The shame of the impending lockout – I think we’ll get one if the owners and union don’t come to an agreement before midnight on December 1st – is that it would be staged as a sensational Hot Stove campaign.
There are fascinating, differentiating players. However, the prognosis of motivated buyers is more relevant.
The Yankees and Mets have both worked strategically to stay below the luxury tax threshold in 2021. There is no certainty what the next system will look like – or whether there will be a luxury tax at all. Regardless, none of the New York teams will have an excuse not to spend money. Plus, if you’ve seen this baseball season, they’ll have plenty of reasons to get their teams repaired.
The Red Sox have also fallen under the tax and have done a lot to better position their financial future and at the same time become aspirants again. The Giants have a lot of money out of their books. The Phillies – especially if they maintain the NL’s longest playoff-less streak (since 2011) – should be motivated buyers as they’ve stayed below the threshold this year as well, Andrew McCutchen’s pact is coming off the books and few others Have opportunities to improve spend.
In terms of the longest postseason-free runs, the Mariners look like they’re keeping theirs intact (the longest in the four major sports leagues since 2001). Both agents and executives believe that this off-season Seattle will be the surprising muscle flexor trying to strengthen a young core.
The Rangers and Tigers will also be more willing to spend – expect a lot of Trevor Story to go home to Dallas and Carlos Correa / AJ Hinch to reunite in Detroit. I don’t think the Cubs and Nationals will spend wastefully, but neither do I expect either of them to attempt a sink-to-the-bottom rebuild to get them in the middle and maybe even the top Position in the middle of the market.
There is more. The Blue Jays have room to keep adding to the payroll, and the Dodgers will be heard (especially if Trevor Bauer and his salary are suspended next year). The angels and twins in particular have to find pitching.
Will teams and agents try to break a potential December 1st suspension by aggressively trying to sign players in November? An experienced agent told me that we should anticipate the lockout because there is money in the industry as the ownership strategy is to condense the market to a few weeks in March when a new collective agreement is reached.
Whenever the market hits – and I will at least advocate a timely settlement between owners and unions and a fun off-season – there will be those who increased their stocks in 2021. Thoughts on three:
In 2012, the Righty finished its 27-year season with a 3.74 ERA and followed at the age of seven, which included three Cy Young wins and no worse than a fifth place. His ERA was 3.74 in the 2020 pandemic shortened year. His body appeared to show signs of the workhorse / strength / age combination.
Still, he could win his fourth Cy this year. On the final season of arguably the best free agent deal ever signed by a team (seven years, $ 210 million from Washington), Scherzer could prove to be the best in-season trade acquisition of all time (by the Dodgers ).
For much of this season, I suspected that Scherzer, who turned 37 in July, would sign a deal similar to the two-year $ 66 million extension that Justin Verlander received after graduating as AL Cy Young runners-up in the Year 2018 received is held for two years, that number will start at $ 40 million a year I would think, and could be higher or expanded to three years with $ 120 million.
He should have many teams competing in the largest markets. It’s not hard to argue that the Mets or Yankees should pair him with Jacob deGrom or Gerrit Cole, respectively. What do the Dodgers do when their payroll is restricted – keep Clayton Kershaw in their uniform for his career or sign Scherzer? A strong postseason will only add to the frenzy.
In the ninth year of his career and season at the age of 30 in 2019, DJ LeMahieu had a 136 OPS-plus and finished fourth for the AL MVP. In the ninth year of his career and at the age of 30 in 2021, Marcus Semien had a 136 OPS plus before the weekend and appears to be no worse than fourth in the AL MVP race. He also finished third in that 2019 race ahead of LeMahieu and can still play briefly as he did for Oakland this year, as opposed to second for Toronto this year.
LeMahieu used a third party AL MVP in the shortened 2020 campaign to raise a six-year pact of $ 90 million from the Americans. But he never wanted to leave. Semien, a year younger and proving that last year’s downturn was abnormal with the ability to play shortstop and not have overwhelming ties to Toronto, will do better than LeMahieu, aided by his reputation as a great teammate.
There’s also this: after Fernando Tatis Jr. ($ 340 million) and Francisco Lindor ($ 341 million) signed renewals, the Walk year has the glamorous shortstops – Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Trevor Story – likely aroused expectations of its value. Even in this market, none of these guys are likely to get anywhere near $ 340 million. Semien is likely to get significantly less than these dreams, which may give him and his teams a chance to jump into the market.
In 2019-20, Ray had the worst walk percentage (12.9) among the 61 pitchers who made at least 35 starts, the 15th worst ERA (4.86) and the 11th worst OPS against (0.803). Toronto Ray has signed a one-year contract worth $ 8 million for 2021. He could win the AL Cy Young, who leads the league in ERA, innings pitches, and strikeouts while lowering his gait rate to 6.3 percent.
Toronto will feel the pressure to re-sign its two great one-year contracts, Ray and Semien. It should be noted that the Blue Jays may make use of pitchers of stuff as the starter with the ninth worst ERA (5.09) in 2019-20 did well in its running year as well. This is Steven Matz (12-7, 3.87).
One of Matz’s talented ex-Mets teammates, Zack Wheeler, translated a strong platform year in his 29-year season and elite stuff into a five-year, $ 118 million deal with the Phillies (and could win the NL Cy Young this year). Ray, who is 29 in his season, could spin in that stratosphere as the clubs try to replicate Wheeler.