Here are MLBTR’s original features from this week:
- To kick off September, Tim Dierkes updated his free agent power rankings for the upcoming offseason. Just two pitchers – a pair of relievers – cracked the top 10.
- MLBTR was happy to welcome former Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, who wrote a piece questioning the Dodgers’ recent decision to trade catcher A.J. Ellis to the Phillies for fellow backstop Carlos Ruiz. Statistics aside, from Spilborghs’ experience, beloved teammates like Ellis are integral to a club’s success.
- In his latest guest column, former reliever Burke Badenhop explained what became of his die-hard Braves fandom when he broke into the big leagues. Badenhop’s career began with the Marlins, one of the Braves’ NL East rivals, and his first outing against the team he grew up rooting for didn’t go particularly well, as he detailed.
- Fourteen major league free agents signed contracts for four-plus years last offseason, but the upcoming winter’s weak-looking market means there could be fewer deals of that length handed out before the 2017 campaign. Tim addressed that and surveyed readers on which players are likeliest to end up signing for four or more years after this season.
- Charlie Wilmoth examined the free agent stock of Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova, a trade deadline acquisition from the Yankees who has served as the Pittsburgh pitching staff’s latest unexpected success story since joining the team.
- Former Pirates reliever and current Nationals closer Mark Melancon is also scheduled to hit free agency, so Mark Polishuk took a look at what the market could have in store for the shutdown righty.
- Jeff Todd highlighted 10 under-the-radar free agents-to-be who are amid successful seasons and could soon receive nice deals as a result.
- In another offseason-oriented piece, I ran down six impending free agents who haven’t performed up to expectations this year. Their disappointing seasons could weaken their earning power.
- Jeff also updated a previous post by Steve Adams and Zach Links concerning notable contract extensions that were awarded in the previous five Septembers.