Latest baseball news- including free agents signed, and trades

Posted: 01/18/2013 by levcohen in Baseball

MLB Free Agency 2013 is nearing an end. This FA had it’s exciting perks with some exciting times, but things are definitely slowing down now. With that being said, there have been some significant moves recently, and there are a few FA’s who have yet to been signed. First lets go back to my last post on free agency, where I predicted the homes of the top remaining picks. Here it is:

Josh Hamilton– the big time slugger will return to Texas after fielding many offers. I feel that the top remaining bidders for Hamilton are: The Rangers, the Phillies and the Mariners. I think the Phillies will probably offer a deal around three years and 80 million dollars. The Mariners could take it a fourth year, but I think the Rangers will end up signing Hamilton to a four year deal worth around 100 million.

Michael Bourn– The speedster will sign with Seattle for a five year deal worth 70+ million. I think, after failing to sign Josh Hamilton, the Mariners will get a little desperate, and the Scott Boras client will gladly take a 15 million average annual value.

Anibal Sanchez– I feel like the pitcher will narrow his choices down to two teams: Detroit and Texas. When in doubt, I go with a team re-signing their player over a different team swooping in, so I believe the Detroit Tigers will re-sign the right handed pitcher to a five year deal worth 80 million dollars.

Nick Swisher- Swisher will sign with Cleveland, who need a middle of a lineup hitter. The deal will probably be in the 4-5 year range with 12-14 million per year.

Edwin Jackson– The starting pitcher will take a long time to sign, but he will end up signing with the Blue Jays. The Jays will give him a deal around four years and about 40 million.

Kyle Lohse- Lohse goes to the Royals for a four year, 40 million dollar deal. The Royals need to win now, so even after trading for Wade Davis and James Shields they need another SP.

Adam LaRoche- The power hitting first baseman will re-up with the Nationals, signing a three year deal worth 30 million.

Ryan Dempster- Dempster will be signed by the Red Sox, who will give the pitcher a three year deal and 29 million, despite his advanced age.

Signed Players:
Hamilton (Angels), Sanchez (Tigers), Swisher (Indians), LaRoche (Nationals), Dempster (Red Sox), Jackson (Cubs)

Hamilton: I got this one wrong. He got the years and the money with the Angels (five years, 125 million), who I didn’t even consider one of the front runners to land him. I think the Angels will reap their rewards for the first two years of this contract, but it will become a “bad contract” later on.

Sanchez: Nailed it. Exactly. Five years, 80 million to the Tigers, although the Cubs really made a push at the end. Sanchez will continue to be a good pitcher, but it’s hard to believe that five years and 80 million is the right price for him, unless the market value has really shifted this much.

Swisher: Again, nailed it. Four for 56 million falls at the end of my four for 12-14 per year spectrum. The Indians really aren’t very good and I don’t think Swisher is the franchise player, but he’s certainly a good complementary piece.

LaRoche: Well, I got the team right, but the year and $ total wrong, although if it had gone to a third year I bet it would have been 30 million. The deal was 2 years and 24 million, and the Nationals continue to get better and better.

Dempster: Two for 26 and a half million. Again, I thought the Sox would give him an extra year, but they decided not to (a good choice).

Jackson: The Cubs really over payed for Jackson, at 4 years and 52 million dollars. I predicted he’d go to the Jays for 4 and 40, so that 13 million per year is really too much for a pitcher who has pitched on seven teams (the Cubs will be his 8th).

Unsigned Players: Bourn, Lohse

Bourn: I didn’t expect Bourn to be out there for this long, and I now expect him to take a one year deal with the Braves (yes, I think he will re sign). It’s gotten to that point.
Contract details: 1 year, 15 million

Lohse: It doesn’t seem like anyone wants Lohse. Maybe it’s because he’s older than some of the other FA pitchers, or maybe because he is linked to draft pick compensation. Teams also aren’t willing to go more than two years for Lohse, who wants four.
Contract details: ???- Not enough information to make a prediction

Recent trade:
The big recent trade was the Morse to Seattle three way trade. The Mariners got the power hitting Morse- or one year of him before his contract runs out- for catcher John Jaso, who had a good year last season.  Morse has one year and 6.75 million dollars left on his contract, and the Mariners traded three years of Jaso for one year of Morse. This makes no sense, especially considering that the Mariners won’t contend this year anyway. Morse was a fan favorite in Washington, so maybe that played a part in the trade. But based on value, it’s a really head scratching deal for the Mariners. The Nationals came out way ahead after this trade. They had no need for Morse, with LaRoche at first base and an outfield of Jayson Werth, Denard Span and Bryce Harper. They also have a cheaper and younger version of Morse, Tyler Moore, waiting on the bench. In exchange for Morse they got two pitching prospects- A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen. Both are mid level prospects. They aren’t top shelf but they aren’t class-A level material. The third team in the trade was the Oakland Athletics, who I think also came out well in this trade. They got their new starting catcher, Jaso, in exchange for two prospects at a position that they are already young and good at (starting pitching). Good trade for Oakland and Washington, but one that doesn’t make much sense for Seattle.

Up next: More football mania blog posts! Four teams to go, three weeks left in football (Conference championships, Pro Bowl, Super Bowl)

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