The Winter Meetings have come to a busy end. There were 4 days of crazy rumors, and some of them actually came to fruition. By my count, 14 of MLBTR’s top 50 free agents were signed to new contracts during the past 4 days. This brings the total of MLBTR’s top 50 signed to 24. The projected committed contract totals nearly $1.5B. Two new $300MM players (Aaron Judge and Trea Turner), plus another at $280MM (Xander Bogaerts). There figures to be one more $300MM player in Carlos Correa. The Hot Stove League is truly living up to the name.
In addition, 9 other free agents outside of the top 50 signed, bringing that total 17. If my math is right that means that 41 free agents have signed new contracts since the World Series (4 weeks).
The Dodgers? Yep! They were represented. Clayton Kershaw and Shelby Miller are the current signed LAD free agents. The Dodgers have lost: Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, Cody Bellinger, Chris Martin, Craig Kimbrel, Joey Gallo, Hanser Alberto, and possibly Justin Turner.
The added players to the roster thus far to offset those lost players? Dustin May and Shelby Miller. They still have 3 available roster spots on the 40 man. Even with the same roster as they had last year, the chances of 111 wins would be remote. With the new configuration, the combined fWAR lost was 18.1 while the fWAR gained was 0.4.
- Trea Turner – 6.3
- Tyler Anderson – 4.0
- Justin Turner – 2.4
- Cody Bellinger – 1.7
- Chris Martin – 1.6
- Andrew Heaney – 1.1
- Craig Kimbrel – 0.9
- Joey Gallo – 0.6
- Hanser Alberto – (-0.5)
- Shelby Miller – 0.4
How many fWAR will be gained from Dustin May, Miguel Vargas, James Outman, Michael Busch, Ryan Pepiot, Jacob Amaya, and Andy Pages?
The current LAD AAV payroll sits at $187MM. That figure does not consider what 2023 salary Trevor Bauer will be allocated once (if) his suspension is lifted. His AAV for 2023 sits at $34MM. If Bauer’s suspension is lifted, the LAD AAV payroll will move to $221MM…if he chooses not to opt out. If he does opt out, the LAD hit will be $15MM. Would Bauer feel lucky enough to believe some team will pay him more than $17MM next year? Taijuan Walker got $18MM/year for 4 years. Andrew Heaney could earn $18.5MM/year for 2 years if he reached all of his incentives. Jameson Taillon will receive $17MM/year for 4 years. Bauer and his agents believe he is worth what those pitchers are making.
The off season is certainly not over. There are several players still available. The costlier ones are not going to wait until LAD finds out about the Bauer arbitration decision, but there will still be others.
Top 50 MLBTR starting pitcher FA’s still available:
- Carlos Rodón (QO)
- Koudai Senga
- Chris Bassitt (QO)
- Sean Manaea
- Noah Syndergaard
- Nathan Eovaldi (QO)
- Ross Stripling
- Michael Wacha
- Corey Kluber
- Drew Rucinski
Top 50 MLBTR relief pitcher FA’s still available:
- Taylor Rogers
- Andrew Chafin
- David Robertson
- Adam Ottavino
Top 50 MLBTR catcher FA’s still available:
- Christian Vazquez
Top 50 MLBTR infielder FA’s still available:
- Carlos Correa (SS)
- Dansby Swanson (SS)
- Jean Segura (2B)
- Brandon Drury (3B)
- Justin Turner (3B)
Top 50 MLBTR outfield/DH FA’s still available:
- Brandon Nimmo (CF)
- Andrew Benintendi (LF)
- Jurickson Profar (LF)
- Michael Brantley (LF/DH)
- Michael Conforto (LF)
- JD Martinez (DH)
There are many more in the bargain bin that nobody scours through better than AF. There is more than one Shelby Miller out there. Seth Lugo has been linked to LAD.
The Padres lost Jurickson Profar, Josh Bell, Mike Clevinger, Sean Manaea, Wil Myers, but will be adding Fernando Tatis, Jr., and Xander Bogaerts. SD’s AAV payroll sits at $255MM but part of that will dissipate because Tatis’ first 21 games will not figure in the AAV. They will be a second time offender over the CBT threshold. Peter Seidler has instructed AJ Preller to put together a WS championship team and not worry about the cost. I have to figure they are still in on at least one more starter and maybe some bench role players. Does that include Carlos Rodón? I never figured they would be serious pursuers of Trea Turner, Aaron Judge, or Xander Bogaerts. And yet they were. So Carlos Rodón is undoubtedly in play.
The Giants lost Carlos Rodón, Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt, and relief pitchers Dominic Leone, Jarlin Garcia, and Jose Alvarez. Outside of Rodón, all others are replaceable. They are considered the favorite for Carlos Correa. Will Farhan meet Scott Boras’ asking price? He is not afraid to offer large contracts to the right player. Bryce Harper. Aaron Judge. Carlos Correa will not have the same fan base as Harper or Judge, but he will be a big boost to the organization. They are also in the mix for Brandon Nimmo and Carlos Rodón. Their AAV payroll sits at $151MM. They have $82MM to spend before they hit the threshold. I figure they can pick up Correa and one of Nimmo or Rodón, and then bench and relievers.
The Phillies lost Jean Segura but picked up Trea Turner, Taijuan Walker, and Matt Strahm. Dave Dombrowski has indicated that Philadelphia wants to finish what they started this year. Their AAV payroll is $225MM, but they will exceed the threshold for the players they need to accomplish their goal.
NYM lost Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, Chris Bassitt, Brandon Nimmo, and relievers Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams, and Joely Rodriguez. They have replaced deGrom with Justin Verlander. They are replacing Walker with José Quintana. They picked up a good LHRP, Brooks Raley. They are over $300MM but are still pursuing both Brandon Nimmo and Carlos Rodón. Who knows where the NYM payroll will land. Yes big names have changed teams, but the salaries are more exorbitant. There remains big names still to change. Plus there could be some trades that will pop.
While I believe LAD fans need to get used to Gavin Lux being the starting SS on Opening Day, with Miguel Vargas in the lineup in some capacity every game, and James Outman, Trayce Thompson, and Michael Busch as the platoon OF. Max Muncy does not have the range to be a 2B in the non-shift world. So with the current roster, CT3 has to be the 2B. Although, OKC manager, Travis Barbery says that Michael Busch is more than capable of playing 2B at the MLB level.
Regardless. while many are frustrated with the lack of activity by AF/BG, there is still 2 months before pitchers and catchers report, and there is a lot of time to fully construct the roster. Today’s roster will not be the opening day roster. Once the Bauer decision comes down, the Dodgers will know better what they can spend.