Hot Stove Preview -Top Free Agent Positional Players

FA 2015
It was announced on Sunday afternoon that the Detroit Tigers had come to terms with free agent starting pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann, on a 5yr/$110 million dollar contract. With the signing of Zimmermann not only have the Tigers become more formidable, but they have also succeeded in landing one of the “bigger fish” in the free agent market.
Having already taken a look at the best free agent starting pitchers available, we will now take a look at the best available positional players.
Top 5 Positional Free Agents
Jay Hey
1. Jason Heyward – RF
Teams Interested: StL, NYM, LAD, LAA, KC, BAL
Who Should Sign Him: Baltimore. The Orioles have been looking for an adequate replacement for Nick Markakis since they allowed him to depart via free agency last offseason. Unless they can take advantage of the apparent fire sale in Atlanta and trade for Markakis, you can bet that they will be actively seeking to fill that void via the free agency market. Sure, they could re-up with Geraldo Parra, whom they traded for at the deadline, but why not take a serious run at the player who may be the best defensive RF in the game today? Especially with the O’s being a team that values and already employs top defenders at a multitude of positions.
Who Will Sign Him: St. Louis. The Cardinals sent 4+ years of control in Shelby Miller to the Braves in order to get Heyward before the start of last season. It only makes sense that they would be the leading candidate to re-sign him. If they fail to do so, you can bet that they will immediately sign the next best option available, or perhaps even consider signing and moving Chris Davis to RF on a permanent basis.
Terms: 7yrs/$182.5mil
Crush
2. Chris Davis – 1B/RF
Teams Interested: BAL, TOR, LAA. HOU, NYM, STL
Who Should Sign Him: Baltimore. The Orioles need Davis more than any other team on the market and will be the ones to suffer the most if they fail to sign him.
Who Will Sign Him: Baltimore. With rumours of owner Peter Angelos having already become involved in the negotiations with Crush, you can already see how important it is to the Orioles for them to re-sign the slugging 1B. Even with a history of being “cheap,” there is no reason to believe that Angelos will balk at opening up the wallet in order to lock up Davis, no matter what the cost.
Terms: 7yrs/$182.5mil
Yoenis Cespedes
3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
Teams Interested: NYM, StL, BAL, LAA, KC, HOU, DET
Who Should Sign Him: Detroit. With the Tigers floundering at the deadline, then-GM Dave Dombrowski moved Cespedes to the Mets for a package of prospects. Despite a lackluster season in Motown, Cespedes’ play was hardly the reason why the Tigers missed the postseason. With the Tigers still looking to contend in 2016 and having a glaring hole in LF to replace, why not look into a reunion with the Cuban slugger?
Who Will Sign Him: Miami. What!? The Marlins?! But I haven’t even mentioned them as being an interested team… That’s the Marlins front office for you. With the Marlins apparently actively shopping current CF Marcell Ozuna (Seattle anyone?) because of owner Jeffrey Loria’s disdain for Ozuna, the Marlins will be looking for a replacement for Ozuna. Sure, Cespedes proved in the postseason that he is a below average defender in CF, but the Marlins could shift Christian Yelich from LF to CF in order to accommodate Cespedes, or they could just simply choose to play Cespedes in CF. Have I also mentioned Cespedes’ Cuban heritage and the Marlins pursuit of him before he signed with the A’s? Maybe that will be a factor here as well….
Terms: 7yrs/$150mil
Upton
4. Justin Upton – LF
Teams Interested: LAA, DET, BAL, KC, NYY, HOU, TEX
Who Should Sign Him: Baltimore or Kansas City. I sit on the fence between both of these teams as both teams could greatly benefit from the addition of Upton. Both teams need to sign a LF and both teams need as much power and offense in their lineup as possible. I could see the Royals becoming the favourite out of these two if they fail to re-sign Alex Gordon.
Who Will Sign Him: New York Yankees. The Yankees?! Booo! The Yankees have always coveted the slugging LF and with him available on the market, it only makes sense that they take a serious run at him. It also helps that they have been actively shopping current LF, Brett Gardner, and could slide Upton in as a replacement if they do in fact move Gardner. With Upton’s main tool being power, the Yankees may be less worried about handing out a long term contract seeing as his tools won’t diminish as quickly as say a speedy, contact hitter (Jacoby).
Terms: 5yrs/$125mil
alex gordon
5. Alex Gordon – LF
Teams Interested: LAA, BAL, KC, HOU, BOS
Who Should Sign Him: Baltimore. In a similar argument as to why they should sign Heyward, the Orioles are a team that covets defense and the addition of Gordon would give them the best defensive LF currently in the game today. It also helps that they have a glaring hole to fill in LF too.
Who Will Sign Him: Kansas City. Another “no brainer” in my opinion. The Royals need a LF and know exactly what they have in Gordon. It also feels odd for them to suddenly shy away from a guy that they were talking about making a “Royal for Life” as recent as the start of last season.
Terms: 4yrs/$80mil
Best of the Rest
MLB: NLCS-New York Mets at Chicago Cubs
6. Daniel Murphy – 1B, 2B, 3B
Where: Angels 
Terms: 5yrs/$75mil
ian desmond
7. Ian Desmond – SS
Where: New York Mets
Terms: 5yrs/$85mil
zobrist
8. Ben Zobrist – Everywhere

Where: Yankees
Terms: 3yrs/$45mil
fowler
9. Dexter Fowler – CF
Where: Cleveland
Terms: 4yrs/$60mil
parra
10. Geraldo Parra – OF
Where: Kansas City
Terms: 3yr/$24mil
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Hot Stove Preview – Top Free Agent Starting Pitchers

FA 2015

 

With a handful of players having (finally) accepted a qualifying offer and another few having already signed contracts, it’s easy to say that the Hot Stove season is finally upon us.

In the next couple of days we will take a look at the top free agent pitchers and positional players available, as well as some bold predictions and hypothetical trade offers.

Even though a few names have already signed, you can bet that the hot stove will sure be heating up with the Winter GM meetings just over two weeks away.

 

Top 5 Available Free Agent Starting Pitchers 

 

DP

 

1. David Price – LHP

Teams Interested: LAD, SFG, CHC, STL, BOS, TOR, HOU.

Who Should Sign Him: Toronto. This is only about a 20% home fan prediction, but the Blue Jays gave up three prospects in order to get him, and will receive no draft pick compensation if/when he signs elsewhere. Toronto NEEDS a front of the rotation stud to go along with young ace in making, Marcus Stroman, and know all about the type of impact Price can have. Imagine Price in a Blue Jays lineup for an entire season?

Who Will Sign Him: Despite rumours stating otherwise, it makes little to no sense that the Cubs would not still be considered a “front runner” to sign the highly sought after southpaw. Even with a rotation featuring a solid 1-2 punch of 2015 Cy winner, Jake Arrieta, and Jon Lester, the Cubs still need to add at least one starter to their rotation. The addition of Price would make the Cubs an even bigger threat in 2016, not to mention that it would reunite Price with his former Tampa manager, Joe Maddon.

Terms: 7yrs/$215mil

 

greinke

 

2. Zack Greinke – RHP

Teams Interested: LAD, SFG, CHC, STL, BOS, TOR, HOU, BAL

Who Should Sign Him: San Francisco. Tim Hudson has retired and both Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong are off the books. Imagine the impact of a potential 1-2 punch of Maddy Bumgarner and Greinke? Plus they end up stealing a big piece away from the rival Dodgers. It’s also worth mentioning that it is an even numbered season approaching.

Who Will Sign Him: Dodgers. In what should be considered a “no brainer,” the Dodgers need/want a front of the rotation arm and they know EXACTLY what they are getting in Greinke. Besides, it’s not like the Dodgers are just going to suddenly shy away from opening up the cheque book.

Terms: 7yrs/$210mil

 

jordanzimmermann

 

3. Jordan Zimmermann – RHP

Teams Interested: LAD, SFG, WSH, CHC, ARI, BOS, BAL, KC, HOU

Who Should Sign Him: Arizona. D-Backs have the makings of a dynamic offensive lineup but still lack the impact front of the rotation arm to help them compete with the Dodgers and the Giants for the NL West crown.

Who Will Sign Him: Boston. The Red Sox still need a “ace” and struck out in their free agent attempts to sign one last offseason. Sure, they have more than enough prospects on the farm to go out and acquire their arm through the trade route (Shelby Miller or Julio Teheran anyone?), but why opt to sell off some prospects when there are so many tier one and tier two starters available this off season?

Terms: 5yrs/$125mil

 

cueto

 

4. Johnny Cueto – RHP

Teams Interested: LAD, SFG, ARI, MIL, CHC, KC, BOS, BAL, CWS

Who Should Sign Him: Kansas City. Same argument as with the Blue Jays and Price. The Royals need an ace. They went out and traded three prospects for Cueto at the deadline last season to acquire him and are set to get no compensation back if he does leave. Am I wrong in thinking that this makes too much sense?

Who Will Sign Him: Personally, I feel that Cueto will be the guy who gets immediately signed by the team who misses out on their first option. I can definitely see Cueto winding up with one of either the Red Sox, Cubs or Dodgers.

Terms: 5yrs/$125mil

 

 

astros

 

5. Scott Kazmir – LHP

Teams Interested: StL, MIL, PIT, SFG, LAD, ARI, CHC, HOU, BAL, DET, TOR, NYY

Who Should Sign Him: Baltimore. With the Orioles set to lose Wei-Yin Chen to the highest bidder, it makes sense that the Orioles target a player like Kazmir. Not only would he fill the vacant spot atop the O’s rotation, but it also wouldn’t cost them a draft pick in compensation.

Who Will Sign Him: Pittsburgh. The Pirates are looking at (potentially) needing to fill two spots in their rotation with JA Happ testing the FA market, and AJ Burnett contemplating retirement. Sure, signing Kazmir would be a bit of a stretch for the notoriously cash conscious Pirates, but the addition of Kazmir would give the Pirates a legit #2 to slot behind the Cole Train, and it wouldn’t cost them a draft pick in compensation.

Terms: 3yrs/$55mil

 

Best of the Rest

 

shark

 

6. Jeff Samardzjia – RHP

Where: Dodgers

Terms: 5yrs/$100mil

 

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox

 

7. Wei-Yin Chen – LHP

Where: Yankees

Terms: 5yrs/$75mil

 

leake

 

8. Mike Leake – RHP

Where: Brewers 

Terms: 5yrs/$75mil

 

 

Yovani Gallardo

9. Yovanni Gallardo – RHP

Where: Diamondbacks

Terms: 4yrs/$60mil

 

lackey

 

10. John Lackey – RHP

Where: Giants

Terms: 3yrs/$45mil

 

Next Up: Top Free Agent Positional Players

 

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