1. JD Martinez
Original Pick: Boston Red Sox
New Pick: Boston Red Sox
Why the Red Sox? JD Martinez has one offer, a five-year, $125 million contract from the Boston Red Sox. The Diamondbacks are the only other team who want his services but they cannot afford Martinez until they dump Grienke’s contract, which will not happen. Dombrowski and Boras are at a stalemate, Dave has no reason to outbid himself, and Boras expected a seven-year, $210 million contract on the table. This negotiation may not wrap up this week but it should happen before Opening Day. Nothing has changed on the JD Martinez front so there is no need to hit the panic button yet.
2. Yu Darvish
Original Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers
New Pick: Chicago Cubs
Pre WS Pick – Dodgers: Darvish was traded to the Dodgers for their 4th best prospect (2B/OF Willie Calhoun) and two others (RHP A.J. Alexy, SS Brendon Davis). At the deadline this seemed like a move to go get their number two behind Kershaw. They haven’t had a star behind Clayton since Zack Grienke. Prior to the World Series it made sense for the Dodgers to re-sign Darvish because they have the money and he makes their rotation stronger. After blowing game seven of the World Series, the Dodgers do not appear to have interest in the Japanese hurler. Also the Dodgers have decided not to go big this year in an effort to stay under the cap for next season’s elite Free Agent class that will include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon and Dallas Keuchel.
Why the Cubs? The Chicago Cubs lost their ace in fellow Free Agent Jake Arrieta. Darvish is the highest ranked pitcher in free agency and Theo Epstein is interested. The Cubs are the team with the largest market in the running for Darvish, a list of teams that reportedly includes the Cubs, Cardinals, Twins, and Brewers. The Dodgers are also listed as interested but they seem content with rolling out their current roster in 2018. The Cubs need to pay up to replace Arrieta and compete with the up and coming Brewers. While Darvish appears to be attracted to going back to LA and redeeming himself, I feel that he will settle for Chicago since LA is focused on staying under the cap for the 2019 class.
3. Jake Arrieta
Original Pick: Texas Rangers
New Pick: Milwaukee Brewers
Pre WS Pick – Rangers: Jake Arrieta was born and raised in Texas before attending Texas Christian University (TCU). Darvish was dealt to the Rangers, making this seem like a perfect fit. However, the Rangers have not engaged in the Arrieta sweepstakes.
Why the Brewers? The Brewers are making moves this offseason to contend with the Cubs in the NL Central, trading for Christian Yelich, and signing Lorenzo Cain. There would be no better way of wrapping up an offseason than signing the man who has been the ace of the Cubs since 2014. Arrieta should have interest in joining a young, talented roster that is in desperate need of an ace. The Brewers would be a phenomenal landing spot for Jake Arrieta and they seem to have the most interest in the 32-year-old RHP.
4. Eric Hosmer
Original Pick: Boston Red Sox
New Pick: Kansas City Royals
Pre WS Pick – Red Sox: Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made it clear that the Red Sox would make a least one big splash this offseason. After two straight ALDS embarrassments, I assumed Dave would pony up and sign a 40 home run hitter (JD Martinez) and a five-tool first baseman with 25+ home run potential. Hosmer seemed to be a great fit for Boston and Dombrowski gave me the impression he was going to try to make the Red Sox a World Series contender this season. Instead he let Stanton go to the Yankees without even making a call and re-signed Mitch Moreland.
Why the Royals? Eric Hosmer was absolutely adored in Kansas City during his seven-year tenure. He has two seven-year contracts, from the Royals and Padres on the table. The contracts are nearly identical, making Kansas City the obvious choice. Hosmer loved KC and now has a chance to stay. Neither team will be contending anytime soon, so he might as well stay and more than likely get a statue at Kauffman Stadium one day.
5. Mike Moustakas
Original Pick: San Francisco Giants
New Pick: Literally No Idea
Pre WS Pick – San Francisco Giants: When Free Agency opened up, Moose was heavily linked to San Francisco, it was clear they wanted a veteran third-baseman to beef up their lineup and the popular opinion was right… kind of. They did get a veteran third baseman, but instead of the top free agent corner infielder, they traded for Evan Longoria. Obviously they will no longer need Moustakas’ services. Now the question remains where will he go?
Why I have no idea? Well I usually throw a dart at the wall in this situation but there is actually no information on this guy. Nobody knows where he will go, there aren’t even rumors. The only thing I keep seeing is Moose to Yankees? The answer is probably not because they want to wait for Manny Machado and that monster 2019 free agent class. Machado seems more concerned with what jersey number and size he will wear in pinstripes than the Orioles record in 2018, as it appears clear as day that he will be in a Yankees uniform in the near future. Machado would be the perfect Yankee and organization isn’t going to blow a chance at Manny by jumping the gun and paying up for a lesser third baseman a year early. I have no idea what Moustakas will do but I have one suggestion, sign a one year deal with the previously mentioned Yankees. They won’t go all in on Moose but they could beef up the roster for 2018 while not affecting their chances at signing Machado. For Moose he will get a lot of guaranteed money and a chance at a multi-year contract next offseason. I think after seeing the chaos that is this offseason, the 2019 offseason will revert back to its old ways, which would mean players would sign contracts at Winter Meetings, not during Spring Training.
6. Lance Lynn
Original Pick: Houston Astros
New Pick: Baltimore Orioles
Pre WS Pick – Houston Astros: Lance Lynn is an underrated pitcher that will not make as much money or get as much recognition as he deserves. He is an above average pitcher that would have boosted the Astros rotation if they chose to sign him. One more pitcher of that caliber would put the Astros over the edge heading into their season as World Champions. I brought up Lynn because he would be affordable. They had a similar strategy by trading for Garret Cole, meaning they will not be needing Lance Lynn.
Why the Orioles? Baltimore is in need of starting pitching and everyone has been reporting that Lynn has engaged in talks with the Orioles. Pitchers and catchers are reporting soon and pitchers need to be in camp. Position players can come in late, get some swings in and jump right into the season. Pitchers need to slowly work into throwing upwards of 100 pitches, meaning Lynn is probably slightly panicked about finding a team. If he is talking to the Orioles then he is likely to settle and sign to get it over with before the beginning of camp. The fit makes sense and the deal should be done soon.
Scott Neville – WTF Sports Nation