Who is this offseason’s top free agent? MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand posed that question to a handful of executives, who came back pretty well split between Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon. Those who pointed to Cole as the likely recipient of the winter’s biggest deal pointed to Rendon’s lengthy injury history and the leaguewide scarcity of ace-level starting pitching. On the other hand, Rendon’s backers pointed out that the highest ceilings in free agency belong to star-level position players, who are generally viewed as less risky from a health perspective than pitchers are.
- Which organizations pursue each player will no doubt dictate their respective market values in the coming months. To that end, ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription link) is hearing chatter the Dodgers figure to be in the Rendon market. The idea, per Olney, would be move Justin Turner to first base to split time with Max Muncy while deploying Cody Bellinger solely on the grass. Whether the Dodgers would be best-served beating what is sure to be a robust market for Rendon when their internal options are already formidable is debatable, but Olney notes that the Dodgers’ collection of cheap young stars gives the team ample financial flexibility to make a splash in free agency. Further, he argues that Rendon is the Dodgers’ ideal hitter- patient, with contact and power skills- although of course LA wouldn’t be the only organization to appreciate a player with Rendon’s superstar track record.
- In the wake of the Red Sox parting ways with Dave Dombrowski, WEEI’s Rob Bradford sat down with Giants’ special advisor (and former Blue Jays’ GM) J.P. Ricciardi to discuss how the position has changed in recent seasons. Ricciardi pointed to a number of differences in heading a front office now versus the 2000’s, when he was running things north of the border. Perhaps most interestingly, Ricciardi opined that front offices in 2019 have become extremely averse to trading young players, which he attributes partially to fear of being second-guessed with fans and media more attuned to the transactional landscape. Ricciardi’s thoughts are worth checking out in full for fans interested in how the role of MLB executive has changed over the past decade.
- One person who won’t be taking over for Dombrowski is former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, reports Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. Cherington and the organization parted ways after Dombrowski was brought aboard in August 2015. Nevertheless, as Mastrodonato explores in detail, Cherington deserves some credit for the Sox’s 2018 World Series roster, which certainly had the imprints of the vaunted farm system he and his staff had put together before his exit.