Minggu, 22 Januari 2012

MLB Free Agency Predictions

A lot of free agents have already figured out and signed deals for next season with new teams. From Albert Pujols to Jose Reyes to CJ Wilson, this has been a very hectic offseason. But there are still players like Prince Fielder available on the market. Here are my predictions for what will happen over the rest of this offseason.

Prince Fielder to the Washington Nationals
All reports have been consistent about the Washington Nationals as the favorite to sign Prince Fielder as they are just waiting in the wings. It is probably a matter of time before Prince Fielder's agent Scott Boras and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo get a deal worked out that brings Fielder to DC especially since the Rangers probably can't afford a long term deal with Fielder after signing Yu Darvish. Fielder could be a superstar in DC and attract the large African American population that lives in the capitol area. Fielder is a great marketing for the Nationals and he can help them get their next TV deal even bigger than people expect right now. Prince Fielder would also give the Nationals one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball with players like Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Danny Espinosa, and potentially Bryce Harper hitting around Fielder. A middle of the order combonation of Zimmerman-Fielder-Morse would be like no other in baseball. The Nationals could probably move Adam LaRoche to the Cleveland Indians and get some sort of prospect in return for him. For Fielder, this is a better option than his other main suitors, the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners, since neither of them would not be playoff contenders even with Fielder while Fielder makes the Nationals World Series contenders. This is also his only option where he could play first base which he still wants to do so this make the Nationals a natural fit. This deal will get done at some point and Prince Fielder will be at first base come Opening Day this season.

Update: Prince Fielder has signed a nine year deal worth 214 million dollars with the Detroit Tigers.
The mystery team has pulled off the big signing once again as Fielder is headed for Detroit to play for a long time just like his father Cecil. Fielder will force Miguel Cabrera to move back to third base but Cabrera is willing to do that because he knows that him and Fielder can form the best combination of big bats in all of baseball right now and one of the best combos in baseball history. Fielder makes the Tigers a threat to win the World Series and he puts the Tigers in a group of the best in the American League with only the Yankees, Rangers, and Angels. Prince makes the Tigers lineup one of the best in baseball with him, Cabrera, Delmon Young, and Alex Avila. Prince has probably dreamed of playing in Detroit after he grew up watching his dad Cecil play for the Tigers and be a star for the Tigers. Prince will be an excellent addition as he will be able to hit 40+ home runs in Detroit and be the perfect protection for Miguel Cabrera. However, I think this contract will look terrible when he turns 32 as he will become a 20 home runs, 90 RBIs DH. That type of player should earn around 10 million, not over 20 million. This is good right now but a huge mistake in the long run.

Roy Oswalt to the Boston Red Sox
Red Sox GM Ben Cherrington has had a lot of interest in signing Roy Oswalt throughout the offseason but he did not have the payroll space to make a move for him. Now, Cherrington has the money he needs since he traded Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies yesterday which gives him at least 6 million dollars of payroll to sign Oswalt. Oswalt is the reputible guy that Cherrington wants to help sure up the back of the rotation and that is what Oswalt will do. Roy Oswalt was still pretty good last year even though he was hurt some of the year. Oswalt will also be a good mentor for Daniel Bard if they decide to move him to the rotation or it will allow them to put him in the bullpen forming a great combo in the late innings with Bard in the 7th, Mark Melancon in the 8th, and Andrew Bailey shuting it down in the 9th. Roy Oswalt can also provide a veteran presence among the starting rotation for the Red Sox that they didn't have. Oswalt is a reputable guy who can show the Red Sox starters how to handle themselves on the field and in the clubhouse on the days they don't pitch so they can avoid the fiasco that happened at the end of last season. I think Oswalt will reboud this year with 12 to 14 wins and an ERA around 3.5. I think this will be a steal for the Red Sox just like how Lance Berkman was a steal for the Cardinals last year.

Francisco Cordero to the Colorado Rockies
The deal that sent Huston Street to San Diego did not make much sense for Colorado as they left a big hole at closer that is currently unfilled. I do not think that Rafael Betancourt has the talent to be a closer and I think he is still better suited to be a setup man as the pressure of closing games is a lot more than being the 8th inning guy. The one closer that is still available is Francisco Cordero and this seems like the perfect match. Cordero is a proven closer who could help put the Rockies in playoff contention and win games down the stretch. The Rockies would have a bullpen that was decent to one that is very good. Cordero has a proven track record as he has recorded at least 34 saves in his last 5 seasons and has 327 saves in his career. Cordero has been an excellent closer for years and Colorado seems like the best fit for him now that Cincinnati has signed Ryan Madson to be their closer and how the Red Sox traded for Andrew Bailey earlier in the offseason. Cordero will only probably ask for a one year deal around 6 or million dollars which the Rockies should easily be able to afford. Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd probably isn't content with Betancourt as a closer and this makes Cordero the perfect fit in Coors Field. Cordero will be making a long run out of the bullpen at Coors Field next year.
Update: Francisco Cordero has signed a one year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Cordero will reportedly be a setup man for Sergio Santos in Toronto and this will be one of the best setup man-closer combinations in all of baseball. Only the Yankees, Nationals, Rangers, and Brewers have better combinations at the back end of the bullpen. The Blue Jays are building a bullpen that if an opponent of the Blue Jays may not have a god chance of winning if they are losing after 6 innings. Cordero will also be able to be a great mentor for Sergio Santos as Cordero has valuble experience that can help Santos when he has to go to tough environments like Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park. Cordero is a steal of a deal for the Blue Jays as he could end up being the closer still.

Edwin Jackson to the Kansas City Royals
Edwin Jackson was looking for 15 million a year but by now his demands are probably around 3 years 30 to 33 million dollars. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals have been actively looking for a starter as they have tried to trade for Atlanta ace Jair Jurrjens and they have shown a little interest in Edwin Jackson. Jackson's salary demands now probably fit into the Royals' budget and Kansas City knows that they might be able to make a run at the playoffs with the addition of another wild card in each league if they get another pitcher to put in the rotation. Jackson has been improving a lot over the last couple seasons as he is entering his prime and showing that he can be a number 2 or 3 starter for a contender. Jackson has improved his control and working with Dave Duncan has definitely made him better. Last year, he refound the pitching form that he had in 2009 that made him a key piece in the Curtis Granderson trade that sent Jackson to Arizona. Jackson would also play in a pitcher friendly park just like he did in 2009 in Detroit which would help his numbers and set him up for a big contract if he took a 3 year deal instead of trying to get a 5 year deal. Agent Scott Boras should watch out for the Royals to jump in and give him the contract that Jackson will be able to agree to. The Royals are also looking to get that pitcher and be in contention next season since they are also hosting the All Star Game. Edwin Jackson will also be interested to be on a young team with lots of potential. This will be a deal that will happen and Jackson will be pitching in Kauffman Stadium this year.

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