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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason


Danchat
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Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. 

 

This is a re-signing, but still of a guy who was going to hit the market:

 

 

$8M seems like a lot for a guy coming off a career worst season, especially since salaries are supposedly going to drop. I can understand why he'd immediately take that deal.

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Marcus Stroman accepted the one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Mets.

The news was first reported by USA Today's Metsmerized site and has now been confirmed by Stroman himself via his personal Twitter account. Stroman probably would have opted to test the free agent market in a normal financial landscape, but he gets a sizable one-year payout with the QO and can aim for a big bounceback season in 2021 after not pitching at all in 2020 due to a calf injury and subsequent COVID-19 opt-out. The 29-year-old had a sharp 3.22 ERA in 32 starts (184 1/3 innings) between Toronto and New York in 2019.

 

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I expected that most FAs would bite at QOs    but  wow!  a little surprised by Stroman as the 2nd rated pitcher. I`m sure a lot teams were wanting a shot at him. How does that leave the rest of the pack?

I imagine that Gausman will also take the QO. 

 

Spotrac on FA starting pitchers who should make more than $10M a year:

Masahiro Tanaka

Trevor Bauer

Charlie Morton

James Paxton

Mike Minor

Kevin Gausman

Garrett Richards

Jake Odorizzi

 

 

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I expected that most FAs would bite at QOs    but  wow!  a little surprised by Stroman as the 2nd rated pitcher. I`m sure a lot teams were wanting a shot at him. How does that leave the rest of the pack?

 

Yes, seems likely that he would have gotten significant interest from other teams, but also the market for his services might have been more variable than most comparable players because he opted out of 2020, and he's on a team that seems primed to improve next year. So maybe it makes additional sense in that context.

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Braves signed LHP Drew Smyly to a one-year, $11 million contract.

Can't say we saw this coming, at least as far as the timing is concerned, though the Braves were active early last offseason as well. Still, Smyly is a good gamble. While staying healthy has been an issue, the 31-year-old put up a 3.42 ERA and 42/9 K/BB ratio in 26 1/3 innings over five starts and two relief appearances this past season. He also showed a healthy uptick in velocity compared to previous seasons.

Wow, that's a lot more than I thought a guy of his caliber would get. This definitely bodes well for the other starting pitchers out there.

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Wow, that's a lot more than I thought a guy of his caliber would get. This definitely bodes well for the other starting pitchers out there.

Atlanta probably overpaid by $3-4 million but they've signed worse contracts recently. It's easy to forget they paid Cole Hamels $18 million for 3 IP when they're winning. Their core is locked in long term at under market values, so they can afford to take chances filling in the rest of the roster. 

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I propose an arbitration trade of Eddie Rosario to the Tigers for Matthew Boyd. You might have to throw in a Smeltzer or Thorpe because the Tigers will be paying more out in salary.

 

Assuming both team don't want these guys, but might like to have control of one or the other.

 

Boyd would be a good backend pickup. Still cheap. Another year left. Lefty, too.

 

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Atlanta probably overpaid by $3-4 million but they've signed worse contracts recently. It's easy to forget they paid Cole Hamels $18 million for 3 IP when they're winning. Their core is locked in long term at under market values, so they can afford to take chances filling in the rest of the roster. 

Braves have gambled on one-year pitching and hitting deals that were top-end for one year. Hamels didn't work out, but Josh Donaldson and Marcell Ozuna were incredible buys for one year. Dallas Keuchel was a viable #3 paid roughly the same full-season rate as Hamels (many forget that Keuchel's 13 million was signed June 7, 2019). Smyly is expected to come in as the #4 starter. If he fails in that role, he's an expensive reliever, but just for one year.

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one thought about Smyly & Ray. I believe Toronto were confident that they could fix Ray & the Braves were confident they could maintain what Smyly had in 2020. So they wanted make sure they could close the deal as fast they could w/ the $ they spent. We`ll see if they are right. I doubt it

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Smyly, Ray, and Morton are off the board. It is clear that there is money and we can all just forget all of the discussions of woe for the owners' costs.

The poor, like Tampa, will need to scramble and win with astute trades and development. The rich, like NY teams, can do whatever and still profit. The Twins are somewhere in between and this winter will surely test management's direction, because the team is clearly at a point where the middle ground will see them fall back.

Atlanta has done Falvine a favor, now these guys need to proceed aggressively or the window ......

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With a lot of the best bats in the market guys that work best with a team that has a DH available, it is notable that so far, the notable guys off the board have all been arms. I'd wager most NL teams would love to negotiate heavily with guys like Ozuna, Brantley, and Cruz, but if there's no surety about a DH in the NL in 2021, that changes the interest of those NL teams. Any good agent is going to wait until they can bring in the most potential teams.

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As a Braves fan, a rotation of:

 

Soroka

Fried

Morton

Smyly

Anderson

 

...in some order is very nice, with guys like Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson to quickly fill in. After seeing Robbie Erlin, Jhoulys Chacin, and Tommy Milone make multiple starts on a first place team, this is much better!

 

Also, for those discussing "there's definitely money out there!" the Braves had more than $70M come off the books this offseason from contracts even with projected arbitration raises. If the team only replaced 70% of that and made 30% cuts, that gave the team in the area of $50M to spend this offseason just to get back to 2020 spending levels. Not every team has the same financial flexibility this year, so these numbers thrown out to Smyly and Morton may not be indicative of a market.

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According to mlbtraderumors, both Sonny Gray and Brett Snell are being shopped.  This may be just a looksee if they can generate an overwhelming offer and then take it.  

I am more convinced that the Rays may trade Snell then Gray will move from Cincinnati.  Stay tuned offseason may be more interesting than expected.

My concern is that many teams will cut payroll and if the Twins are not increasing payroll, they could look at 3 - 7 superteams on a 1 - 2 year basis in what is supposed to be our window.

Also Astros may trade Correa, also from mlbtraderumors.  He is one year away from free agency. Scary

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Agree with biggentleben about the market flexibility of some teams. However, on Twins Daily, it should be noted that the Twins are a team with flexibility. Their biggest decisions are how to fit both Rosario and Cruz or cut away from one or both to other options. This might be an exciting winter with a host of desirable free agents: Kike Hernandez, Profar, Realmuto, Hendriks, Hand, Bauer and others. 

The list of starting pitchers that may be available in trade is also impressive. Snell, Gray, Darvish, and Lynn are all notable possibilities. The Twins are ready now and there are options to provide for significant roster upgrades. I wish that MLB and MLBPA would make a call on the DH soon. 

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The Royals have agreed to a deal with southpaw Mike Minor, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  The contract will become official when Minor passes a physical. 

ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports that it is a multi-year pact between the two sides, with MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand adding that the contract is for two years.  This tops MLBTR’s prediction of a one-year, $6MM contract for Minor, and he is now the first free agent of the 2020-21 offseason to sign a multi-year contract.

 

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Along with the Twins' tender and non-tender decisions that we've all been talking about, before and after the deadline, all the non-tenders from across the league have been announced.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/12/mlb-non-tender-2020.html

 

I suppose this did turn out to be an interesting non-tender deadline, as many of us expected, but a lot of this list looks like players at or pretty close to replacement level, just like any other year.

 

I don't follow all the teams enough to know who's who in many cases, but for the Twins' needs, by far the most interesting name to me on this list is reliever Archie Bradley. Besides him--

Albert Almora or Delino DeShields as a right-handed-hitting backup outfielder who can play CF?

Adam Duvall as a RH platoon outfielder who can't play CF (maybe that means he's basically Brent Rooker with better defense)?

Keynan Middleton, Hansel Robles, Ryne Stanek as relievers who've had some past success?

 

Not looking terribly promising to pluck a difference-maker from the non-tender wire, despite all the activity, but maybe there's someone in here. Dunno.

 

 

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Would love the Twins to kick the tires on Andrelton Simmons and Schwarber.

 

Polanco's contract isn't bad, but the last 2 years will not be pretty. Would rather have Simmons play SS for a year or two as a bridge to Lewis. Would be interesting to see who they could get in a trade for Jorge. 

 

Schwarber can DH. Play LF. Emergency catch. Good OPS and OB guy. 

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