FA Predictions INF/DH
Updated: Apr 29, 2022
Ball Boys, Ball Girls, I write this shortly after the MLB, who shall not be named, canceled the first two series of Regular Season games. I believe there will be an insane spending frenzy to happen, and the word Tampering will be thrown around A LOT.
However, nearly $1.7 billion was committed to free agents during November before the Lockout, smashing the prior record by 4x. That might be smashed ever further post Lockout. I will give you my predictions for some of the top names who will sign a deal shortly. Lightening Hot Takes are coming in ENERGIZED today by Raze Energy. I am feeling energized.
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First Base/Third Base
All the speculation around Freeman and the Braves that was being reported to me is legit, but also, at the same time, without Freeman, the Braves don't go back to back NLCS and win a world series without him. Freeman is Brave and will continue to be one. I have said it all along and will continue to say it. MVFREE stays in the ATL on a six-year 180mil deal.
After being traded to the Yankees mid-season, we saw classic Rizzo at first that quickly turned into looking like the rest of the Yankees, honestly. There are a lot of fits, and the majority of the teams in the MLB would love Rizzo. Rizzo is 32yo and with a Universal DH on the table shortly. I can see all teams willing to offer a 5-6 year deal worth about 140-160mil, which is the same deal Javy Baez got. Rizzo is a lock for Atlanta if the Braves don't re-sign Freeman. The Yankees want him back, but I don't think he wants to be back. I think a reunion with the Cubs feels right. $20-30mil over 5-6 years.
However, the aging vet might have played his last game with an MLB team. The future HOF is sure to land at least a one-day deal to retire and even potentially a one-year deal to run with Yadi, Waino, and the Cardinals once again. 1-year minimum.
Shaw is at the point in his career where he can be used as a valuable backup to a contender. He can play all over the INF and hit for power when needed. The K numbers and the low BA doesn't mean much when you can play all over the INF and hit for power. The White Sox need an excellent reliable bat off the bench to back up that fantastic, youthful lineup. I also like the return to Milwaukee or Boston here. The deal will likely be a 1+1 and 2-5mil AAV.
KBs name is one of the best on the open market, and being a Boras client, he won't come cheap. In addition to that, he can and will play the 7/9 position on the field without batting an eye. He is a former MVP and on the right side of 30. The deal with be $30mil AAV easy. The years could vary from 5-10, likely from 7-10, I would think. No other players have spent as much time talking to KB as the Mariners Paul Sewald as the two were college teammates and are great friends. KB is going to be a Mariner once the Lockout is over.
The other 3B options are Matt Carpenter, Todd Frazier, and Brandon Drury of note. But not worth talking about.
The 30yo 2B/3B is coming off the worst season of his career, split between Tor and Mia. I would love to see Panik return to the Giants and serve as a capable backup with the upside to play every day alongside Brandon Crawford. Panik would also be another guy I would love to see with the White Sox off the bench. 1-year 2-5mil deal.
The now 33yo Harrison showed he still has juice as he hit for a .341OBP in 2021 between the Nationals and Athletics. The versatility plays well for most teams, and the ability to get on base can only help a team compete. Veteran leadership is crucial for teams as well.
I like the fit with Harrison's Tigers, Brewers, Phillies, and Braves. 1 year, 3-7mil deal.
The now 34yo is coming off a season where he was very productive, hitting for .280/.344/.404 slash line after winning the Silver Slugger award in 2020. The versatility to play all over the dirt is something that I like for guys in their mids 30's and makes them even more valuable to a team. I would like to see Solano go back and play with the Giants, but I can also see a fit with the Red Sox or Blue Jays and possibly the Yankees. 1-year 2-5mil deal.
The two-ear helmet hero. Please stay in Oakland as Oakland loves you and needs you to play your career with the A's. Going into his 38 seasons, I don't know if Lowrie sticks around. But if he does, the fit with the A's is natural. 1-year minimum deal.
The defensive metrics fell off the Iglesias in 2021 as he posted a career-worst -22DRS. At 32yo a move to 2B might be the best career move and take less playing time. Iglesias would be a great fit for the Met. He has an excellent past track record of playing the field well. Line him up next to Lindor, and he can back up 2B/SS/3B in a pinch. It makes sense. Even the Cardinals look like a good fit for similar reasons or the Reds to back up promising star India. The deal looks similar to others as you go down as SS contacts follow suit. 1+1 probably $7-12 mil AAV.
Glavis, another glove-first SS that can also play 2B/3B and play above-average defense at each position, will play anywhere he can get a starting job. I can honestly see him going to Colorado, Houston, NYY to fill their void for a SS. I see Galvis getting a 1+1 deal that would range from 5-10mil AAV.
Simmons, another glove-first SS at 32, is likely the best player in the 2nd tier to land a deal. The moe to the Twins wasn't great as he should have stayed home in LAA, but each team took an L with their choices at SS in the scenario. I love the idea of him landing back with the Angels on a deal. But I can also see him being a bridge SS for one of the teams who lost their star. I think Simmons lands a 1+1 deal again and worth about 7-12milAAV
Villar played well with the Mets in 2021, and at 31yo, the veteran SS/2B/3B likely is the 2nd best tier two player that a team would want to go after. With the power and the sense to get on base, I can see a team like the Cardinals being a great fit as the move would allow them to keep De Jong at 2B or move him to SS. Either way, that's my pick here. However, I also see the Yankees as an AL fit. The deal should be for 1-3 years worth about 7-10mil AAV.
The 2nd best SS left on the Free Agent market got out of Colorado and is likely to sign a deal worth $25-30mil AAV that is likely 10years in length. Many people connect the Story to the Yankees, Mariners, Mets because of the money, and that Story would change positions. He won't go for now until later in his career. The Angels have a big void to fill, and one of the players in Trout that could use another star, the Brewers desperately need someone to pair with Yelich, the Phillies need another star to pair with Harper. Lastly, Story looks like a Cardinal, honestly.
The best SS, in my opinion, when the market opened, was wise to wait out his peers and let Seager set his market for him. Now, the value of Correa will be at least $30mil a year, if not upwards of $40mil AAV. I say that because there isn't a glaring flaw in his game. He is excellent offensively defensive, can run, is excellent post-season, and has an exciting personality. We all fully expect the Yankees to go HARD after Correa, and the Astros would love to have their guy back, but I don't think the money will be there. Of course, the Brewers, Phillies, Cardinals all could use him. The Mets have money, and Lindor and Correa will not change positions.
Listed as LF/C on baseball-reference, we know he plays 1B/LF now and would likely throw on the pads in a pinch. An absolute powering showing with the Nationals and Red Sox in 2021 gives Schwarber many options for a team that wants an average defender but a plus bat, which all teams want. I think any contender team that wants to fill the DH role would love Schwarber so that all NL teams will be calling, and some AL teams will work as well. I think the fit with the Tigers or back with the Red Sox is likely if he stays in the AL. If he moves NL, I hope that the Phillies, Cardinals, Giants go after him. I think a three-year deal worth 10-15mil AAV is realistic.
All I want for Boomstick is to come back to Seattle and be clubhouse guy and mash still or go back to Tampa and have fun with the Rays. That's all.
RF/DH Soler should honestly move to 1B and go back to KC. I think that would be a great spot. The Braves won't need him with Ozuna coming back and filling the not-valuable defender and DH roles. Soler-power is accurate, and many teams would love to have it. Now that he has a taste of the World Series and World Series MVP, I think a deal in 3-5 years is likely, along with at least $15mil AAV. See the teams I listed for Schwarber as the teams I think Soler could land on.
AKA the artist formerly known as Krush Davis in Oakland. Davis should hope to find an NL team that will take him on as DH or even an AL team. The Orioles, Nationals, Marlins are my picks for him to go and rebuild vale. The Rays could also swing here if unable to retain Cruz.
Thanks for reading!