Francisco Lindor is now under contract with the Mets through 2031, and they’ll be cutting him checks for ten years beyond that due to deferred money. Before accounting for Lindor’s $50MM in deferrals, his $341MM contract ranks third in MLB history behind Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. But the net present value of Lindor’s deal is $332.39MM, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, and it’s been previously reported that Betts’ $365MM extension actually had a present-day value of $306.66MM. Fernando Tatis Jr.s’ 14-year, $340MM extension actually outranks Lindor and Betts in that sense, even though Lindor’s final million bucks was clearly tacked on so he and his agents at SportsMeter can at least nominally say he passed the Padres’ shortstop.
In our interpretation, Trout’s ten year, $360MM extension from March 2019 still reigns supreme among baseball contracts. Though Trout tore up his existing contract and technically put pen to paper on a 12-year, $426.5MM deal with the Angels, he had two years and $66.5MM remaining on his old deal at the time. The Angels committed $360MM in new money, which is the figure we think matters and allows for accurate comparison. Baseball’s first true $400MM man has yet to be anointed, and that’s unlikely to happen as part of the 2021-22 free agent class. MLB Trade Rumors maintains the definitive list of the largest MLB contracts here.
Though he had fallen short of our top ten back in March, Astros righty Lance McCullers Jr. is also off the board. McCullers signed a five-year, $85MM extension to remain with the Astros, a reminder that Boras Corporation clients don’t always explore free agency. McCullers had age on his side, as he doesn’t turn 28 until October. The Astros were willing to grant McCullers a fifth year despite the fact that he has never pitched as many as 140 Major League innings in a single season, postseason included. That’s partially due to his November 2018 Tommy John surgery, from which McCullers is fully recovered, as well as the shortened 60-game MLB season in 2020.
As a catcher slated to hit free agency in his age 32 season, the Royals’ Salvador Perez also failed to crack my top ten last month. Perez did better than I thought, with his agents at Beverly Hills Sports Council securing a four-year, $82MM extension. Perez will be nearly four years younger than Yadier Molina was upon starting his three-year extension, so it makes sense that Perez would command a longer term. Perez was also able to inch past Molina’s $20MM average annual value, becoming the third catcher to reach that mark along with standard-bearer J.T. Realmuto.
The 2021-22 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings below represent my estimation of the players’ earning power, with the uncertainty of the expiring collective bargaining agreement set aside. You can see the full list of 2021-22 MLB free agents here.
1. Corey Seager. Even with Lindor locked up, the 2021-22 free agent shortstop class still includes seven starting-caliber players in Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, and Jose Iglesias. Everything we said about Seager last time remains true: it’s exceedingly rare to find a shortstop who can hit this well. It may be foolish to try to read tea leaves based on 49 plate appearances this year, but Seager’s walk rate is higher than ever so far and perhaps this will be the first time he reaches 70 free passes in a season. Will the Dodgers allow their star shortstop to reach free agency? Jon Heyman provided an update on March 30th, noting that the Dodgers “made an effort on Seager,” which obviously did not come to fruition. As he approaches his 27th birthday this month, Seager has a clear benchmark to aim for in Lindor’s $341MM.
2. Trevor Bauer. The most notable recent development involving Bauer was MLB’s collection of multiple baseballs he threw during his April 7th start at Oakland. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “The balls had visible markings and were sticky, and were sent to the league offices for further inspection, the sources said.” Rosenthal the baseballs were “brought to the umpires’ attention.” This occurred only weeks after after MLB sent a memo to teams “alerting them of plans to crack down on pitchers’ use of foreign substances to manipulate pitch movement,” as Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post put it. Per Janes’ article, the memo said collected baseballs would be tested at a third-party lab and players will be subject to discipline.
Bauer, who has been outspoken about pitchers’ widespread use of foreign substances on baseballs, had choice words in the wake of Rosenthal’s article. It’s unclear whether Bauer was even being targeted in this instance, and it seems unlikely MLB could make a suspension stick (pun intended).
Most likely, this story is much ado about nothing, and will have no effect on Bauer’s earning power should he decide to opt out after 2021. Given the structure of his contract, most feel that Bauer is more likely to opt out after 2022. That’s why we didn’t include him in the snazzy image used in this post.
3. Carlos Correa. The Astros attempted to extend Correa by his self-imposed Opening Day deadline, offering six years and $120MM or five years and $125MM. The six-year offer is an exact match for Xander Bogaerts’ contract with the Red Sox, which Bogaerts signed coming off a 133 wRC+, 4.9 WAR season. That contract, covering ages 27-32, contains an opt-out after the third year and a very achievable seventh-year vesting option. The extension still felt a bit light at the time for Bogaerts. It still seems like a reasonable comparable for Correa at present, who hasn’t topped 110 games in the regular season since 2016 (though he was healthy in 2020).
If Correa is able to hit to his abilities (a 130 wRC+ or better) while playing 140+ games, he’ll prove himself right and probably at least double the Astros’ offer as a free agent. Such a contract will probably come from another team, as Correa said of the Astros, “We didn’t get close at all. There were not really any negotiations.” He added, “Once I hit free agency, I’m going to look for a big, long contract. They made it very clear that they did not believe in that.” Lindor’s contract is an obvious benchmark, with Correa noting in February, “I’m the one, I feel like with Lindor, that can do both — offensively and defensively — at a high level. I always have the option of going to third base if it’s needed (for a team).”
Lindor’s ten-year, $341MM contract, which has a present-day value of about $332MM, pays him through age 37. Manny Machado was paid through age 35 on a ten-year deal worth $300MM. Correa may have a ten-year deal in that price range in his sights, or he could tack on additional years to squeeze out a few extra dollars as Bryce Harper did.
4. Trevor Story. Is it too early to start the Trevor Story Trade Watch? The Rockies have virtually no chance of making the playoffs. Assuming the qualifying offer system and its exemption for traded players remains in place, Story would get a little boost over rival shortstops Seager and Correa, who do not figure to be traded this summer. Plus, Story would have two months to start building a case that he’s a 120 wRC+ hitter outside of Coors Field.
5. Freddie Freeman. Asked about progress on a contract extension with the Braves, Freeman told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman on March 24th, “We haven’t been approached yet.” A week later on Opening Day, Freeman said, “There is nothing to report on.” For as much of a foregone conclusion Freeman staying with the Braves seems to be, the club appears willing to let the reigning NL MVP reach the open market or at least get weeks away from it. I could see a sixth year becoming a sticking point. Paul Goldschmidt signed a five-year extension with the Cardinals in March 2019, but he was new to the team, wasn’t on the open market, and didn’t have an MVP on his résumé. The Braves haven’t gone past four years in free agency since signing B.J. Upton in November 2012.
6. Kris Bryant. Bryant has been overshadowed by the shortstops of the 2021-22 free agent class, even though the Cubs and baseball fans have been talking about his free agency since his delayed call-up in 2015. Less than 7% of the Cubs’ season is in the books, but in 44 plate appearances in 2021 Bryant has begun to erase the ugly 147 PA from 2020. In a full-length season, Bryant has never posted a wRC+ below 126. If this is a four or five-win season in the making, Bryant could vault up this list in a hurry. With the Cubs currently sporting a 12.4% chance at making the playoffs, he’s a prime July trade candidate.
7. Michael Conforto. With a 132 wRC+ from 2017-20, Conforto’s track record speaks for itself. That’s why his first seven games of 2021 should be of little concern and shouldn’t affect his free agent value. Though SNY’s Andy Martino reported on March 19th that the Mets made an offer to Conforto, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo wrote, “Shortly before Lindor signed his deal last week [March 31st], a source said the Mets had yet to exchange numbers with Conforto’s agent.”
The day of Lindor’s agreement, Mike Puma of the New York Post wrote, “With the Mets focused on Lindor, extension talks with Michael Conforto fizzled, with the two sides in different realms regarding contract value, according to a source. Though Conforto in spring training backed away from the idea of Opening Day as a hard deadline to negotiate, the likelihood of him testing free agency is strong.” With a typical year, Conforto will be the top free agent outfielder on the market.
8. Clayton Kershaw. There’s nothing new to report on Kershaw, who recently turned 33 years old. Speculation, including from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, seems to be in the three-year, $90MM range for Kershaw. The Dodgers remain the favorite, with the Rangers lurking as the hometown pick.
9. Noah Syndergaard. If McCullers is worth five years and $85MM, Syndergaard deserves a spot on this list. The Mets’ flamethrowing righty, who turns 29 in August, is currently on the mend from March 2020 Tommy John surgery. Syndergaard was said to have hit 96 miles per hour in a mid-March bullpen session and remains on track for a mid-June big league return. That could give Syndergaard more than 20 starts to prove his health prior to free agency.
10. Dylan Bundy. The Angels’ Opening Day starter continues to see his stock rise after three strong starts to open the season. His velocity is up a full two miles per hour from 2020. In his 14 starts with the Angels dating back to last year, Bundy has a stellar 27.3 K% and 6.4 BB%. Bundy won’t turn 29 until November, meaning he’s more than a year and a half younger than fellow free agents Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman. Drafted fourth overall by the Orioles out of high school in 2011, Bundy seems to be realizing his promise at the opportune time.
I missed this last time, but new Cardinal Nolan Arenado said in February that there is a “very, very high chance” that he will not be opting out of the remaining five years and $164MM on his deal, suggesting that staying put is “part of how we made the contract,” where the Redbirds added one year and $15MM to his deal. So, there’s little reason to include him in these rankings. Meanwhile, the Mariners’ James Paxton had his hopes for a comeback season dashed, as the need for Tommy John surgery arose 21 pitches into his season.
Aside from the aforementioned Gausman and Stroman, Max Scherzer, Lance Lynn, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Eduardo Rodriguez remain on the outskirts of the top ten.
I’d put Scherzer and Baez inside the top 10 bumping out Bundy and Bryant and I’d put Story ahead of Correa. I wouldn’t put Verlander in the top 10 but possibly top 15.
If Bauer hits free agent the Mets will jump on him fast
Even if bauer has a good year do think he gets more money else where next year
I’m a lifelong Dodger fan and I kinda hope this happens. Guy can be bit of a headache when it comes to his social media.
I think he could secure a more overall money if he opted out after a good year. Here’s his options:
Opt out after 2021: $38 million salary + $2 million buyout: $40 million earned
Opt out after 2022: $32 million salary + $15 million buyout : $47 million earned ($87 million total over two years)
Contract expires after 2023: $32 million salary ($102 million in total)
It comes down to if he wants to take his $40 million and sign a long-term, nine-figure deal or if he’d rather push it out one more year, collect $47 million more and then go for that long deal when he’s 32. Decisions Decisions.
If I’m Trevor Bauer? Before this contract, I’ve made about $38 million in my entire career. I’ve doubled that in 2021 alone. I’ll more than triple that in 2022. I’m on the best team in baseball in my hometown of Los freaking Angeles. I’m cool chilling here with Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler for another year.
I disagree with Dierkes. I do think the ball inspection will affect Bauer one way or the other.
He’s already trying to deflect possible results as pine tar from a bat, but if he’s viewed as a cheater (the same as he’s accused others), then no way does he opt out.
Then the question is: was the spin rate the reason he got that contract? Most would argue probably yes. Without extra grip, would we then be back to Cleveland Bauer? Is he worth $40M year?
A lot is riding on the results of the ball inspection and several downstream effects can occur…
NY will call him on his BS.
Doubt That …
They don’t Like The Way They we’re Jerked Around; They’ll see How Stroman & Syndergaard Do whole Also keeping an eye on Matz who didn’t burn any bridges
Mets would be wiser to sign Carlos Rodon rather than Bauer. Rodon will be half the price, in dollars and length – and come fairly close to the same quality.
Because we know Reinsdorf won’t go overboard, especially since Giolito is not locked up, and Keuchel is getting much more than he deserves.
So which is it? Does Reinsdorf not pay guys or does he pay them too much. Love the Reinsdorf hate when it’s convenient, even though you have two different arguments with how he handles contracts.
Depending on how the rest of this year goes, Rodon may take a contract to stay in Chicago. If he can stay healthy all year, I could see him signing a 3 year deal with the Sox with some mutal option years. Sox are far more willing to bank on success of their players and let them earn their contracts than other teams have been.
You think Baez is more valuable than Bryant? You must only watch sports center highlights.
Bryant is always hurt and is a less consistent hitter in terms of average
Bryant .280 lifetime….Baez .264—-I see exactly where you find Javy a more consistent hitter in terms of average. And because this is the internet there are probably people out there that believed what you wrote.
Because we all know batting average is how you qualify how good a player is
Exactly, batting average is generally speaking, an overrated statistic. So yeah, .250-.270 hitter with power > .280-.300 hitter with little power. Of course the .250-.270 that hits for more power is going to strikeout more, but probably still have a higher on base percentage because he’ll have more walks.
Youth and defensive position is what props up Baez. He is not necessarily better than Bryant.
Baez is a hotdog. Never could hit with any consistency. Yeah he’s flashy but not worth a big or long term contract
Bryant is better offensively than Baez and he’s not a bad 3rd baseman but his numbers do seem to be trending downwards since 2018 (except for a great 2019). But this offseason will be the year of the free agent shortstops and Baez won the Gold Glove at shortstop in 2020. For a shortstop Baez is well above average offensively, but his OBP has always been low. Ultimately whether Baez finishes above Bryant in the 2021-22 free agent rankings will depend entirely on what kind of season each of them has.
Lynn is easily ahead of Thor right now. Wait for Noah to get back on the mound in the regular season for a couple starts before handing him the McCullers deal.
Max is probably outside the top ten based on total dollars just given his age.
Baez is just living on reputation at this point. I’d prefer Semien as my SS right now.
Lynn going nowhere.
Sox will pay to keep him.
@chisox_fan wish the birds paid to keep him, lynn isn’t the sexiest pitcher but he’s a work horse and there just as valuable as a tor guy.
Story not in the top 3? That’s a no by me, chief. Correa is too injury prone.
Correa and Story have played the same number of games in their career, so I’m not sure how your going to use that to move Story ahead of Correa when Correa has been better during those games.
I forgot that the Astros gained the extra year of service time by holding him down for a month. So disregard. Still think Correa is better than Story.
I get that Correa is a couple of years younger, but the games played being even doesn’t necessarily paint Correa in a positive light. He’s been up for 1 extra season, which validates the injury concerns OP presented. Being 2 years younger and debuting a season earlier speaks to Correa’s abilities, just saying being a bigger injury concern seems like a fair statement.
I definitely agree, I forgot that this is Correa’s seventh season. But whether looking at their best seasons or career averages, I believe that Correa is a much better offensive player.
Because Correa has been in the league three seasons longer and only play one full season. Having played the same number of games is meaningless! Story plays everyday!
Yep. Since 2016:
Games – Story 98 more
Story has been better defensively.
Since 2016, Correa has been better offensively – 126 wRC+ vs. Story’s 113
Since 2018, Story has been better offensively – 122 wRC+ vs Correa’s 116
Story is not better than Correa defensively.
Story is better than Correa defensively and it’s not particularly close by both eye and stats.
Agreed. And I do value defense more than most. For many fans it seems like it’s all about hitting. But while Story has the better glove, Correa is the better hitter. And I’d totally agree that Story was the superior SS, if Correa was not a good defender. But he is still above average. So for me, the above average defender/better hitter, Correa, is more appealing, even if Story is the better defender.
Story is way better than Correa defensively
I think it may be a mistake to assume that Correa will struggle with injuries for the rest of his career, and then assume Story will be healthy.
Correa did miss significant time 2017 through 2019, but has been healthy since. I agree it is something to take into consideration, but I think it’s overblown by a lot of fans.
Forgetting the injury concern, IMO, Correa is the superior player. Factoring in that concern makes them about even, but with Correa having more upside. I would be happy with my team signing either, though I do prefer Correa.
Ducky Buckin Fent
I just like Story (who will never wear the green & gold of bump city, btw) more than I do Correa – injuries or not.
yeah I agree. I like Correa but his numbers just arent there also Story may be able to move around move then Correa. and that’s not factoring injuries in.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Though still a very good player, it seems like Correa’s slipping somewhat, @DarkSide. When I ask myself whom I’d prefer on the squad I follow, I’ll take Story as his glove is better & I like that career .543 slugging percentage.
& – well – my club loves power hitters, they perform well in our park, & we can use some definitely use some help with the leather.
All that, even before we talk about the troublesome nature of back injuries or possible banging scheme aided production.
Certainly not cut & dried, as other arguments can be made in favor of Correa. But I’ll take Story at this point in their careers & I don’t think that’s a bad choice.
Correa does not come across as very likable. I have always thought he was a solid player, but his attitude? The way he dismisses the franchise that drafted, developed, and played him? I don’t know how excited I would be to sign a “me” guy like that.
Wait… nolan arenado… coors effect…
Ducky Buckin Fent
Hurry…dj lemahieu…coors effect…
i know right both dj and nolan just can’t hit anymore outside of col they should both just retire now. (note this comment is fully sarcastic)
They say it about Trevor Story also. Dexter Fowler… Matt Holiday… How many times does the story have to be debunked before they stop telling it?
How about an element of proportionality? I don’t think anyone is saying Trevor Story can’t hit outside of Coors. But some are unduly influenced by things like his average of 22+ HRs per season, when that is clearly a Coors effect. He’s hit 84 HRs at home, and 50 on the road.
Park effects stats like his 113 wRC+ say he’s a 13% better hitter than MLB average. That’s exceptionally good for a superior defender at short. And it’s what any team that signs him should expect. But that’s far below Seager’s 131 wRC+ or Correa’s 127 wRC+.
Yes, he is a good hitter, but also yes, he’s benefitted from playing at Coors. One would be foolish to ignore the percentage of boost he gets playing there. Any team that signs him will be lucky to get him, but he’s not going to average 22+ HRs in just about any other park.
Correction Kris Bryant has only batted 37 times this season
That’s at-bats, I’m using plate appearances.
I will forever resent whoever named the at-bat and didn’t include walks, HBP, etc. It makes baseball parlance so much clunkier.
You have to have a category that omits BBs, HBP, etc. ABs is crucial for determining BA and SLG. I understand those stats aren’t the most illustrative ones anymore, but still have some value.
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
So what will it take for people to see the Braves don’t care about winning? Freeman moving on?
What will it take for you to accept the truth of your own argument and follow another team that does care about winning or does things exactly when & as you would have them do? Braves fans whining about the first 2 weeks is Hilary Swank crying because she doesn’t think she’s pretty. No one cares, please move on.
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
So I take it you will be okay if they let Freeman walk?
Yep. If he doesn’t want to stick around on a team that obviously doesn’t want to win, he can go to a team that’s either serious about winning or “closer to home.” No skin off my nose.
I will be ok if they let Freeman walk. Will you? AA won’t give out a bad contract, even at the expense of fragile Braves fans.
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
Fair enough. I respect people who couldn’t careless about whether or not their team wins. They watch them just to “support” them…for some reason. Whatever floats your boat.
I don’t watch them at all. It stresses me out.
“AA won’t give out a bad contract”???
So Hamels and Keuchel weren’t bad contracts? Or do they not count because it was 1 year?
If 1 year contracts are immune from being bad then by that definition AA hasn’t really given out any contracts period because that’s just about all he’s given out.
Except for the Will Smith contract, which is looking worse and worse by the day. And the fresh Ozuna contract, which is TBD. Those are the only multi-year contracts worth noting.
So yeah no bad contracts if you’re excluding 1 year deals. But no good contracts if 1 year deals are excluded too. So in other words he’s literally done next to nothing by that definition.
Letting Freeman walk would definitely fit the mold of doing nothing, we can agree on that
That contract was fair at the time that turned bad because of injury. And was it all that bad considering it was prorated to 2020, meaning about $6.6M, some of which should have been covered by insurance. You’re conveniently forgetting the 2 of the best contracts in MLB, but go ahead. Letting Freeman walk though hes still under contract and hasn’t been extended 2 weeks into the season.
So you are saying that for a team to care about winning, Freddie Freeman has to be on their team? Regardless of price or contract length? Blank check with your account number on it? Are you a fan of the team, or the player?
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
Actually in this case YES. You think letting Freeman walk and opening up a giant hole in the lineup that is already poor (from the depth/minors standpoint) something the Braves can afford?
They need to extend Freeman, overhaul the bullpen, and get a third baseman.. at least.
Until then, this team will never win anything beyond another worthless division title (if even).
Reassurance is nice and many people use it. They beat the Reds and Marlins last season. Don’t forget that.
I know, right?
Seager being #1 on this list is by far the stupidest thing I’ve seen on this site all day -and there’s A LOT to choose from! For the love of baseball wake up & smell the powering steering fluid.
Yeah, really dumb to place one of the best hitters in his prime, who plays a premium position and won the World Series MVP, at the top of the list.
And forget the park factors. Never mind that he has hit consistently in many of the toughest parks.
Someone’s definitely sniffing the power-steering fluid.
There is nothing worse in sports than the self hating fan.
There’s is nothing worse in sports commenting than absolutes.
The Braves aren’t going to let Freeman walk. They’ll get a deal done. For all we know they could be working on it right now. The Braves notoriously keep negotiations quiet; and as much of a team player as Freeman has been, he may be doing the same? It’s hard to know what they’re going to do.
I will give you this much though: if they do let Freeman leave, it will change my view on their approach. Freeman really is the pillar of the team, as talented as RAJ is. The only caveat being unless he asks for ten years or something, which I don’t believe he’ll do.
I’ve been a Braves fan all of my 48 years. The key word here is “Braves”. That is the problem with so many people nowadays, they only care to follow players. If the Braves and FF can’t come together on a contract that is mutually beneficial, it is what it is. I won’t stop being a Braves fan because one player leaving the org. If that were the case, I would have stopped when they let many players walk, Brian McCann comes to mind.
I believe Juan Soto will be the first $400 million man.
There is nothing I would love to see more then Freddy Freeman don that Nationals jersey!
That would mean WSH would have to move on from Zimmermann — and they ain’t happening even if he could throw it farther than 41-year-old Drew Brees.
You really think Zimmerman would stop Nationals from signing Freeman?
It’s more of a comment of WSH’s love of Zimm than signing Freeman. Honestly, I couldn’t see him going there. LAA/TOR would be the favorites for non-Braves, but that’s just imho.
Isn’t Zimmermann just a bench player at this point? I don’t see how signing Freeman means they’ve moved on from Zimmermann
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Good point. If there is any player out there its Soto.
I agree with Soto and I do not think anyone else is going to approach that level with him for quite sometime. No one currently in the majors or minors id wager
Let’s see how Bichette and Vlad turn out
Most likely. Soto is set to hit free agency at the age of 25, which is pretty rare.
13 years, $500 million seems possible
Yea with $450 mill deferred since it’s the Nats
I’m sorry vta, but I just can’t see any way he can convince a team he’s worth 140M more than Trout. Market price does matter, even for historic level guys
I honestly don’t see him getting more than 450 and that’s nuts to type out
@Nats – and there are few things I’d hate to see more than Freeman in a Nats jersey. As a Braves fan, that would look hideous. Ha ha
I really hope we can keep everyone but if not I’m also Ok with handing Andrew a bunch of extra high draft picks.
I don’t see kershaw being retained by dodgers for 30 million per season with declining velocity. 20-25 million per season for age 34-37.
I also don’t see dodgers going 10/300 plus for Seager with his extensive injury history (thinking dodgers would prefer shorter term higher aav to stay competitive)
Kenley is gone, so is kelly and likely kershaw if he expects top dollar. That frees up 65 million more if bauer opts out (doubtful) Also have to worry about muncy and chris Taylor in coming years and in 24’ and 25’ bellingers/buehlers potentially behemoth deals. Dodgers will likely have to choose between seager and bellinger or find a way to deal players like pollock and price.
Dodgers will easily go $300 million for Seager. They don’t let the guys go that they like.
Kershaw will get the Kobe deal. More than his worth, but have to respect the guy, and it’s not like he’s trash.
As for future payroll, Price’s $16 million will be gone after next year too. Same with Pollock’s $12 million. Same with Turner’s $17 million.
Kershaw will be open to a contract that includes a big base pay guarantee plus significant performance bonuses. And how do we know that? Because this is how his current contract works. Going forward the base will be lower, maybe in the $20-25M range, but with potential to go to $25-30M or more if he checks all the boxes.
Seager’s “extensive injury history” amounts to two surgeries he had at the same time. Do any of these conditions look chronic to you? He will get at least ten years and $300M from somebody, probably the Dodgers. If you believe the Dodgers just don’t go for those sorts of deals, you must have missed the one they made with that Betts guy.
Maybe you missed it but seager is not close to betts. Where do you expect dodgers to be able to roster betts, seager, bellinger and Buehler let alone kershaw on 30 million dollar + deals lol sike. Do some common math that’s 150 million for 5 players not including if bauer stays. Cap will be around what is now.
It’s not hard to do the rough math. Seager’s new deal will be his 2021 salary+Kenley Jansen’s money. That’s about 31M. Kenley will walk and be filled internally, most likely
I still don’t think Seager tops 341, but if he continues his 2020 repeat I guess he could. He’s been unbelievable for over a year. Dodgers prolly told him, if you think you’re worth that much, prove it. We can sign a check in the offseason
Joe Kelly drops off nearly 9M. Even if Kershaw gets 30M, it will be less than his current deal(he’s playing on a near-record extension). There’s likely a net gain with CK or at a min it’s a wash. Kelly gives us 9M, and it’s probably closer to 15M gained in salary here combined
Pollock+Price=28M. Bellinger already makes 16M. He’s not getting more than 36 AAV(trout$) and that’s a maximum. That’s again at least 9M more of a net gain
So that’s 18M minimum so far of a net gain to push toward Buehler. With CK, could be upwards of 24M. Probably not enough on its own to cover his next salary. But certainly 2/3+
Young guys like Graterol. McKinstry, Gonsolin and May would be prime candidates to cheaply backfill the departed
Bauer is gone after year 2 unless he’s hurt. His 40/45M is insignificant to Bellinger or Buehler , neither need new deals for 3 more years. The dodgers gave him short term money precisely so he wouldn’t muddy the waters later on
Kershaw is still regularly putting up sub-3.00 ERAs. If the Dodgers don’t pay him $30 million per year I’m sure somebody will. Texas comes to mind. So does Anaheim.
Isn’t Bellinger currently the best hitting SS in mlb? I don’t see him taking less than Lindor. When you have lots of great players they will all demand to get paid. That is just how free agency works. The Dodgers will have some hard decisions to make this offseason.
Seager is going to have to earn 341+ with a massive 2021 100% healthy. His size+necessity to move to 3B and the injury stigma, fair or not, will hold his years down
So will the market. Who’s bidding against LAD? SD has been the most active 300M giver, and they’re set at SS/3B. The Yankees would have to give up on some big name, young talent to justify 300M for a SS, and Hal isn’t George so don’t just say “well it’s the Yankees!”.. Cohen doesn’t need another SS. Does Philly really do another 300M deal when the first got them 2 maybe 3 straight barely 500 years? You think the angels add another 250M+ deal right after Albert got them…squat? I’d be surprised
La prolly said here’s machado’s deal. If you’re worth more, we’ll talk in the offseason. Go prove it. Friedman doesn’t bid against himself like Cohen clearly did
Seager is already earning it, if you compare his performance to others who’ve recently pulled down guarantees of that size. And he can’t be compared to Betts? Funny stuff. Try looking at their career OPS+. Even including his injury seasons Seager and Betts are virtually equal. Then look at last season and tell me they are way different.
And, we’ve been hearing how Seager has to move to 3B since the day he was drafted. Nearly ten years later and somehow it’s still a thing. So keep saying it, you might be right, some day. Stopped clocks, and all.
The player market will give Seager his due respect even if some fans never will.
Blue talk this out. They have the same career OPS+. Betts probably the best RF in the game currently defensively. He’s also a fantastic base runner
Seager is serviceable but he’s not elite at either of those skills
I’m a huge Seager fan. Always have been. But to get 342, imo, he has to show he’s a 140-150 OPS+ bat for multiple years in a row, instead of the 110-120 bat. I know he’s doing it to this point. But that’s what I mean when I say prove it
And because Seager hasn’t been a 3B yet, it’s a moot point? All the talk since draft day was predicated on “when he filled out his frame”. He’s clearly bulked up the last 2 years. I’d wager close to or more than half his new deal will be played at 3B.
In evaluating Seager you have to remember how much time he lost to the surgeries and recovery. When that stuff wasn’t happening he was as solid a hitter as any in the game today. He hasn’t got the defensive skills of Betts, true, but he does play a premium position and he plays it well enough to keep it. He may well end up at 3B at some point in his career but it’s really difficult to say when that might happen. I don’t see signs of it coming any time soon. With Lindor as the comp I think he gets somewhere in the same neighborhood in free agency.
Yes, Trevor Story to Oakland for any 3 or 4 of their young blocked depth who would be regulars on the Rockies makes perfect sense for both sides. A’s replace Andrus with a legit masher who’s probably better than him at everything else too, and the Rockies get out from the rest of his contract, and get some interesting prospects of the A’s. Soderstrom, Puk, Jefferies and Allen would not be involved, but that still leaves more than enough for a couple months of Story, along with the rest of whatever’s left of his $18M salary, which is a significant thing too.
Trevor Story will be in St. Louis before the year is out. I see another block buster deal that would send both Story and Blackmon to St. Louis. DeJong will be part of the deal going back to Colorado with 3 others. Possibly even Matt Carpenter if he can ever get his hitting timing corrected.
Yeah I’m sure the Rockies would be all over….Matt Carpenter.
Matt Carpenter……. trade to the Phillies for the Ballgirl down the line at Citizens Bank park. Carpenter has no value outside of St Louis. He should retire gracefully.
From an economic perspective, if you discount the value of deferrals, you also have to discount the value of every year’s payment in a contract after the present date if you want to determine the present value of a contract when signed. With interest rate so low, it may not make much difference on a three or four year contract but for these long-term deals, present value on year ten makes a difference and whether the contract is front- or backloaded makes a difference in value on what may be the same dollar total over the same period. It’s Econ 101, or better, it’s a standard question on an Econ 101 exam.
You’re right, but I believe Tim was accounting for the length of the contract (not just deferrals) is figuring their present value.
I can see that. I guess I’m trying to say, “This is the real amount committed to each guy at the time of signing,” though we do understand that due to inflation A-Rod getting $252MM in 2000 is very different from Anthony Rendon getting $245MM in 2019.
That’s true too, but… I thought you were more saying that $250M paid out today is worth more than $25M paid out annually over ten years.
Tim is right, you are wrong! OBEY THE MASTER!
story >>> correa
Correa >>> Story
Correa is definitely better than Story. Just needs to stay healthy
I would rather have Story at short. He’s solid defensively… has great speed. Has some serious power. He will be a top player for some time. I don’t think he is going to be demanding top pay… he seems like he just wants to play.
Correa is a hotdog looking for $.
tbh I can see Freeman getting 400 million, the Angels immediately come to mind as Pujols comes off the books.
He’s going to be 32 in September. He’s not getting anywhere near $400m.
Pujols was allegedly 32 at the time, too. Allegedly but not really.
You clearly don’t watch angels, Walsh is younger and cheaper option and has looked pretty good this season and last. Think angels would likely lock up bundy and get another arm than sign freeman for his past prime years.
First base is covered for a while. Doesn’t mean Arte won’t interfere with the front office and do something stupid, but he shouldn’t.
They still have huge contracts for Trout, Upton, and Rendon, though. In fact, they structured Rendon’s contract to give him a huge raise starting in 2022 *because* Pujols’s contract comes off the books at that time.
Upton comes off the books after 2022.
Dylan Bundy.Another case of the Os good drafting but terrible development. Bundy was ok but not that good for the Os.
If Syndergaard is healthy this winter , then the Giants need to be in on him. They don’t have a pitcher with top of the rotation talent in their farm system. They kept their money in reserve this offseason. The need a top line starter and he is the only candidate IMO.
Like Harper, Correa is overrated.
Nobody in his right mind would give Correa a 10y contract. Maybe 3y with incentives and many buyout options. He’s a part-time mlb player.
He’s worked more as an influencer, politician and cheater producing overstated statistics.
Defensive risk: Right now he has committed 3 errors also. Maybe can extend his career playing 1st base, RF or third base if he practices more his overhead throw. Maybe his future is in Japan or Mexico. Don’t get me wrong, he could be an MVP IF, MLB insist on modifying the game and the schedule is reduced to 110 games, 7 inning per game, pitchers pitch from second base, DH rule is modified. 😉
I agree, but someone will overpay. As often happens, inconsistent players have great walk years, someone pays like that is their usual season, and then the player reverts to their inconsistency.
@PeonGammaClass, That is hilarious. 27.1 WAR. Only able to cheat one season, 2017. Put up 8.4 WAR since then including 1.6 in shortened season (equates to 4.7 WAR in full season.). Defense? Here is reality. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/leaderboard/outs_above_average?type=Fielder&startYear=2021&endYear=2021&split=no&team=&range=year&min=q&pos=6&roles=&viz=show Same as Seager.
His future is a SS in MLB for the foreseeable future, At least the next 6-7 seasons.
Harper has put up a 6.5 WAR and 135 OPS+ since he signed with the Phillies (2019-2020). Puts him in top 20 of all players over that period. 1671 guys played in the majors over that period. Top 20 is pretty good. Far from overrated.
Seems like you are watching another game than MLB.
That leader board for OAA is an extremely small sample.
I thought I was posting one for all the years, not just one. Make the changes at the to of that page. 9 OAA since 2016.
Okay, so how many of those guys with better OAA scores can hit anywhere near as well as Correa?
Answer, 4, Lindor, Baez, Story, and Trea Turner,
How many of those 4 are available in free-agency?
Answer, 2. And who’s the better hitter by wRC+ and OPS+?
His durability is a legitimate concern, but he clearly has the most upside, and would be my choice to sign. Not to diss Seager, who is a better hitter than Correa, but not nearly as good with the glove (-6 OAA). So I still think Correa offers the best balance of hitting and defense.
The amount of errors is about the worst way to judge a player’s defensive ability. Ozzie Smith had tons of errors. Story is better with the glove, but Correa still offers superior defense, as well as being a much better hitter.
I agree that harper WAS overrated when he played with the Nationals.
However, with the Phillies he’s embraced being a team leader – he no longer pouts. He’s become extremely good on D – has cut out the showboating (i.e. overthrowing the cut-off man to show off his arm….which moved the hitters into scoring position), stopped doing dumb things running the bases, and will take the ball to LF if he’s platooned that way or the pitcher won’t give him anything to pull.
Harper is a totally different player today then he was with the Nationals.
Imagine thinking Correa is a “part time player”.
Due to injuries, he kind of has been.
I lost some respect for whatever person that came up with this list. I’m okay with Seager first and even Bauer second, but no way Correa is 3rd. Story is a far better player in ever facet of the game. Freeman is definitely ahead of him as well. I’d be shocked if Correa gets more than a 4 year deal worth 25 a year.
Prepare to be shocked. My name is at the top of the article btw
In what way? Do you think Correa is going to get paid more than story? Bigger question, do you actually believe he is a better player? That’s just insane. I can understand maybe getting a bigger payday than freeman but no way is he actually a better baseball player.
Do you watch baseball games at all? Correa is better than Story.
The only thing Correa has going for him is that he’s younger. Story has better stats across the board.
I believe Correa will top Story’s payday, especially if Correa is open to playing 3B. That’ll open up his market more. If he’s healthy, Correa is the better player. The big question with Correa is availability.
Story is a career .251 hitter with a pedestrian .761 OPS, when you put him at sea level. I’d rather have Correa.
The large market team s continue to overpay. Correa is 26 years old. He’ll do better than 4/100.
However, at some point the large money contenders will realize that throwing more and more money at guys that play their hearts out in their walk year, but are only able to replicate that year in 20-40% of the time during their new contract. is not getting the teams where they want to be. Out of self-preservation more owners / FO’s continue to be more responsible each year. So at some point the crazy spending will pull back. But we’re not there yet.
As for SS’s, José Iglesias was a favorite of mine when he played for the Tigers. In the last 3 years he’s done extremely well for the Orioles, Reds, and now Angels. His salary has been downright miniscule compared to the name SS’s. There is no way in the world he should be playing for 15-30% of what the name guy’s get playing a defensive position like SS. He’s arguably playing as well defensively as most, if not all (and he’s playing D better than most). He’ hardly been a stiff with the bat. If I had a team I’d love him as a SS for a reasonable salary, and would spend the difference on pitching. (The Rays, Brewers, Indians and others see it the same as me.)
The great thing about MLB is that people can view it from many different perspectives. Many see if from statistics. Some like to root for how astronomical the salaries become. A few of us that are left actually follow the sport to watch which teams win, and how players on teams help them / or hurt them in winning / losing.
Iglesias is an outstanding defender, one of the best in all MLB, but he has a wRC+ of 87 for his career. The value in guys like Lindor, Story, Seager, and Correa is they are average to above defenders but also hit. Having a SS that hits is like having a good defensive catcher that can hit. There are a ton of glove first SSs.
Yes, I understand…..
But when those guys are getting $15-20M more a year, I’d happily take the defense and put that money into pitching and/or a better offensive player at another position.
All teams have budgets. That’s the real world. It’s not about spending money, it’s HOW they spend the money. The Rays, Indians., Brewers, and others manage to win without paying for an offensive SS (same as at Catcher…the 2 most important defensive positions on a team)..
It’s supply and demand. Demand for good hitting SSs is high, and supply is limited. Supply of good glove/no bat SSs is high.
And as to how teams spend money, that’s dictated by the owner, not necessarily the philosophy of those making personnel decisions. Teams like the Rays, Indians, and Brewers, are admirably run effectively within the constraints imposed on them.
Age and performance alone will lock in at least 7 years for correa. Even if it’s 22-24M he’s better off than the Astros offers. and I’m no Astro apologist
It would take a truly horrible, injury ruined year for him to drop to 4 years. At which point he’d just take the QO and try again without such much market competition
4 years-$25 million?? Ha, man, I get the hate, but c’mon now.
Okay, on second thought that’s a little low. I can see 6 years for around 25/27. He’s a good player, I’m not hating on him. I just think Story is a far better player. I can’t understand anyone that is trying to argue Correa is better offensively.
6 years for an AAV of $25-27 million? A tad low, but maybe.
“I can’t understand anyone that is trying to argue Correa is better offensively.”
Because stats say Correa is a better hitter. With Coors involved you need to look at park adjusted stats. Correa would hit a lot more HRs if he played at Coors.
The park adjusted stats:
Story, 113 wRC+, 114 OPS+
Correa, 128 wRC+, 127 OPS+
Clearly, the stats say Correa is a far better hitter than Story.
If you’re going to look at park adjusted stats, are you going to adjust for the fact that Correa knew the signs for at least one season, probably more.
First of all, how can you dismiss stats that are park-adjusted when they are the best way to compare guys who play in vastly different parks?
I’m not an Astros fan, nor am I a Rockies fan, just trying to be objective. I don’t believe the Astros hitters knew exactly what pitch was coming every pitch, every AB. IIRC they banged on the trash can when the call was for a breaking ball. Yes it was an advantage, but I think that’s been exaggerated.
Also, their system could only be used in their home ballpark. Correa had a .986 OPS at home and a .905 OPS on the road in 2017. It’s an 81 point difference, which has to be mitigated somewhat, since Minute Maid is hitter-friendly, and almost all guys hit better at home. Corey Seager, playing in a more pitcher-friendly park has an OPS 71 points better at home.
The fact is Correa is a better hitter. With Coors Field involved, you can’t compare using stats like HRs. You have to use park-adjusted stats. I can’t argue with someone that prefers Story, because of injury concerns, but it’s a fact, proven by stats, that Correa is the better hitter.
IMHO Story should be at the top of that list.
Story: 60 DRS
Correa: 45 DRS
Story: 113 wRC+
Correa: 128 wRC+
If you want the better fielding, but lesser hitting SS you take Story, and the reverse for hitting. IMO I’d take Correa.
I take the one that plays more. That is Story.
So your crystal ball says Correa will always struggle with injuries, and Story will be healthy for the next 10 years?
Story also has the benefits of playing half his home games in Coors. I’m not convinced if Story went to a more pitcher friendly park that the gap in hitting wouldn’t widen more considerably in Correa’s favor.
Tim, both fines and suspensions are in the CBA for using a foreign substance on a ball. Suspensions have been given before and they stuck. Bauer could very well be facing a lengthy suspension if he is found to have broken the rules.
LOL! Keep dreaming, Homer. Bauer and the Dodgers are here to stay.
I am sorry that you are not familiar with the CBA, but it dictates what penalties are possible and both fines and suspensions have happened before for doctoring the ball. Bauer could be suspended and it would hold up. There is precedent already.
Unless they have video of Bauer putting something on the ball, I don’t see why anything would hold up. I think that has been a prerequisite of past suspensions.
Really hope the Angels don’t let Bundy reach free agency. A nice 4 year extension would be great for both sides.
Currently there are 4 guys scheduled to depart the rotation and really only Detmers ready to replace one. Maybe Rodriguez if he can stay healthy.
Some team is going to give Bundy 4 years. maybe more.
Odds are that they will be fortunate to get what the Angels are getting from him so far this year in half the years they give him.
I agree that bundy will likely be resigned 4/100 and gives bundy a chance to build his value and dip back in free agency at age 32. I think it’s also highly likely angels sign another arm this winter and potentially an additional impact bat like Correa to replace Iglesias and pujols.
Angels would have all premium positions accounted for for at least the next 3/4 season
Additional arm in free agency
I think heaney hits free agency (too inconsistent)
The Angels are going to sign Trevor Story.
I like it. Yes Heaney is massively inconsistent. And injury prone.
Atlanta needs to get a clue. Holes keep going unfilled and that’s not my preference.
Why are comments on covid posts closed again? I thought they were being opened up?
So that logical thinking and commentary won’t challenge their narrative.
As I explained in the post on this, comments on covid posts will remain closed until we have the mute button ready. That should be next week.
Will posts on Manfred and the unfortunate destruction of MLB be open?
The Cardinals outfield is terrible this season. Their starting pitchers have pitched less innings this season than all of the Cardinals relievers put together. Thought I heard ther pitching was their strong suit fo 2021.
Their OF will start looking much better once Bader is back.
The Cubs priority needs to be extend Rizzo and don’t lowball him. Just give him something close to 100 mil. He’s earned it. Prime of his career. Only 31. Face of the franchise. Imagine the Yankees low balling Jeter and he walked. He never wanted to go anywhere and they extended him. Rizzo doesn’t want to play for any other team. Why is that so hard for them(Ricketts and hoyer) to comprehend?
They are headed for a rebuild. Do you think Rizzo wants to spend the next 3-4 years on a team with no chance of winning? Why do you expect a team to pay him more than market value? So your feelings don’t get hurt. It’s a business!
I hope the Rangers can get Story and Syndergaard bring them home maybe even Kerahaw and Josh Bell
Why would Story need to make the case that he’s a 120 OPS+ hitter away from Coors Field? That’s a park adjusted stat.
Story’s the best SS in the game. He should be ahead of Seagar and Correa.
Don’t know anything about his OPS+, I don’t look at that.
He has a 105 wRC+ on the road since 2018. If he’s actually a 105 wRC+ hitter in a neutral ballpark (which I don’t think is the case) that would greatly affect his contract.
I’ve used Baseball Reference for stats almost exclusively because MLBTR links directly to it, so I too have used OPS+ even though wRC+ it the more advanced stat. Is the wRC+ stat exclusive to Fangraphs?
Not sure how Baez isn’t in the top 10. Shoot, I’d take him before Correa. And no way is Correa ahead of Story.
Many of the teams with cash are close or over the luxury tax. It’s going to be a hard year for such a great FA class to find those same dollars they’re all competing for. I’m sure it’s one of the reasons Lindor signed.
I don’t see too much changing as far as teams go for some of the players. Keyshawn, Conforto, and Freeman – can’t see them signing elsewhere. I’d throw Thor, Bundy, and Seagar into a level just below as ‘likely.’
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets make a play for Bryant. Makes sense since he can fill in at 3B until Batty is ready, then move to LF. Meanwhile, once the DH is instituted, Smith moves to 1B and Alonso becomes DH. Story is an interesting player and not sure where he’d land. Could be any of the teams that don’t sign their own (Houston, LA, Chicago) or perhaps the Angels, who have some heavy investments they need to see pay out.
Having Story behind Correra tells me the writer has never seen a baseball game in their life.
And unlike Tim Dierkes, I’m guessing, you’ve never looked at stats in your life, at least not those that are park-adjusted, which is critical for any player playing at Coors.
You got me
I thought Stroman might sneak onto the bottom of the top 10. With a good year, he might see a contract of 4/80 or 5/100. Thoughts?
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Only thing holding stroman back from a top 10,possible is he is not a strikeout pitcher and that defensive is pretty bad. Its possible he could get hurt with bad plays. But so far so good.
Correa 3? LOL easily below Story and Freeman.
I wonder how many of the Top 10 get signed by the Pirates. Is the over/under 3 or 4?
I’ll be interested to see if anyone is willing to go long term and big money on Correa. I’d stay far, far away from him based on his unavailability and what he’s saying about the contract he wants.
Top 5 Players at any level if I had to start a franchise today:
1. Sadahara Oh
2. Satchel Paige
3. Little League Sean Burroughs
4. 13 Year old Matt Riley
5. Rickey Henderson
“Most likely, this story is much ado about nothing, and will have no effect on Bauer’s earning power should he decide to opt out after 2021.”
So why report it as if its the most important element of his free agency?
It was the only thing that has happened of note regarding Bauer since the last power rankings. It would be weird not to discuss it.
Crazy top heavy. Falls off a cliff after Freeman. Setting up for a lot of big time overpays – all the teams determined to spend will be fighting over the same average to above average type players.
Scherzer Lynn and kershaw are all TOR pitchers w extensive track records to back up the claim. So there’s atleast 8
How is the Lindor deal working out so far ? Met fans must be wondering what the fuss was all about. Cleveland is the model for how a baseball team should be run.
Right ! Cleveland is far from broke and has dished out there share of large contracts. Cleveland could have paid lindor 30 mil a season but they just know better !
I think the Cubs will have a fire sale saying goodbyes to Baez, Hendricks, Contreras and Kimbrel
So they re-sign Bryant?
Tim comments there are 7 starting shortstops on the market mentioning Simmons and Inglesias yet neglects Brandon Crawford. Crawford already had made several dazzling defensive plays and as always has had a number of clutch hits so far in 2021. But by all means let’s leave him off the starting SS list.
I’m a huge Crawdaddy fan and he had one of his best seasons last year and despite still being a magician with the glove he does turn 35 next January. Maybe only Giants fans appreciate him. He’s only batting .150 but has won 3 games with big hits so far this year. Maybe they’ll sign him as a bridge to Luciano rather than spend huge money on one of the big names. I don’t think he’ll be a starting shortstop when he’s 40 but he can prolong his career if he plays multiple positions.
Also keep in mind the oldest guy on the shortstop list besides Crawford is Simmons and Andrelton is still only 31.
That’s because Crawford shouldn’t be a starter for a competing team
Or any team. It’s not 2014 any more
If you have a SS in your system that’s 2 years away, sign Iglesias. If not, all in for Seager.
I don’t see half of these guys getting to free agency. Story, Bryant, Syndergaard, Bundy, and Baez will be the only ones that test the waters out of the top players.
Seager will probably re-sign with LA, but he will reach free-agency. He’s represented by Boras, so him being a FA is guaranteed. The Astros and Correa are miles apart on an extension because they’re also trying to extend Bregman. They won’t extent both, and my bet is Correa will not be the one extended.
Why do people on this site insist on making definitive statements?? It doesn’t help your argument look stronger
Boras most certainly “allows” extensions. The team needs to pay market rate, or above, but Boras will let you sign. Ask Strasburg, Xander or McCullers for examples in the last 2 years