Saturday, November 7, 2015

Early Predictions on MLB Free Agents

Johnny Cueto is among heavy free agent class.

My predictions of who's going where in Major League Baseball. I like any fan has been reading plenty of the rumor mill articles on sites such as Bleacher Report, ESPN & numerous other baseball sites and have took some of this input and came up with my own choices.

Here they are...

Jordan Zimmermann - Cubs
The Chicago Cubs will probably go for two steady and dependable starting pitchers to add to Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. Zimmermann is probably the most effective and affordable & would fit perfectly with the Cubs.

The Cubs have the lineup, now add pitching, and the team should only get better, even if they are in the toughest division in all of baseball.

Ben Zobrist - Yankees
The Yankees for the last few years have been plugging veteran pieces in their infield slots with little success -- they should put more faith in their prospects, but likely will keep going for a veteran signing. Zobrist would be the best signing of the bunch, and would give the team flexibility without breaking the bank. Yankees should be able to outbid their opponents on Zobrist.

Yoenis Cespedes - Yankees / Marlins
There are many reports at the moment that the Miami Marlins will land the recently well-traveled Cuban stud -- but I would not be surprised to see the Yankees over-pay for lightning in a bottle, he is exactly the type of player the Yankees would spurge on in the past. Yankees probably would be hoping for a Reggie Jackson impact, but end up more with a Danny Tartabull, Ruben Sierra, or Jesse Barfield.

I do think Cespedes gets too much grief for being traded plenty of recent, with many questioning his mind frame for the game, but I think adding him to a team is always a upgrade despite a low career On-Base Percentage -- His arm in the outfield, and power surges do make up for plenty of that, and it has been statistically proven that his teams (with the exception of Boston) play better when he is in the lineup, compared to when out of the lineup

[See Oakland's 2014 second-half collapse & get back to me on that]

Jason Heyward - Re-signs with Cardinals
Heyward is an interesting free agent with plenty of tools, at times he comes off as over-rated and then he comes off underrated. I do think Cardinals get it done by resigning him, unless a big market team overpays for him.

Johnny Cueto - Red Sox 
Johnny Cueto is exactly the big signing that new GM Dave Dombrowski is looking for. The Red Sox need an ace to anchor a rotation that still needs work -- landing Cueto, will bring in other dependable starters as well.

Alex Gordon - Resigns with Royals... or St. Louis?
I have read reports about the Houston Astros being in hunt for Gordon.. but would not be surprised if the St. Louis Cardinals jump in, if Jason Heyward does not resign with Cards. Plus Gordon would completely fit into Mike Matheny & the Cardinals' way with no problem. Cardinals fans would love to see him in Cardinal red.

Doug Fister - Tigers
Okay, okay... This is definitely wishful thinking. I personally hated watching the Tigers trade Fister to the Washington Nationals, and in hindsight that deal ended up being a bust for the Tigers, even though Fister didn't have the same success in Washington than he did in Detroit.

Maybe teams will be weary of Fister's recent injuries, undervalue him, and the Tigers swoop in and sign him to a three-year deal. Fister would help solidify a rotation that is desperate need for balance right now, add that to a reemergence of Justin Verlander, a hopeful rebound for Anibal Sanchez, and the emergence of Daniel Norris -- The Tigers would suddenly have a rotation again.

Hey, Tiger fans can dream, right?!

Chris Davis - Rangers
The Texas Rangers love their sluggers, so why not bring in a guy who started his career in Texas? The Rangers' division rival, Los Angeles Angels may also jump into the fun as they try to transition Albert Pujols towards full-time DH.

Greinke had huge season with Dodgers.

Zack Greinke - Giants / Dodgers
When looking at the possibilities, considering he turned down a great option -- He would only get a huge contract from either Los Angeles team. But sources have mentioned the fact that Greinke really hit things off with San Francisco Giants players and Giant Manager Bruce Bochy (during All-Star break), feeling a good comfort level. Greinke once battled anxiety problems, so San Fran would probably be more his fit, although he had his best stretch of career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 57-17 (.770 winning percentage) in a 3 1/2 season stretch. Dodgers still have a shot at re-landing Greinke.

David Price - Any team with a huge piggy bank
If the price is right, some team will be happy with landing David Price -- the question remains, who? The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox all seem to be great suitors.

It would be interesting to see if the Chicago Cubs, and even the New York Mets (who have enough pitching) tip the scales, and try to wing it with a lineup that needs offensive and defensive upgrades.

I actually have heard the Detroit Tigers still wanting to bring him back, but with the team being strapped, I think they try to fill in the holes on their rosters with hopeful bargain signings.

My gut says either the Dodgers or Yankees get it done, but don't count out the Cubs.


Stephen Strasburg (SP-Washington Nationals)
With the Nationals being a mess, and with Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann hitting free agency, it may be the best time to trade Strasburg while his stock is up. There has been connections that the New York Yankees would try to land Strasburg -- The Nationals could bring in some pieces, particularly pitching in maybe players like Adam Warren with a bundle of prospects. The Nats still have Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark and the possibility of resigning either Fister or Zimmermann -- The Nats are definitely reshuffling the deck, especially since they have already reshuffled possible managers a couples times, and now has Dusty Baker at the helm... who seems to be a manager that knows how to fix a mess.

Another team would be the Dodgers, who probably have more attractable pieces to offer the Nationals than the Yankees.

Justin Verlander (SP- Detroit Tigers)
Okay, I jumped the gun about a season to season & half ago, saying Justin was back -- now, confidently, and the fact that he finished the 2015 season strong, he may just be back.

Is he the old Cy Young stud from 2011/2012 period?
No, probably not.

Is he closer to the 2009-2010, 2013 version?

I have made it no secret that Justin Verlander is my favorite player in Major League Baseball, and saying that, I would hate to see the Detroit Tigers ever trade him... but if the Tigers are not in the hunt for true playoff contention by All-Star Break 2016, and Verlander is pitching strongly like he shown in the second-half of 2015, it may not be a bad idea for the Tigers to get possible contenders with huge bank accounts in the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, or Los Angeles Angels to bite on his huge yearly salary.

At this point, I do not see Tigers any better than 2nd place, if not more like a third-place team. He would be perfect for the Chicago Cubs to make that next huge step in late 2016.

Just saying.


  1. Verlander is due 28 million per year for another 4 years. You couldn't give him away ... his best years are long gone and he will need some serious luck to simply be average.

    1. To say that Verlander is simply average is ludicrous, yes his best years (2011-2012) are probably a thing of the past. He ended the season with a 1.09 WHIP & 3.38 ERA; His post-All Star Break numbers had him with a 2.80 ERA and with teams batting only .218 against him -- That's simply not the stuff of an average pitcher. Pitchers have dips and peaks their entire career, if Verlander stays healthy and pitches close to 40, we could be talking about a HOF career.


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