The money going out the door this year is insane.
Jacob deGrom – 5 years $186MM – When was the last time he had a full season of starts? After $500MM committed to two SS last winter, Chris Young may be in over his head. But the owners, Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, are giving him their blessing. Texas needs to put behinds in the seats of that new stadium. Texas has the 2024 All Star game, so they want a contending team. All is good with the Rangers.
Justin Verlander – 2 years $86.67MM, with a $37MM vesting option if JV throws 140 innings in 2024.
Trea Turner – 11 years $300MM, but turned down what has been reported as more than $342MM from San Diego. I like Trea Turner, but not that much.
Edwin Díaz – 5 years $102MM for a relief pitcher. I don’t care how good he is.
Taijuan Walker – 4 years $72MM. $18MM AAV. His best year was last year, and he earned a 2.5 fWAR. That supported $20.1MM. What are the chances he repeats that 4 more years? He went from 2/$20MM to 4/$72. I will stick with Ryan Pepiot at ML minimum.
José Abreu – 3 years $58.5MM.
Tommy Kahnle – 2 years $11.5MM – 13.2 IP in the last 3 years (in total).
Rafael Montero – 3 years $34.5MM – Career ERA 4.64, career WHIP 1.458.
Chris Martin – 2 years $17.5MM – I like CMart but 2 years at $8.75MM per year seems a little steep for a 7th inning reliever. Even one that does not walk anyone.
Matt Strahm – 2 years $15.0MM – After 44.2 IP and a 3.83 ERA he deserves 150% raise for two years? Momma, let your sons grow up to be LH pitchers.
Aaron Judge – $362MM offer from San Francisco. It could go even higher. NYY is not done negotiating.
The insane contracts for deGrom and Verlander are only going to drive the costs up for the next level. Carlos Rodón, Chris Bassitt, Jameson Taillon, Sean Manaea, Noah Syndergaard, Nathan Eovaldi, Ross Stripling, and Michael Wacha are doing back flips with how the market has gone north. We saw what it did for Taijuan Walker.
Andrew Heaney signed for two years and $25MM guaranteed, with incentives that could take it to $37MM. This is a pitcher who gives up more HRs than almost any MLB starting pitcher. His HR % was 4.5, with an MLB Average around 3.0. He is in the bottom 2 percentile in average exit velocity, bottom 1 percentile in hard hit %, and bottom 4 percentile in barrels. He is basically a 2 pitch pitcher: fastball and slider. He will throw the changeup, but very infrequently (5%). He was released by NYY, signed for 1 year and threw 72.2 innings for LAD. He has thrown more than 130 innings just once in his career (2018). His next highest IP was 129.2 in 2021. He has a career ERA of 4.56 and a career WHIP of 1.245. Heaney reportedly turned down more lucrative guarantees, including one north of $30MM from Boston, because of his relationship with Chris Young.
Reasonable contracts include:
Cleveland and Josh Bell for 2 years and $33MM with an opt out after 2023.
Giants and Mitch Haniger 3 years $43MM.
LAA and Tyler Anderson for 3 years $39MM which was a relative steal compared to Tampa Bay’s Zach Eflin 3 year $40MM FA signing.
LAD and Clayton Kershaw for 1 year at $20MM
Koudai Senga is reported to be asking for $20MM AAV. This is what happens when Taijuan Walker gets $18MM AAV. He was originally reported to looking for $15MM AAV. NYM seem to be the favorite as I write this. Always subject to change. The Dodgers and Red Sox always seem to come up at least second best in the FA negotiations.
I make no value judgement as to the fairness of the contracts. Simply an observation.
Besides the Trea Turner contract, it is expected that there will be two more $300MM contracts: Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa. I don’t expect the Dodgers to be signing either of those players.
How often do we need to hear that the team is going the youth route this year before we believe them?
The first ever MLB lottery was held on Tuesday, and the Pirates were the lottery winner. As a result they moved up 2 spots from #3 to #1. The Minnesota Twins were the biggest mover. They moved up 8 spots from what would have been spot #13 to spot #5. The Tigers and Rangers moved up 3 spots. The A’s and the Reds were the big losers as they dropped 4 spots from what would have been #2 to #6. KC dropped 3 spots and Colorado dropped 2.
The Dodgers select #26. The last twelve spots are dictated by how they fared in the playoffs. The Dodgers dropped from what would have been #30 to #26 because they lost the NLDS.
The Rule 5 draft will be held on Wednesday. How many Dodgers will be drafted? I still think the most vulnerable will be (in no particular order):
- Ryan Noda
- Carlos Duran
- José Ramos
- Justin Yurchak
- Devin Mann – doubtful but who knows if some team could be looking for a utility player.
The Dodgers have 3 spots on their 40 man. Will they take a chance on anyone else’s Rule 5 eligible player?
Finally, I came across the item below. It is sad to think about it.
I seriously can’t believe they’re both gone. Seager and Bellinger were the best Dodgers prospect combo I can ever remember. pic.twitter.com/40yqe7xbxT
— Klein25 (@Klein25) December 7, 2022
— ʎ u u ɐ p 🚲⚾️ (@gatodejazz) December 6, 2022