay under the penalty.

There are going to be a lot of free agent shortstops off the board for a lot of years if they don’t sign one this year so Amaya and Lux better be able to be replacement level players going forward.

I also think the Dodgers need to make a few trades at the prospect level. Busch’s bat should be able to get a lesser bat but better defender for second base and the same might be true for Vargas at third.

Hopefully the Dodgers can trade for an elite pitcher like Burns but again only if that addition keeps them under the penalty. Most likely the Dodgers will trade for someone like TREVOR ROGERS.
The experts have a ton of information and yet many players in picked in the second and third rounds of the annual draft do much better than many taken in the first round, many trades do not work out well, and many predictions don’t happen.

Last edited 11 days ago by Bumsrap
Oldbear48

I am lousy at predicting anything, but I believe the Giants are going to make a huge push for a name free agent. And they have the cash to spare. They need a first baseman since Belt is gone, I could see them signing Bellinger to fill that need.

Bumsrap

Muncy would look great in a SF uniform at 1st base. He has experience hitting a ball into McCovey Cove.

Singing the Blue

The D’backs would be more than happy to help with that situation.

Fred Vogel

Congrats, Jeff. I admit to not watching any of the game as I only watch baseball these days but, judging by the final score, it must have been a heck of a game.

Oldbear48

Watched the whole game. I am an SC fan even though I did not go to any college. Started when McKay was the coach. All the great players who have gone through the program. Favorite win was the come back in the coliseum against Notre Dame.

Badger

I was on the UCLA sideline for the Beban comeback in ‘65. That was a game to remember too. Funny thing about that experience, what I remember most was Mike Garrett being tackled right in front of me and when he got up we were eye to eye. He was much shorter than I thought he was. I also remember how big all the linemen were. The smallest of them were the size of the biggest guys we played in high school. Overall I figured I could run with most of them, I could tackle all of them, but at 165 I would have likely been the lightest guy on the field.

Last edited 11 days ago by Badger
Bumsrap

Anthony Davis wouldn’t let Traveler get any rest.

Oldbear48

Yep. That was an awesome game.

Fred Vogel

Beating the Irish is always a good thing.

Singing the Blue

Apparently Belli is putting out the word that he doesn’t want to be tied to a team beyond 2023. Wants a one-year contract, although I guess some team might offer him a second year as a player option in the hopes that he might consider that to be his best offer, just in case he has another bad year.

Badger

The Dodgers could do that. Just in case he has a good year.

Oldbear48

Boras said he has received several multi-year offers.

Bumsrap

And he has an extra bridge he doesn’t need anymore.

Fred Vogel

Boras should be a politician the the way he’s able to ‘exaggerate the truth’ with a smile on his face.

Oldbear48

Although he has received multiple multi-year offers, Scott Boras says Bellinger is looking to sign a one-year contract. They are betting on him having a bounce back season.

Badger

Does he want to go some place with fewer eyes on him?

Fred Vogel

Did anyone else watch Elton John last night on Disney+? Pretty amazing.
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Bumsrap

Hopefully I still can. I bet it was awesome.

Fred Vogel

It was. The stadium looked great. And Elton can still ‘tickle those ivories’.

Bumsrap

Davis is really turning it on for the Lakers while James is out. Westbrook has looked good as well. I didn’t want the Lakers to sign James and I didn’t want them to make the Davis trade. I would trade James now and get draft choices plus whatever would be required to make the trade work payroll wise.

Singing the Blue

I’d trade both AD and LBJ. Their value will never be higher and they are both doomed to sit half the year with injuries.

And send Russ away also.

Bite the bullet and get whatever you can for them and start over.

Last edited 10 days ago by Singing the Blue
Singing the Blue

Dodgers supposedly showing interest in Mitch Haniger.

I like the player, but am really concerned about his injury history. Maybe we should just bring AJ back for a year while we wait for Pages.

Verlander supposedly met with the Dodgers this weekend and is said to prefer a west coast landing spot………………………….until an east coast team offers him more money.

Last edited 10 days ago by Singing the Blue
Singing the Blue

I’m very much hoping he signs with an AL team and definitely not with anyone in the NL West.

Bumsrap

I’m okay with him signing anywhere and especially if he eats up payroll with that team.

Bumsrap

Would the Dodgers match that offer?

Singing the Blue

Speaking of Japanese players who will be coming over here, I’m on the Mastaka Yoshida bandwagon. He’s going to be posted in the next couple of weeks.

Left Fielder – next year will be his age 29 season.

2022 Numbers – .335/.447/.561/1.008
Approximately 500 plate appearances – 80 walks, 41 strike outs
Has hit 20-25 homers for most of the past few years, although I assume that number would be less over here.

I love the fact that he doesn’t strike out much. We need a few of those kinds of guys in our lineup instead of the Gallo/CT3/Trayce model.

Hits left/Throws right and apparently is not a good option for right or center field.

Sign him up!

Bumsrap

Tommy Davis type.

Singing the Blue

We should be so lucky as to sign him and have him turn into another TD.

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