ESPN.com's Buster Olney writes that there's a chance no player will sign a contract longer than four years during the coming offseason. Here's a handful of the many predictions he makes about baseball's next class of free agent talent.
- Matt Holliday, whose power numbers are pedestrian so far, is in position for a deal worth three years and $30-35MM. Not much when you consider many expected him to sign for over $100MM, but he and Scott Boras still have four months to change the perception that Holliday needs Coors Field.
- Since Aubrey Huff's hitting cleanup in a good lineup, his numbers figure to be strong enough for him to command a two-year deal (maybe even three).
- Orlando Hudson's hot bat and spectacular glove make him a candidate for a three or four-year deal if he can continue producing at a similar rate.
- Johnny Damon could ride "Coors Field East" to a decent contract, but at 36, he's unlikely to see offers longer than two years.
- John Lackey's "likely to get the biggest deal of any free agent this winter" and could be the only player to sign for more than $50MM. Jason Bay would likely command over $50MM, I would think.
- Olney says it's unknown whether the Red Sox will bid three or four years on him and adds that the Yankees may not bid aggressively on Bay since they need room for Derek Jeter.