Forget about looking ahead to next winter, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan is already examining the free agent class of the 2018-19 offseason, and with good reason. An unprecedented amount of talent is scheduled to hit the open market that winter — Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez are just a few of the stars that will be available. Even more top names (Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Jason Heyward) will also be free agents if they exercise their opt-out clauses as expected, and Andrew McCutchen headlines another impressive list of players who be free agents in 2018-19 if all their club option years prior to that winter are picked up. Big-spending teams like the Dodgers and Phillies currently have either very little or literally nothing committed to payroll past the 2018 season, so lots of clubs will have room to maneuver. Obviously a lot can happen in three years’ time, though Passan notes that several clubs are already making plans for how they’ll approach this singular offseason.
Here’s some more from around baseball…
- There are “no active discussions” between the Braves and Royals on a trade that would send Nick Markakis to Kansas City, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. The Royals have gaps in both corner outfield slots with Alex Gordon and Alex Rios both hitting free agency though Markakis could be a bit pricey with $31.5MM owed to him over the next three seasons.
- In another tweet from O’Brien, he thinks the Braves aren’t likely to trade Ender Inciarte unless they’re “blown away (again) by a great offer.”
- Five teams are showing interest in veteran reliever Jared Burton, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). Burton signed minor league deals with the Yankees and Rangers last season but never reached the bigs, and he didn’t catch on with any other teams after Texas granted him a release in late June. Burton put up some solid numbers out of the Reds and Twins bullpens over his eight-year career, though a down year in 2014 hurt his market last winter.
- The Dodgers’ need for pitching tops Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com’s list of the 10 teams with the biggest remaining offseason needs.
- In a subscription-only piece for ESPN.com, Jim Bowden grades each club’s offseason moves thus far. The Red Sox are the only team that Bowden awards with an A+ (though three others receive an A grade), while the Reds’ lack of activity nets them the only F grade amongst the 30 teams.
It seems like everyone has to be “blown away” to get things done in the market today lol
And they are getting blown away!! Look at what the Red Sox gave up for Kimbrel, the Dbacks gave up for Miller, and the Astros gave up for Giles!! If you want someone you have to pay for them one way or another….and teams to this point have been paying it. So why stop now?
Right?? There are no balanced trades anymore, it seems like.
When teams are trying to contend, their prospects have a lot less value than established MLB players do. People always wanna cite the average WAR potential of a prospect as often being greater than what the team will get back in the limited time it has the established player, but that means nothing to the team in that moment. They need players that can help them then, not in 4 years. Some people just seem to be incapable of grasping that.
Re 2018-19: Got to start saving cap space to sign Lebron.
Braves fans will likely want 5 top prospects and Lorenzo Cain for lackluster Markakis. I can picture the dumb trade proposals already in this comments section. In reality a mid level prospect or 2 (tops) should be enough for Markakis and his only good thing he brings with him, his OBP. No speed. No power. Poor defensively. yet Braves fans will spin it somehow by saying “he’s like the best lead off hitter in the game, hand down. It’s going to cost you at least Ashe Russell and Bubba Starling…. we can go from there.” haha.
One thing I’ve taken from this offseason is that Braves fans overvalue the crap on their team that lost nearly 100 games in 2015. I will say they have gotten lucky. I think both the Angels and obviously the Diamondbacks waaay overpaid for Simmons and Miller. So more power to them. I guess if there is a dumb enough team out there desperate to make front pages of the sports section there will always be someone to overpay for players in a trade. Pretty sure the Angels and Diamondbacks will be in the hunt for new GMs in a few years though and these recent trades could possibly be pointed to as why.
You can’t blame the Braves for wanting the best though.
Also I personally think they aren’t over valuing.
If you want cost controlled some what proven starters you have to pay up to get them.
They are “proven” to a certain degree and to offset the risk that the teams are
taking by taking unproven talent is quantity.
Also I’d say the same thing goes for some of our fellow Cubbies as well.
Although I love Baez and Soler like the rest of you guys.
We can’t expect other teams to offer a kings ransom for
unproven talent no matter how much of an upside they may have.
You have to give up quantity is what I was trying to say lol
That’s why no one is asking for a kings ransom for either Soler or Baez. Most of the trades proposed on here by Cubs fans at least myself offers up pretty sweet players for only 1 in return from the prospective trading partner. Example, I think/thought Soler, Mckinney, and Vogelbach was more than enough for Shelby Miller. I was scoffed at by braves fans. Yet what did they get? The gave up Miller AND a so far so good looking reliever prospect in soon to be 21 year old Gabe Speier for…… Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair, and Dansby Swanson. Ender Inciarte while better at defense has just as good a slash line as Soler. Soler’s .268/.325/.433/.758 over 501 ML plate appearances…… Inciarte, .292/.329/.386/.716. Soler has WAY more power and therefore offensive run production potential than Inciarte. While Inciarte is the better fielder. Whatever runs saved by inciarte in the field, Soler will EASILY make up for it with his power and RBI production. But WAR is waaaay in favor of defensive players over offensive players so of course Soler gets his WAR chopped down because of below average defense, while Inciarte is an above average fielder he gets his WAR bumped up like 3 wins because of it if not more. Offensively they are the same player to date, but that is just because Soler battled injuries in 2015. Had Soler played a full season’s worth of games and didn’t have to battle nagging injuries even when he was on the field I truly believe his 2015 would’ve looked more like .270 BA, .335 OBP, 20 HRs, 80 RBIs, and 65 Runs scored. If he’s 100% in 2016 I think he’ll do even better than that, but definitely at LEAST that.
Aaron Blair. An unproven pitching prospect ranked 40th prospect in baseball by baseball america, and 43rd best prospect by baseball prospectus before 2015….. his first time on the top 100 prospect list his 3rd year as a professional. Billy McKinney in his 3rd year as a professional was also on that list for the first time ranked 83rd and 81st respectively as before….. but he’s 2 years younger than Blair. Also, pitching prospects are a WAY bigger gamble than position player prospects. ALSO, how many more pitching prospects does ATL need? 21 of their top 30 prospects are pitchers for f***s sake. They need to realize that they will at some point need some offense during this rebuild….. oh….. wait…..
Dansby Swanson. A top ranked SS who has 99 plate appearances at A ball since he was just drafted this year. At age 21 he is still very young and likely at least 2 years away. In the BRIEF sample size, yeah, he did solid. However, Daniel Vogelbach is major league ready NOW. I realize they already have Freeman at 1B, but if they are in a rebuild Vogelbach allows them to trade the player who would get them the MOST in a trade, Freeman. Think of all the teams in the hunt for a 1Bman right now. Yeah Freeman is owed a ton of money, but it will be less than what Chris Davis gets this winter and IMO Freeman is a WAY better option than Chris Davis. The Cardinals come to mind. The Orioles are in need of a 1Bman. The Pirates. Possibly the Nationals, who could then maybe trade Zimmerman. Maybe trade Freeman to the Mets for one of their young pitchers. Trade Freeman to the Indians for one of their pitchers. Send him to the Angels for some prospects and Pujols can be the full time DH. Point is a lot of teams are in need of a 1Bman. Either period or in need of an upgrade over what they got. Instead they got Dansby…. a SS……. a position they already have a top prospect at in Albies. Oh well. I guess one of them can transition to 2B. For a team looking to compete again as soon as 2017 (supposedly) the Soler, McKinney, Vogelbach offer gives them 3 players who are ML ready today. It also allows them to trade Freeman who could get a BIG prospect in return, and then some. Possibly the Cardinals’ top prospect pitcher Alex Reyes and a couple of mid-lower level prospects.
IMO Soler, McKinney, Vogelbach is more valuable than Inciarte, Dansby, and Blair. Mainly because the addition of Vogelbach allows them to trade Freeman who would get them even MORE young talent in the form of prospects and likely from a team whoever loses in the Chris Davis market. In fact, if the trade would’ve gone down with the Cubs I bet Davis’ market gets put on hold and a bidding war starts for Freeman’s services since he is younger, IMO better, and signed for less annually than what Davis will get. Getting Soler, McKinney, and Vogelbach, then adding in the stellar prospects they’d get for Freeman…….. Cubs deal would’ve been sweeter. Before Braves fans freak out about trading their only player worth watching on offense, think about it. In no way is this team going to be ready to compete again as is currently in another 2 years. Getting out from under Freeman’s financial commitment gives the Braves TONS of money for the 2018-19 offseason, 3 seasons from now to audition all these young prospects to see what they got. Whichever ones stick, awesome. Whoever doesn’t, address the holes in free agency. Why is the offseason after 2018 the ideal year to spend? Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Dallas Kuechel, Matt Harvey, and Jose Fernandez are just some notable names who are due to hit free agency that year. Clayton Kershaw, David price, and Jason Heyward could also be free agents if they exercise their options that year as well. That’s a potentially STACKED free agent pool that the Braves could be big players in. If I were the Braves GM, that’s what I would’ve been thinking about. Just think, if three of these young pitchers they have stock piled turn out to be legit, and then they go out and add a Harvey, Fernandez, or Kuechel…… that would be a stanky rotation. Let’s say all three Cubs players turn out to be legit in Soler, McKinney, and Vogelbach and Albies turns out to be a stud SS. They can then go out and sign Machado to be their 3Bman and a 33 year old McCutchen. That OF would then be Soler, McKinney, and McCutchen. Infield of Machado, Albies, Peterson, and Vogelbach. As of today that looks like a nasty offense. But what do I know.
Soler and Baez are not a kings ransom…. And seriously dude, write a book or something.
Yes you were willing to offer that trade for Miller, but was the Cubs willing to offer that? I think if they would have Miller would be in Chicago right now. Maybe not for Vogelbach but someone in his caliber. I say that only because the Braves say they aren’t trading Freeman.
I as a Braves fan would love to see Atl trade Freeman and Teheran both to get some prospects back. What about Freeman and Banuelos to Pittsburgh for Austin Meadows, Josh Bell, Jameson Taillion, and their competitive balance pick. Then see if Teheran can get Aaron Judge from the Yankees…straight up if they must.
And since Chicubbies1 is predicting all of them to hit. That puts Meadows in LF, Mallex Smith in CF, and Judge in RF with Inciarte as the 4th OF. Then the Braves have Swanson at ss, Albies at 2nd, and Bell at 1st…When this FA class opens up Machado and 1 of those pitchers are all they need to sign. Then again since we are predicting all the propects top hit…then Rio Ruiz could have already established himself as a to 3rd baseman as well.
My point is that you can’t expect all of them to HIT. That is why the Braves have stock pilled the pitching that they have. If 5 of them hit, then they have a great rotation. If more hit then they have the winning hand and can deal from the surplus to get the offense.
2- You said that the DBacks way overpaid then make an argument for why another package is better… Which would mean you are arguing for someone paying more.
3- The package you offered is not in the league as the other one. Blair is about equal to Mckinney. Blair could be in rotation this year and looks like a solid mid rotation piece. McKinney is a LF with weak D but a good hit tool. He should be a solid everyday player (but he is a couple years away). Soler v Ender is an interesting comparison (not sure why you would put the B or C side of a trade against the A side but cool, let’s go with that). Soler is a beast and I think more valuable than Ender. However, Soler only fits if you are able to flip Markakis and still leaves you with Bourn starting the year in CF. Bourn, Olivera, and Markakis is not as good as Ender, Olivera, and Markakis. I would rather have Ender for this year than Soler and Soler going forward. (Although flipping Ender when Mallex is ready could be big). The last piece is a laughable comparison. Vogelbach has a good hit tool but is a MAJOR MAJOR liability in both the field and on the base paths. There is a solid chance he is a DH. HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU COMPARING THAT FAVORABLY TO SWANSON! That is dumb on every level. Swanson is a top 10 in the game prospect who projects to be an everyday SS with good defensive and great offense..
I think the Cubs offer that you have described would have been fair but in no way was it better or in the same range as the Dbacks offer.
Oh go cry a river in a country that needs a little moisture. Cubs fans propose reasonable trades or at least YOU do? That’s a tall pedistal you’re standing on. Try not to fall off.
As for your trade proposal; yes, I would have agreed to it as an arm-chair gm.
As for you ranting on Atlanta pitching, considering that Atlanta got a great package Miller..even though YOU were willing to give one you felt was better..guess Theo lost your number or something…it may have been a clue as to Atlanta’s strategy; trade arms for bats.
Your rant on Swanson demonstrates your hipocracy. When it came to rating players like Blair and Soler, you loved using BA and Prospectus but not with Swanson. Hmm, I wonder why? He is a talent worth taking a chance on.
I have no doubt your trade package is at least competitive with what Atlanta got. At first you seemed to indicate you were defending it from Braves fans but the way you speak later, you defend it as though the Cubs really offered it. I would even suggest that HAD they offered that package, the Braves probably would have preferred it because they were very interested in Soler.
I agree that a Freemen trade would probably be a good thing which may have been a benefit of the Cubs package that you, Mr. Epstien, had proposes. But it just shows your niavity If you believe baseball business like this happens in a vacuum. You seem to want to convince Braves fans that love Freemen this would be better but if you understand FANS then you should know that a GM has to have at least a LITTLE concern over fan responses to player trades. Additionally, I don’t know that I would want Vog at all, considering the concern mlbpipeline has for his fielding even at a defensive retarded position that 1B is.
Maybe you should consider that the Braves plan does in fact consider the FA class of 2018-19? The Braves roster has a guaranteed money of less than $85 million and according to Tomahawktake, they wont be spending more than $13 million this year.
You think of yourself as a GM? Go see if Theo will take you for his front office. But personally, I agree very much with your last sentence; what do you know?
Soooo that deal is better than the Diamondbacks deal ooooook! Now that’s homer talk. Even with all your explaining smh lol!
A reasonable fan wow! Bravo sir
Every single team has dumb fans, be smarter and recognize that when one of them says something unintelligent, that he/she doesn’t represent an entire fan base. Otherwise you look just as unintelligent. It would be like me pointing out that all of sudden there are tons of cub fans here that just randomly appeared over the last 6 months or so.
You’re totally right, as a braves fan when I saw the names being considered into return for Shelby my reaction should have been “this is an atrocity! How dare the braves fo try and hype up a player to get the best return possible!”
I hsvrnt seen a single braves fan over value Muller. Saw lots get super giddy about the idea of pollock on the braves team though.
It’s not the Braves…… it the fans actually believing these players are actually worth what they’re asking.
If you haven’t seen the Braves fans on here over value Miller you clearly must be new here in the last week because from the Cubs the fans wanted both Baez and Soler and then at least 2 more top prospects. Or they wanted Schwarber and about 2-3 more top prospects. For a pitcher who has a career FIP near 4.00. The Braves are lucky the Diamondbacks, of all teams, have shown their colors this offseason of being truly desperate to be relevant. First waaaay overpaying for Greinke, and then the Miller trade. They buried themselves financially and depleted their system. AZ’s front office is on borrowed time now because I think both moves are going to blow up in their face, big time. Especially the Miller trade. Miller’s peripheral stats say he’s no better than a #3 quality pitcher in any rotation. Going to a VERY hitter friendly stadium in Chase Field. That ERA of his might finally catch up to his peripheral stats. Miller’s 2014 is more in line of what I expect from him from here on out. And that isn’t worth Soler, McKinney, and Vogelbach…… so I’m actually thrilled the Cubs didn’t get him. There are way better pitchers on the block than Miller.
There was an article on the blog In the ‘Zona that showed how Miller’s peripherals don’t really match-up with him because of how he changed his approach and gained new pitches. It was a great read. I’m not going to say that Shelby Miller was worth the haul the Braves received, otherwise 90% of writers wouldn’t be shocked by such a trade, but I think you and a few others on these boards undervalue a player like Miller. Braves bought low on him in the Jason Heyward trade, because they saw how his new approach was working, despire FIP and Sierra not approving.
TL:DR – The blog explains how some stats dislike Miller, but newer stats actually like the changes he made in the latter parts of 2014. Not saying he was worth what they got, but he is better than people give him credit for.
You seem to be undermining a certain factor chicubbies. Demand. Everything comes at a price. When in need, a team will throw the farm away for a player. It just so happens the price was paid by a team that isn’t the cubs. The braves did very well ( and what a haul it was) for Miller. You could argue that braves fans demand ” overhauls” for their players. But when teams are willing to pay, I believe that’s what we call ” supply and demand” chicubbies. Then again , like you said. What do I know? I’m just an armchair quarterback.
I have made cases for Miller to be “over valued” not to get more back in trade. i believe some people were undervaluing him. I compared him to David Price in his first 3 seasons….only to point out you can hand pick stats and build a player up or tear a player down. Example in case is that a guy had stats compare Miller to Hendricks. I provided stats to compare Miller to Price. I was trying not trying to over value Miller, but make a point he could be better then what some people think. I think he is a solid #2 with potential to be an ace. He could possible be at his peak now and be a GREAT #3 starter for the rest of his career. As a Braves fan I love this package we got better then just Pollock. We got an OF to help now plus another middle infielder to pair with Albies and a pitcher who is said to be comparable to Miller in the future.
We get it you don’t like the Braves.
And how is Andrelton Simmons considered “crap”?
As for Markakis, if the Royals (or anyone for that matter) would just agree to his salary I’m sure the Braves would trade him for a PTBNL.
I see the Braves keeping him at least until the trade deadline. Supposedly he wasn’t allowed to buff up last Winter and now he is, so he should have more pop this year. Might actually be able to get a B-type. Either way 11 million isn’t a lot for a RFer now a days and the Braves might want to keep him on as a mentor.
The braves didn’t want to trade Simmons or Miller. They were just listening and letting teams know it would take A LOT for them to go. It shows by all the time it took to move Miller. And plus I honestly don’t think the Angels over payed by much for Simmons. The braves got a top of the rotation starter that isn’t proven in the major leagues, a mid rotation starter that certainly isn’t proven, and one year of a shortstop that’s outta his prime and just went through his first year of decline. Just gets worst after that. No team wants to move a good top of rotation starter that’s controlled fairly cheap. Not even a rebuilding team. But it shows how valuable one is to a team that’s contending so alls the braves did was take advantage of that and got what Miller was worth and more. It was all about timing for the D-backs I say if they didn’t sign Grienke, the deal woulda never happened. Sure the braves got way more than what Miller was worth, but you gotta think of it this was. D-backs send Inciarte, Swanson and Blair to Atlanta for Shelby Miller and a potential World Series ring. By solidifying that rotation with a solid 2-3 starter in Miller could have them a ring before millers 3 years is up. They have solid middle infield depth, needed an outfield spot for Tomas and got a pitcher that Blair could become in 2-3 years the only difference is they got the “Blair” headed for his prime and they got a proven “Blair”. There’s no telling what Blair could show up and be for the Braves. I say it’s a good trade for both sides even with the D-backs over paying.
Markakis is not a poor defender he is a Gold Glove winner
It’s odd how GM’s will view a reliever after a poor season and whether or not reward them with a minor/mlb contract, even sign them to multi year contracts. Look at Craig breslow. He’s no better than Burton, yet he generally gets 2-3m each year. Sometimes gets multi year deals to boot. How about Matty Albers? He gets rocked sometimes and makes 2-3m each year on major league, multi year deals. No problem with some gm giving him one. Now last year am thinking he had to go to ST and earn a job after arm surgery being an exception.
Burke Badenhop? Same thing. What is it? There is 3 examples and only Albers can throw 93-95, rest throw junk, exactly like Burton.
I heard that the Pirates value pitchers who have good two seam fastballs but
maybe some teams value pitch selections and other stats differently.
That 2018-19 free agent class is going to cause this site to crash with traffic. Better start making plans to add some bandwidth.
I hope all of those guys actually hit the market just for entertainment purposes. Get your popcorn ready.
Braves will have money that year and tons . I hope they sign harper,but if not hey there’s plenty good options.
Personally, I would love to see Josh Donaldson in a Braves uniform. If he’s a still capable of playing 3B, and if Austin Riley works out, he can be moved to another position, if possible. Donaldson is from the area (Auburn Univ) and is a gamer – would be a great leader. There’s no way I want ATL going anywhere near Harper if nothing else because of his expected price. NYY will go all-out for him.
Harper , Harvey and Fernandez are going to be very tough to figure out, since they are borars clients
Reds are a laughing stock right now. Anyone surprised they were the only offseason F?
Giants never seem to do enough, but often prove me wrong.
The Yankees as of now also have very little on the books after the 2018 season.
Dylan Bundy for Nick Markakis
There is too much going on in the same trade there is no way that much money is going to be moved for that many players. Julio and Teheran will NOT go in the same deal there is too much value for each of those players to go to one team. Your dream trade will never work it sucks. Teheran will easily get back more and freeman will get back more if they are traded in 2 different deals. You got to look at each players value and it was worth way more than what’s going on in your trade
“Julio and Teheran will NOT go in the same deal there is too much value for each of those players to go to one team”
I’d beg to differ!
I really think you need to go back and proof read the book you just wrote.
Why would you trade Teheran who is under team friendly contract who will be a huge part of the rebuild and contending phases, you just sound like your average joe fan and who doesn’t really understand the game that much.
You just get dumber and dumber every time you post something it’s hilarious I laugh every time you post something I really get a kick out of it
I am a die hard Braves fan since I was born smart I have an idea what’s going and you sir don’t know anything
By the way coppy is a saber metrics genius shows how much you pay attention, that’s one of the main reasons he was hired which makes you even look more dumb
Way to go on a rant about the same thing you have been trying to say every post you make you are absolutely dumb, we all know how much money takes into affect of trades but you realize Michael Bourns defense is not what it used to be and swisher is 35 and hasn’t hit above 240 in like 5 years literally can not save any money by trading them away we have to give money away and that’s not what the Braves are trying to do.
Also I refuse to respect anyone who says they are older than me who can’t properly spell or type correctly. Every time you post something you continue to prove everyone’s point which makes you look even more dumb. I mean you might have a career on SNL being the patsy where everyone criticizes you and the joke is always on you. You are off to a great start by being on here making the post you make
Dang somebody’s ego is getting in the way throwing how much money they make, which has 0 relevance to anything is going on. I live comfortably and I have enough money to do what I want and when I please. The worst part about the whole thing is you still can’t spell right which makes anything you say not credible to me. I still find everything you say quite humorous because 1. Half the stuff you say is irrelevant 2. You can’t spell 3. You have hardly any baseball knowledge and 4. I still believe you are a little boy who can’t spell and is coming up with off the wall sayings. I’m in my 20s and yes I know more about baseball than you, not only have I been playing baseball since I was young I continue to play today. I also follow baseball and are way more credible than anything you have to say. Please continue to post comments so I can laugh about them