MLBTR has recently published their predictions for the contracts that the top 50 free agents will receive. If you were the Blue Jays, which FAs would you pursue?
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Every year, MLBTR publish their list of the top 50 or so free agents, with their estimates of the contracts that those players will sign. And every year, I invite readers to play the shopping game with us!
Here are the rules. It has been speculated that the Jays have up to $50 million in average annual value (AAV) to spend on free agents. Assume, for purposes of the game, that every FA on the MLBTR list can be had for their projected AAV. For purposes of this game, ignore term and any other factors (opt-outs, no-trades, etc). So with your $50m you could sign one $50m player (if there were one!), or two $25m players, or a $35 + $10 + $5. Entirely up to you, except that you can not exceed $50m in total.
You can hedge your bets somewhat by proposing one trade, to be made in addition to your FA signings. So, for example, if you felt that the Jays badly need an uber third baseman, you could propose signing Bryant … or you could assume that the Jays trade for Chapman or Ramirez. Similarly, you could assume that Toronto trades for Kimbrel rather than signing Iglesias. But only ONE such trade.
Here are the AAVs for some of the top players. You can see the complete list and the MLBTR analysis in the (highly recommended) article here.
Carlos Correa – $32 million
Corey Seager – $30.5 million
Freddy Freeman – $30 million
Kris Bryant – $26.7 million
Kevin Gausman – $23 million
Marcus Semien – $23 million
Robbie Ray – $26 million
Trevor Story – $21 million
Max Scherzer – $40 million
Nick Castellanos – $23 million
Marcus Stroman – $22 million
Javier Baez – $20 million
Starling Marte – $20 million
Eduardo Rodriguez – $14 million
Other players of note: Kyle Schwarber $17.5m, Chris Taylor $16m, Raisel Iglesias $14m, Carlos Rodon $25m, Jon Gray $14m, Seya Suzuki $11m, Anthony Rizzo $15m, Anthony DiScalfani $14m, Justin Verlander $20m, Steven Matz $9m, Kendall Graveman $9m, Kenley Jansen $13m, Kyle Seager $12m, Michael Conforto $20m, Ryan Tepera $6m, Nelson Cruz $12m,
So what do you do? A Scherzer could make the Toronto rotation scary-good, but $40 million will not leave much for other improvements. Last year, Ross Atkins spoke about “adding to this team with talent that is condensed in one player and a super high impact” . So perhaps the Blue Jays are at the stage now where a single ace beats a pair of jacks. Would you spend your budget on a Scherzer – or on a mega-deal for a Correa or Seager – looking to absolutely own that position, and look to fill the other needs elsewhere? Or is it better, rather than adding a single 5 fWAR player, to add 2 fWAR in three separate places?
And who would be your trade target? Should the Jays pays the sky-high price for a Jose Ramirez, or would it make more sense to target a Matt Chapman or Ryan McMahon. A Sandy Alcantara or a Sonny Gray?
Please post your thoughts in the comments section below.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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A Jays fan since pre-Series, Jim’s biggest baseball regret is that he did not play hooky with his buddies on 7 Apr 77. But hearing “Fanfare For The Common Man” played from a rooftop on 24 Oct 92 helped him atone.