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The Hot Stove Has Got Off To A Hot Start

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.

fWAR Lost:

  • 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)

fWAR Gained:

  • 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.



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Good stuff. I’m ok with Lux at SS and Taylor/Busch at 2B. I need to know if Vargas can man 3B with Muncy backing him up while primarily DHing.

That leaves an opening in the OF, with Outman/Trayce good for one spot and leaving another one free.


Well crap, the guy I wanted most ends up in our Division. How can they not be considered favorites at this point? They already beat us and they did it without Tatis and Bogaerts.

Linked to the Dodgers sure doesn’t mean much does it. The cherry will be Correa signing with SF.

Good report Jeff. Don’t much care for what’s in it, but it’s informative and well written.


The Padres absolutely deserve to be favorites based on their beating us, improving, and our loss of talent.

Sam Oyed

Everyone seems to think the Dodgers will just cut bait with Bauer if he’s reinstated. How about one of the following;

  1. He ops out based on what Jeff wrote above
  2. He’s traded to a team like the Orioles or White Sox (just an example).

In either scenario the Dodgers would not be on the hook for his entire ‘23 salary.


I wonder what other parts of the country might think of him. Since nobody really knows the whole truth and nothing but the truth we are left wondering wtf, and Bauer is looking like a pariah. Who’s going to want him? His best shot at redemption might be here and only if he stands up, apologizes profusely and donates half his salary to LA abuse shelters. Who sees that happening?

This off season feels off to me. I know it isn’t over, but LA is looking like an island this morning. Make it go away Andy, sign Correa and Rodón, then I’ll feel better. And that’s what’s important.


It’s important to me Badger.

Jacob Burch

There is literally no way Bauer will throw another pitch for us.


Based on what? So, you think the Dodgers will eat his $32M salary so he can pitch for the Astros, Giants, Padres, or Yankees for league minimum. He is not going to opt out of his 2023 salary and the suspension most likely will be reduced to one year. Bauer has not been convicted of any crime.

Last edited 1 year ago by OhioDodger
Jacob Burch

Based on common sense. Are you from LA? Have you lived in LA? Do you know how political Angelenos are? For better or worse, the team, the organization & the community will not allow him to set foot on the mound at Dodger Stadium again. It’s not that controversial of a stance. Some things transcend dollars and cents, my friend.


Good point. I am not from LA. I do not know their politics and stance on Bauer.

Sam Oyed

What do other parts if the country think? Good question. Dodger fans are following this in detail. Are all baseball fans? I wonder?

Also keep in mind, teams have employed all sorts of “pariahs “. Remember, Bauer won a Cy Young award. Some team will want him.

Jacob Burch

I have no idea about what other organizations will do but we will not be having him be part of the team.


As stated before, I kinda like the Padres “all-in” strategy.

Good for the Division. Better for baseball.


Have to agree with you there Bluto.

Just for drill I googled MLB tv contract rankings by team. First thing up, 2020, has the Dodgers 1st at $239M, the Padres 23rd at $46 million. However in ‘22 a new deal was signed and every team was guaranteed $60 million in addition to the local revenue. For SD that’s $140+ million before they sell a ticket. There’s also the revenue sharing. Not sure how that will be spread out going forward, but it looks like teams may get an additional $100+ million.

Here’s the article:

San Diego was 5th in attendance last year, right at 3 million. Their FCI is way down the list, 27th, at $176.76. I would think that might change very quickly. With an owner willing to spend, it appears San Diego is here to stay. Good for them. What does it mean for the rest of the Division? Stand by.



More mid-market teams can easily do what the Padres are.

My biggest thing is that I really hope there’s an underlying business model that makes sense. That this isn’t going to lead to real unpleasantness for the SD fanbase.

Jacob Burch

Beer and burgers is a business model.


Joke or serious?


JaBu be joking I suspect.

“That this isn’t going to lead to real unpleasantness for the SD fanbase.”

Only if they get bounced early in the playoffs.


Or if they have to completely tear the team apart in three years, that type of behaviour destroyed Miami’s fanbase even after winning the WS


He forgot tacos & weather


Cannot undervalue the importance of tacos and weather.

The goal is a WS Championship Bluto. Blowing it up might be part of the plan after they get it. Or, even if they don’t get it. The value of the Padres is commensurate with the success this group attains. They are already drawing crowds. I would keep an eye on their FCI numbers over the next 3 years. This organization is about to make some money.


It’s only a short drive south to watch an exciting O’Malley team play.

Machado will be a free agent after 2023 if he opts out.
Soto will be a free agent after 2024.

Tatis and Bogaerts might be their only stars after 2024. They have traded away a lot of their prospects.

Will Kasten continue to play the long game?

Jacob Burch

I think he should. Go young. It was incredibly frustrating to have “the perfect team” and get bounced before the playoffs even started. Our rookies can do that.


You either win or you learn and I don’t think we learned anything other than what we’re doing didn’t work.


I say field an exciting team of young ballers. We’ve got a few potential All Stars, so no reason to wave any towels. Urias, Gonsolin, Kershaw, May, Mookie, Freddie, Smith, Muncy, Lux, Taylor have all been there before. Maybe Vargas, Outman, Busch and the next few AF moves, including the blockbuster deadline move, are the right mix of youth and genius to interject some want to in that group of veterans who swallowed the olive last year.

Jacob Burch

We have approximately $40m to add a starting pitcher and an everyday player. I think this is the arithmetic problem the front office is dealing with right now.


Drew Who?

I see the payroll thing the same. In a year the CBT means something to the Dodgers, Friedman doesn’t know how much money he has to work with. They already know what the plans are (A and B) so now it’s the wait. Kids and retreads. Hell, it could work.


Did the Dodgers actually compete for Trea and Verlander? If so, it sounds like they will spend for the right guys irregardless of Bauer’s cost.

Fred Vogel

I always thought he should have had a brilliant career. He is so imposing at the plate, as if he could hit every pitch into McCovey Cove (paging Joey Gallo).

Jacob Burch

Is this from The Onion?


100% great comment

Jacob Burch

Current OF depth chart:

  1. Betts [RF]
  2. Trayce [CF/LF]
  3. Outman [CF/LF]
  4. Vargas [LF]
  5. Heyward [LF]
  6. Busch [Has he ever played an inning of OF?]
  7. DeLuca [AA last year so longshot for a single AB]
  8. Pages [ibid+ very raw]

I’d say we have work to do


Got plenty of time. P90X for all of them and they are physical specimens by March.

Jacob Burch

Swole idea.


Only one small negative. Heyward is a Gold Glove right fielder. We have one of those. Oh, I forgot. Betts is moving to 2nd base. Well, probably not but if Heyward makes the team, maybe?


Interesting signing. He got a minor league deal and an invite to spring training. He has a lot of pop in his bat. If he can get back close to what he was, he will be a huge addition. He is going to have to show it in spring training though.


Definately worth a shot. No risk for the Dodgers. We would only have to pay him league minimum if he makes the big club. He can probably do as well as Bellinger will.


Somebody must have forgot to put the cork back in the bottle. I smell Gallo.

Jacob Burch

If Brandon Nimmo ends up getting $175m I’m giving up . . .

Sam Oyed

Soto already rejected 440 million over 15 years. He’s looking for 500 million. I like Soto but time will show he’s not worth the money.


I like everything you said Jeff and still believe the Giants could sign Correa today. The Giants need players and were willing to play hardball with the Yankees for Judge. Winning fills the stands and mediocracy with or without Judge won’t.

Correa is a good fit for the Giants and if the shoe fits wear it.

Jacob Burch

I hope the Giants do sign him because I don’t think he’s that good. In fact, I’d say he’s overrated.


12.6 WAR the last 2 years. Still in his prime. I’d just as soon see him in the AL.

Singing the Blue

Things are definitely coming full circle.

Heyward and Freddie being drafted 1-2 by Atlanta in the same draft, and Heyward and Shelby Miller were once traded for each other (or at least part of the same trade). I have a good feeling about Heyward. He’s going to contribute.

With regard to the Bogaerts signing, this definitely means Tatis goes to the outfield for the foreseeable future. Although Machado will probably opt out after next year, I don’t think the Pads will let him leave. They’ll just add some years and $ and be sure to keep him. I keep having this thought in the back of my brain that tells me the long range strategy here is to get rid of Tatis. He has a no trade clause, I believe, but no way he wouldn’t go to a contending club who wants him to play shortstop. I think he may have worn out his welcome with his actions last year, but a team that didn’t go through that with him might be thrilled to have him. So…………I’m going to predict that by opening day 2024, Tatis is wearing a different uniform.

SD has Bogaerts for 11 years, gives Machado extra years and $ next winter and gives Soto whatever he wants in order to keep him. They trade Tatis and re-stock their now empty farm system. You heard it first here.


And, wasn’t Tatis rumored to have dated the person suing Bauer?

Singing the Blue

That’s what they said, but I’m not sure much of anything we know about the Bauer fiasco is the truth.

I hope when this is over that someone will present the evidence they’ve based their decision on. At this point it’s completely he said-she said with neither side exactly having a stellar reputation.


No shortage of opinion on a very sensitive topic. Domestic violence sexual assault. Lock him up! Wait, no charges filed? Let him pitch!

I’ve had mixed feelings about him a long time. Seems like narcissistic a jack wagon, but if he’s only guilty of bad judgment and stupidity, I say let him pitch. I have no idea what the Dodgers think, but I believe they will be influenced by public opinion. I wonder how it would poll in So Cal?

And I’d be all in on Tatis.

Last edited 1 year ago by Badger

Just as long as he doesn’t shoot a pistol in his garage.


Live boy or dead girl.

Fred Vogel

What does that comment even mean?

Last edited 1 year ago by Fred Vogel
Singing the Blue

I’m with you on both Bauer and Tatis.

So what are we prepared to give Preller for Jr?
And the Simulator says…………………………………………
Cartaya, Pepiot and two of Busch/Pages/Miller.

I wouldn’t do that trade today. I’d want to see how he plays when he gets back. As we know, shoulder surgery can have a major effect on a player’s production. Talk to me in July or November.


Man that’s giving up a lot. And you’re taking on 12 years, the first 6 are manageable, last 6 are at $36.7M. He’s an amazing player but, if he’s healed, it just might be worth it. There’s only a few teams that could do that entire contract, and many of them have shortstops already.


Fair terms. $20m ish.


Mets and Padres are all in.


Dansby’s not impossible. I don’t see us paying for shithead Correa. Is Segura an option? Never really liked him. Benintendi? McCutcheon? Drury?


Swanson is lead dog on the about to be overpaid sled. He had a terrific year, a contract year, but 4 of his 7 years his OPS+ was below 100, and he doesn’t project to repeat ’22. I say no, unless he can be had for a very reasonable price.

Drury, yes. Benintendi, ok. McCutcheon, meh.

Did anyone watch that Rams game?

Last edited 1 year ago by Badger

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