We’ve recently taken a position-by-position run through next winter’s free agent class, highlighting which catchers, first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, third basemen, corner outfielders, center fielders, designated hitters, starting pitchers, lefty relievers and righty relievers will be available. All in all, it’s a class with top-heavy class, headlined by Mookie Betts and then dropping off to a series of appealing stars like J.T. Realmuto, George Springer and Marcus Semien. Next year’s group has plenty of intriguing pitchers but no standout aces and, outside of Betts, there’s probably no surefire candidate to score anything greater than a five-year deal on the open market. (Caveat: as has been oft discussed, that’s particularly true of next winter, when it seems safe to expect a more tepid free-agent market as owners look to recoup lost revenues from the 2020 season.)
Mookie-mania will make for a fun headline story in free agency. So will Trevor Bauer’s year-to-year mercenary act, which will begin this coming winter.
But at the risk of looking a little too far down the line, it’s hard not to notice that the 2021-22 crop of free agent shortstops might be the single best collection of players we’ve ever seen at one position in one free-agent class. Extensions, injuries and downturns could thin out this group — but unexpected one-year deals this winter (could Semien or Didi Gregorius accept a qualifying offer?) could also theoretically deepen it. As things stand, here’s an early look at a legitimately jaw-dropping crop of shortstop talent that will hit the market upon conclusion of the 2021 season (age for the 2022 season included in parentheses)…
Top of the Class
- Francisco Lindor (28): Lindor turned down an extension offer reported to be worth more than $100MM a few years ago, and the move looks wise. He’s already topped $28MM in arbitration salaries and could plausibly command $300MM+ on a free-agent deal.
- Javier Baez (29): Baez has been in extension talks with the Cubs, but their ownership has been reluctant to spend money in recent winters. Baez was an All-Star in 2018-19, finished second in ’18 MVP voting and is one of MLB’s most well-rounded infielders.
- Carlos Correa (27): Correa hasn’t topped 110 games since 2016, but the former AL Rookie of the Year has been 29 percent better than the league-average hitter in his career, per wRC+. The average shortstop hasn’t topped 100 during his time in the Majors.
- Trevor Story (29): No shortstop has more than Story’s 123 home runs since the time of his MLB debut in 2016 (despite missing about two months of that season due to injury). He’ll have to overcome the standard Coors Field stigma, but he’s hit for power on the road as well and grades out very well at shortstop (career +40 DRS).
- Corey Seager (28): The 2016 NL Rookie of the Year returned from 2018 Tommy John surgery to swat 19 homers and an NL-leading 44 doubles in just 139 games in 2019. With so much star power around him in L.A., Seager has in some ways become underrated.
Established Veterans/Potential Regulars
- Chris Taylor (31): Taylor has been outstanding since the Dodgers acquired him in a low-profile deal that wound up looking like a heist. He’s hit .268/.340/.468 in three seasons while playing all over the outfield and everywhere but first base on the infield.
- Brandon Crawford (35): Long one of the game’s best defensive players, Crawford’s all-around game has taken a dip in recent years. There’s still time for the lifelong Giant to turn things around, though, and he should be provided ample opportunity to do so given his status as a leader in San Francisco.
- Miguel Rojas (33): The Marlins hold a $5.5MM option over Rojas that’ll vest if he reaches 500 plate appearances in 2021. Rojas plays quality defense and is extremely difficult to strike out. But if he reaches the open market after 2021, it’ll be because Miami deemed him expendable despite that affordable rate.
- Greg Garcia (32): Garcia has never hit that much, but he’s a useful defender at three infield positions who draws plenty of walks. Some could argue that his walk rate is propped up by hitting ahead of the pitcher, but Garcia has walked at a 13.8 percent clip in 326 PAs hitting leadoff, too.
- Donovan Solano (34): Solano had barely seen the Majors since 2014 when he came out of nowhere to hit .330/.360/.456 in 228 PAs with the Giants last year. There’s a fair bit of smoke and mirror there, evidenced by a .409 BABIP, but that renaissance will still give him some new life in the big leagues.
- Danny Santana (31): Speaking of unexpected renaissances, Santana brushed away a combined .219/.256/.319 from 2015-18 (732 PAs) to rake at a .283/.324/.534 clip with Texas last year. His strikeout rate soared to nearly 30 percent, though, and while his .353 BABIP wasn’t as high as his .405 mark from his brilliant rookie season in ’14, it still seems ripe for regression.
When a 28-year-old Corey Seager is the fourth- or fifth-best option at his position in free agency, we’ve officially reached the twilight zone. All five members in the “top of the class” bucket were first-round or supplemental first-round picks. In fact, all but Story, who “fell” to No. 45 overall, were selected inside the top 20. Correa was the No. 1 overall pick and isn’t even in the conversation for the best name on the list. All five were top 100 prospects. They’ve all made at least one All-Star team, and Correa is the only one of the bunch who hasn’t won a Silver Slugger (thanks largely to the fact that he shares a league with Lindor, who has won four in a row).
While the 2020-21 crop of free agents doesn’t have more than one total free agent who is a lock for a deal of six years or more in length, the 2021-22 class has five shortstops who could push for that length of contract given their track record, upside and in particular, their age. They won’t all get there, but right now we can’t rule any of them out.
Lindor seems like a lock, barring a catastrophic injury. Baez has some plate discipline questions but is an excellent defender and baserunner with plus power. Story’s defense probably doesn’t get enough attention, and he’s certainly not a bad hitter on the road. (There’s also some evidence to suggest that road performance is depressed for Rockies hitters, just as their home performance is bolstered, thanks to altitude issues.) Seager and Correa have been hit hard by injuries and would do well to avoid the IL between now and the conclusion of the 2021 season, but we’re talking about two shortstops on the right side of 30 with career wRC+ marks of 128 and 129, respectively, and 18-plus fWAR apiece through their first four-plus seasons (Seager despite missing nearly all of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery).
We’ll need to see just how free agency is hit by a season of diminished revenue in 2020 and what impact the expiring collective bargaining agreement has on open-market pricing. The current CBA expires in December 2021. And even if market circumstances are largely normal, to what extent will the sheer volume of quality shortstops available hurt the top players’ earning power? Right now, Lindor is the cream of the crop, but any of the five will have a bit harder time drumming up a true bidding war thanks to the presence of the others. All that said, the stage is set for some unprecedented fireworks thanks to what could very well be the best collection of shortstops we’ll ever see reach free agency at the same time.
Doesn’t the Xander Bogarts 5/100m deal with a 6th year 20m option look like a steal now? How much is Lindor, Baez and Correa about to make? Are they really any better? Some might be, but think they will get more and 1-2 produce less.
I don’t think Correa tops a deal for 15/year. He always gets hurt and his numbers are productive for a middle infielder but he isn’t bogarts Lindor or baez. Nor has the defense efficiency like Simmons
Correa’s offensive numbers across the board are better than those of Baez — at least on a per-at-bat basis. He’s been hurt more often, but outside of 2018, Baez has been more good than great.
That’s not a knock on Baez. I think right now he’d outearn Correa. Just saying that defense, baserunning and durability factor heavily into that.
Obviously, Correa’s 2017 season in particular has an enormous asterisk next to it, but he’s still a No. 1 overall pick and raked at pretty much every stop in the minors before debuting in MLB and winning Rookie of the Year as a 20-year-old.
Regardless of which you prefer, both would easily top $20MM/year in earnings if they were healthy and the market wasn’t utterly decimated by 2020 revenue losses and/or the new CBA.
@ Steve. Nice post. I agree.
He’d top 15/yr, just wouldn’t get a longer term deal; maybe 3-4 years.
imo Bogey was always a steal. he’s a very good player who still has room to grow. i think he really sold himself short.
Bogaerts has an opt out after 22. While we all expect baseball to be business as usual next season, we really don’t know and with the new CBA after 2021, I’m glad for Boegarts who locked in big money but also gets to try again in 22 if the market dictates he should. He’s not flashy off the field and leads simply by example on it. The last two seasons he’s been the best overall at short. His rep in the field isn’t that great but since Pedie got hurt, there’s been a revolving number of fair to ok second basemen and an improving but still learning Devers at third.
X is considered below market value
One of the most team-friendly extensions I can remember.
He can opt out after 2022. Which means the contract is guaranteed to be player friendly at that point.
Agreed Jim. That said everyone at this time was saying the same thing about Pedroia’s deal. There’s a reason why some choose to lock in a deal. Sometimes injuries occur and sometimes a player just isn’t as good as that contract year for negotiations suggested. Risk v. Reward but with the money at stake, sometimes a bird in the hand can make a mess…
Bogey’s contract is pure downside after 2022 because of the opt out. If he continues to succeed they have to overpay him to stay. If he gets injured or regresses they are stuck paying him.
Except he seems to like Boston and has loyalty to the team that signed him. if he was after every dollar he wouldn’t have signed his present deal. I expect he’ll renegotiate but the next deal will also seem team friendly. Again though just remember Pedie.
It was actually 6 years 120, but regardless it was a steal the day he signed it
Not when he has an opt-out.
3 years 60 million was an absolute bargain. Bogaerts age 27-28 and 29 season for 60 million bucks is a steal if that’s all they get.
vincent k. mcmahon
Lindor vs Betts for largest FA contract.
Lindor because of position advantage and no extreme Covid-19 revenue problems. I could be wrong though because Lindor will be older than Betts hitting free agency.
Mookie could take a 1 year high AAV deal and re-enter the market in 2021.
Mookie should get more but its not a lock
I don’t think so. Mookie’s position really lowers his value, great a player as he is. And then there are the COVID-related revenue problems. I bet he either signs a one year pillow w the Dodgers (very likely imo) or we’re all shocked at how low the numbers are.
No way he signs a one year deal. No way. Well if someone gives him like 60 mil then maybe. Someone will pony up.
“Mookie’s position really lowers his value, great a player as he is.”
No it doesn’t. Just a couple recent examples.
Bryce Harper: 13 yr $330 millon
Giancarlo Stanton 13 yrs $325 million
Mookie is a better hitter than both, and one of the best defensive RFs in baseball.
“I bet he either signs a one year pillow w the Dodgers”
A one=year deal would benefit neither party. Mookie has no need to establish his value. Why would he want to delay FA an additional year after losing some or all of 2020? A one=year deal would put the financial burden of the signing on the 2021 season/budget AKA the period that will be most impacted by COVID-related revenue loss. The amount that it would take to sign him to a 1 year deal would make that burden absurdly sizeable.
“we’re all shocked at how low the numbers are.”
Or he’ll get the high AAV contract everyone expects, with a very common “back loaded” structure, with year-to-year salary increases. Something that would actually help a team in the short-term,, financially.
Waiting a year mookie could increase his overall earnings.
2020 he may only get 30 mill a year max. Teams have clearly lost revenue and that will affect willingness to spend on FAs. You could see some historically low FA deals. The NFL just saw a lot of players take 1 year/shorter term deals.
He takes a 1 year 30+ deal in 2020 and reenters in 2021 he could get more such as 33-35 mill a year.
“Teams have clearly lost revenue and that will affect willingness to spend on FAs”
A team willing to spend $30 million for one player for a year is a team whose spending is not being affected by the previous season’s lost revenue, If that revenue loss is a non-factor in ’21 contracts, then taking a one year deal serves no purpose. And again, a back-loaded multi=year deal would do a whooooole lot more to mitigate short=term revenue loss.
“The NFL just saw a lot of players take 1 year/shorter term deals.”
It’s also a different sport with a completely different structure, non=guaranteed contracts, a salary cap, and hasn’t been postponed as of yet. Inter-sports contract comparisons illustrate almost nothing.
“He takes a 1 year 30+ deal in 2020 and reenters in 2021 he could get more such as 33-35 mill a year.”
Or he could get the same deal he would have gotten. Or he could get less, as he is now a year older, offering teams one less year of his prime. This magic AAV increase is a completely theoretical crapshoot. It’s a weird risk Betts would have no need to take.
Your biggest mistake is assuming a willingness to bet hundreds of millions that things somehow return to the way they were and that simply is not going to happen. The idea that anyone would be dumb enough to offer anyone a long term deal based on a previous economic model just doesn’t make any sense. You had absolutely certain revenue last year and now we have no guarantee the game will be played in 2 years.
The idea that a one year deal for 30 mil represents no financial hit last year or issues now is also a little silly. Good teams still have to play and still have to invest. Making a one year bet with an existing TV contract at those dollars is a reasonable risk. Betting on anything longer without knowing if those contracts will pay anything in the future is needlessly insane.
“things somehow return to the way they were”
Yep, that seems to be the given in this hypothetical situation.
“that simply is not going to happen.”
Okay, we can do your hypothetical next.
“You had absolutely certain revenue last year and now we have no guarantee the game will be played in 2 years.”
Ah, the Mad Max possibility. If the game isn’t played in two years, a long-term deal would end up being a minimal risk, ’cause try to collect on the remaining years from a dead sport.
“The idea that a one year deal for 30 mil represents no financial hit last year or issues now is also a little silly.”
The idea wasn’t that it represents no financial hit. It represents a team(s) with a willingness to spend substantial money in spite of the COVID=related financial hit.
The original idea being responded to was Mookie taking a 1-year deal strategically. The market will be what it is. If all he gets offered are 1-year deals, the point is moot anyway.
That’s assuming he markets himself exclusively as a RF.
SS has the biggest positional advantage in WAR, but keep in mind that Betts is at least better than average in CF and 2B is his natural position. Considering the fact that quality shortstops are not remotely hard to come by right now and the fact that Betts can play two premium positions (Yellich, Trout, and Bellinger are the only CFers who can compare to him and he could literally slide in and be considered the best 2B in baseball right now) and any surplus value Lindor has versus Betts for positional adjustment (From a money standpoint) goes out the window.
He’s been a RF in the MLB for 6 years. I think that’s his natural position at this point. He can obviously play any OF spot though. Doubt anyone would look at him as a 2B
If teams are going to have a lqiuidity issue it’d be next year. Betts would need more cash to compensate for a 1 year deal. Teams will be looking to spend less cash on payroll next year. That just doesn’t make sense. Betts will likely get a deal that is backloaded. Or he may get a standard deal. The teams that are playing in Betts’ market aren’t likely to be cash strapped after 1 year of a revenue hit anyway. But, regardless of the teams financial situation, the 1 year deal definitely doesn’t make any sense here.
The fact NFL contracts are non guaranteed points towards MLB spending less on free agents in 2021 since contracts are fully guaranteed. The fact players in the NFL are taking shorter deals tells us a lot actually about markets whether you believe it or not.
Whether it’s baseball, basketball, football, or hockey…..players know there is uncertainty heading into 2021 free agency regardless how contracts are structured. Teams in all sports just arent going to be handing out the same types of contracts they were before, especially since some experts worry corona could make a return during winter months in 2020.
In the case of mlb, players will be looking for yoenis cespedes type deals, the first contract he signed with the Mets. Long term contracts with opt out after 1 year. They may even take less money with the agreement no QO can be attached to them.
Fact is Mookie and everyone heading into FA in 2021 will see their potential earnings decreased.
1 year 30 mill does not mean a team is willing to hand out 9-10 years at 30 mill each year. Far from it actually.
It’s a risk for sure but Mookie would get a higher AAV on 1 year than he would signing a long term contract he’s been looking for.
Nobody knows what the 2021 season will look like, if we have one. But locking yourself into a contract long term in a down FA year isn’t a wise business decision and given the uncertainty of sports the next few years owners aren’t going to hand out long term contracts unless it’s at a price that favors them, not the players.
A long term deal w/ an opt out after year 1 is far different than Betts taking a one year deal. What you said earlier was Betts taking a high AAV one year deal. Him taking a one year deal is preposterous. It simply won’t happen. Now, if a team is willing to commit 100’s of millions of dollars to him AND give him an opt out after year 1… well that’s probably not going to happen from the teams standpoint. These mega deals that contain opt outs typically give a guy 2-3+ years before the opt out. Because you know you don’t want to commit 100’s of millions to a guy who has the right to leave you next season.
So, I don’t see either as being especially likely. Betts May take a deal w/ an opt out. I would not expect that opt out to be for 2-3 seasons if that’s the route he goes w/ the deal.
Rangers will sign Miguel Rojas and then say they made an attempt at getting Lindor.
Understandable since they from hot on Rendon to Bryant to Donaldson to signing Todd Fraizer
Correa is possibly the most overrated player in the MLB. He can’t stay on the field and isn’t consistently worth his hype when he is on the field.
Baez is getting an extension. If the Ricketts don’t allow an extension on rizzo and baez they might as well sell the team but that would be the worst thing they could do. Worry about KB and Schwarber the following year. 5/120 for rizzo and thats a discount. 8/270 for Baez and that’s a discount. Both want to stay. Give them extentions they earned it
Unfortunately I think Schwarber will leave possibly to Cleveland. 3 hours from his hometown Cincinnati is closer but I think he’ll be a DH
2 years later they’ll extend Contreas
I agree on the number for Baez. However, you’re insane if you would give Rizzo 5/120. Has back problems and can only play one position. 2/40 or 3/52 for Rizzo, max. Just my opinion.
Rizzo would want way more than the figures you are suggesting.
probably but he doesn’t want to leave Chicago. He’s been very adamant about that.
Maybe 3/52 and a few mutal club Options worth upto 110-115. He’s been their franchise player for over 8 years. I said 5/120 as a max not a solid guarantee.. so you’re right even at 30 years old 31 on August 8th(and I only know that because Mike Trout, Sydney Crosby and my brother all share the same birthday August 7th)
JHey August 9th
Uh, Rizzo’s not getting $120MM. Not even close. His age and position limits his value, especially in a market where 1Bs are a dime a dozen.
All we know is that whatever he gets—it’ll be a better investment than Jose Abreu. #southsideoverpay #HAHn
Rizzo would be the best 1B in the 2021 FA class, and among the youngest (tied w/ CJ Cron) with ’21 being his age 31 season
“…position limits his value”
This doesn’t mean anything in a vacuum. His position limits his value in that there are positions where an identical player would be more valuable, with a possibly higher earning ceiling. which is not the same thing as a first baseman’s value being limited. A great first baseman, like a great player at any position, is valuable, especially to teams with 1B openings, no promising prospects at the position, and money to spend.
“in a market where 1Bs are a dime a dozen.”
Where is this market? ‘Cause at the ’21 FA 1B market Rizzo is the best by a significant amount. It’s him then a bunch of 34+ year=olds, and CJ Cron. There’s Freddie Freeman in ’22 if a team wants to wait/hope the Braves don’t extend him.
I’d like to thank OntariGRO for talking down to us commoners! I know talking down to people on here was really getting you off. But……..
The only problem is that Anthony Rizzo has a 16.5 million dollar option for 2021! Sorry to say he won’t be making it to free agency… But you’ll get em next time! Peruse the thesaurus some more for some more colorful adjectives for us common folk!
Great! in the ’22 FA class he and Freddie Freeman would be battling for best available 1B, again by a significant margin. He and Freeman would also be the youngest available, save for the made-of-glass Greg Bird.
“Peruse the thesaurus some more for some more colorful adjectives for us common folk!”
But finding adjectives more colorful than the ones I already used will be impossible: “great” “valuable” “promising”…you could decorate a Christmas tree with those. But hey, a request is a request. I’ll try.
Deflect, Deflect! Never admit a mistake!
Seems to work for the stable genius.
It’s deflecting to read your comment pointing out a mistake and respond with an acknowledgment of it and an updated version of the offending post with mistake corrected? Apparently I’m still learning how to please you, complete stranger.
Also, if I was trying to talk down to someone wouldn’t I want to avoid thesaurizing?
He’s only 30. He’s been a top 3 1B for the last 8 years. 1B are a dime a dozen and he fits that bill so he could easily pull in 90-115 mil. And the cubs will give it to him. You’re salty as hell because Abreu isn’t half the player he is
In terms of batting, Rizzo isn’t a top 10 1B anymore. Abreu had a better season than Rizzo, and got half of what’s being suggested here for Rizzo. There isn’t enough demand for a 2nd/3rd tier 1B in the market to support paying Rizzo that kind of dough. Especially when teams can pay next to nothing to a younger player at the easiest position on the field.
You are such a cubs hating homer. It’s absolutely ridiculous that one man hates another team so much that he just spews crap out of his mouth at all times. How is the .405 OBP and .520 SLG that Rizzo put up not top 10 in baseball?
Your boy Jose Abreu put up a .330 OBP AND .505 SLG. Both worse than Jizzo.
You clearly have no idea what a top 10 1B hits like in baseball. You established that with this crap. Rizzo was the fourth best 1B according to WRC+ or OPS+
What about Boof Bonser
When all said is done I think Correa is going to have the worst career of the 5. Just a prediction. But I also think he’s going to make the second most amount of money, right behind Lindor.
There is no excuse for the Cubs not spending money.
Exactly. They Quadrupled the value in 9 years. What’s a few million $ penalty for going over the threshold. Just pay the 6mil and be done with it. Ricketts are all about the money. Just with the slightest talk about a fire sale is insane
Estimated value doesn’t mean anything until the team is actually sold.
Exactly. I do home loans. There’s a difference between equity and cash flow. Your house might have doubled in value but that’s not your cash flow.
But you can crack out that home equity loan and get some cash!!!!
The Cubs don’t need to leverage for cash. They make more money than all but two other teams in the league. The problem with the Cubs is they’re not loyal to their top players. If only Cubs fans were more discerning about the on field product (instead of worrying about the other things).
Brandon Crawford. Lol
Last July , Dude was clocked as the slowest ( foot speed ) non- catcher position player in MLB. Virtually unheard of for a middle infielder.
His defense metrics aren’t good anymore He can’t hit and he’s become FAT and slow.
He seriously needs to be re-classified here as Utility/ Bench option.
RightySpecialist is on point here. Brandon Crawford is just awful now. Most Giants fans, Intoxicated with nostalgia, romanticizing pix of Crawford in a Giants hat at 8 years old or whatever, are in sheer denial of this. He’s at best a bench guy on a contender. A terrible overpay by that fool Sabian
Some of us are realistic and wanted him to be DFA’d last year.
Most of the “3 in 5!” bandwagon fans are long gone. And I don’t think there are too many Crawford fans left at this point, either. But look, everyone can agree that he’s on the decline, and at this point, 35 in Crawford-years is like 40 in Jeter-years. If I’m Crawford, I retire after my contract ends, but who knows? Maybe he lands on another rebuilding team as a veteran-mentor. I think even the most nostalgic Giants fans have had enough of the old guys at this point.
I’d agree with this. I barely saw any Crawford supporters this past year, and those who did support him weren’t doing it because of his performance but his impact on the SF community and the nostalgia factor. I mean, I’d love it if he ended his career with the Giants and all, but he’s not performing at a “starting shortstop” level recently, and I’m hoping either he fixes that or Kapler and Zaidi relegate him to bench duty.
He is slow, 2nd slowest shortstop in the game and in the bottom 26th percentile of sprint speed but not the slowest non-catcher in baseball (per Baseball Savant).
The Indians would be sitting pretty if they had gone ahead and did a mini rebuild post 2019. They could have sent Ramirez, Lindor, Carrasco (possibly), and maybe another sp. It takes more than a year usually for that to trickle up but there is an abundance of talent out there, that they could have done something similar to Price receiving back player(s) to help now/soon with a player or two in each like Addams was a young good potential piece.
Carrasco is not going anywhere and Ramirez probably not either. Both are on team friendly deals, and Carrasco would prefer to stay an Indian for personal reasons and I’m sure they will accommodate him.
Cle is a 90 win team if fully healthy in a normal year and you want a re-build….smh
OK, 5 top players for shortstop hit the market at the same time… which teams are in position to offer a $100+ mil? What teams can pay the money they would demand? The top spending teams have shortstop filled and have young players coming up.
Yankees (Move Torres to 2B?)
Simba is a free agent after this year.
Why would the Sox spend money on a free agent SS when they’ve already extended MLB batting champion Tim Anderson?
This sets up perfectly for my Angels. Simmons is a free agent after this year. Give him a one year qualifying offer and hope he takes it. If not, then let Fletcher cover short for a year.
Pujols contract will be off the books at the same time this class hits the market. Imagine sliding $25 million of his wasted money to Seager and adding him to Trout/Rendon/Ohtani/Adell.
Let’s fix the pitching. Upgrading from Simmons to Seager, makes zero sense when we still don’t have pitching.
Especially b/c it wouldnt be an upgrade
That depends if Simmons proves he can hit again. If you’re getting the guy who hits 20% below league average, Seager may be enough of an upgrade offensively to make up for the defensive loss. If Simmons hits closer to the league average—then you are a net loss making the switch. It really depends on the cost of each player and how much you value offense vs. defense given the rest of your roster.
ALL new contract numbers are going to go way down for a couple years now. No one’s gonna touch the Rendon/Arenado/Cole/Harper contracts, let alone the Trout one, for years, just because of revenue issues. I suspect some of the high priced guys will get traded for nothing too, because teams can’t afford them anymore. Baseball will come back but it’s going to be in empty stadiums, which is gonna absolutely slaughter some teams’ balance sheets.
I think there will be language in the new CBA about player pay in the event of the next virus outbreak (and considering the wet markets are up and running I’d bet there will be another one).
Some percentage will be struck where the owners pay a percentage of shared and local TV revenue when playing in empty stadiums, full wage when life is normal.
“ALL new contract numbers are going to go way down for a couple years now. No one’s gonna touch the Rendon/Arenado/Cole/Harper contracts, let alone the Trout one, for years, just because of revenue issues.”
Again, contracts can be structured to mitigate short=term issues.
“I suspect some of the high priced guys will get traded for nothing too, because teams can’t afford them anymore.”
You have this strange conception of teams’ financial situation as this paycheck-to-paycheck-esque tightrope. There’s not one team that will risk insolvency by meeting their payroll demands next season. Teams can and do operate in “the red” in the short-term, which makes a lot more sense then panic-ditching your best players, Nothing says Guaranteed Revenue Influx like “we got rid of all the guys you want to see and are a worse baseball team now.”
“Baseball will come back but it’s going to be in empty stadiums, which is gonna absolutely slaughter some teams’ balance sheets.”
-MLB Revenue Sharing. The total will obviously be smaller but
-Empty Stadiums = eliminates overhead of stadium operation
-Teams increase ad revenue and fan outreach by leveraging likely large spike in home viewership
-Revenue spike almost guaranteed when attendance restrictions are lifted.
The MLB and its teams don’t operate Feast or Famine year-to-year. A team or league that presents itself as operating that way is a team or league to be suspicious of.
Not a lot of places the top SS can go unless it’s back with their old teams. Lindor and the Phillies maybe, but they’d probably have to let Realmuto go to do it. Reds could use one but don’t typically spend big.
Bye Bye Seager
I see Theo trading Baez and Bryant and Contreras and Hendricks at this point…….remap the entire Cubs system with prospects..
This long delay is just changing the future of the Cubs thinking and other teams with potential free agents. With no fans in the stands / limited seating to occur, teams will have to lower their budgets. Wrigley is a 38,000 seat stadium, not one of your typical 50,000 seat stadium.
Oh wow. If you thought post-championship Cubs fans were “what have you done for me lately” babies before…prepare for them during a Cubs Rebuild.
Story’s power numbers are absolutely a product of Coors Field. His career road slash line of **.254/.318/.440/.758 are below league average. Even Seager has better overall hitting numbers on the road.