Will the Yankees finally spend? Will the Athletics rebuild? What to expect when baseball returns

Last week, we covered the flurry of action in MLB before the collective bargaining agreement expired on December 1, which saw spending levels almost unprecedented in a short period of time. Now that there is a lockout that should last most of the winter, we have no imminent action. But when February rolls around, we may well have a couple more weeks for the rest of the offseason to play out. Here are some issues that executives and agents are monitoring until then:

There are still candidates for big contracts.
My biggest mistakes of my free agent predictions They were at the higher end of the market. Many expected a couple of mid-market teams to dive deep into the group, but not as deep, as early or as often. What I missed was that at least a handful of non-playoff club owners were more willing to spend and, for work reasons, were incentivized to do so before December 1 if they were going to spend sometime during this time. winter.

While most of the top players have signed, there are still two prominent players left who are sure to score nine figures: Carlos Correa Y Freddie freeman. Correa always looked like a likely candidate to get the best offer of the winter, by far, until the agreement of Corey seager It came in with nearly $ 100 million above the expectations of many (including my own). Correa is still expected to break that $ 325 million barrier, but not by a ton. Freeman’s flat appears to be the settlement of Paul Goldschmidt five-year, $ 130 million as of 2020, and it should be able to top it by quite a bit. This Braves regime has been adamant about not handing out giant deals for several years in free agency, but they kept Marcell ozuna in 2020 on a four-year, $ 65 million contract. The assumption is that they will find a way to hit the price of the Freeman franchise icon (especially after a financial windfall in the World Series).

Beyond those two, finding the great deals gets a little more difficult. Trevor story, Kris bryant, Nick Castellanos, Michael Conforto, Kyle schwarber and Seiya Suzuki are the position players who are candidates for more than $ 50 million, while Clayton kershaw Y Carlos Rodon they are the only pitchers left at that level. Story was long expected to get nine figures, but his shooting problem may make a shorter deal a better option for him. As motivated spenders start to run out, at least one of these players will sign for less than you think, but this will be a very healthy market if it’s just one of them.

When baseball returns, the big markets will be ready to open their wallets.
The teams that did not make the playoffs (Rangers, Mariners, Tigers, Mets, Jays, Cubs, Angels, Marlins) gave the 9 best contracts, and 12 of the best 13. Big markets and playoff clubs won’t let that. hold up, as the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and Giants have plenty of room to spend, even though early winter conditions didn’t suit their approach.


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Will the Yankees finally spend? Will the Athletics rebuild? What to expect when baseball returns