It’s officially February 1st, and the start of Spring Training is less than 2 weeks away, when pitchers and catchers start reporting to camp. But while we all look forward to the 2019 season, there are still a lot of top tier free agents available, and none of them have a team to play for.
It seems that after the World Series, the talk of free agency begins and the MLB experts predicted what a player was worth. In January, now the MLB experts started using Sabermetrics to analyze and determine what they thought a player was actually worth, in contract years and money, and the values seemed to have gone down. Bryce Harper was going to get close to $400 million. Manny Machado was going to get $300 million. Craig Kimbrel wants $100 million. Yet, they all remain unsigned. Were owners reading into this? Did they open their wallets and see they didn’t have that kind of money to spend? Did the owners not want to get burdened with a long term deal? Or did owners say they can save their money, and work with their up and coming farm systems, and build from within? The answer isn’t known, but seems that there are not a lot of suitors for these remaining free agents.
We could talk all day about Bryce Harper, but we know that he’s going to get paid. So it leads me to my own question, what exactly is Manny Machado worth? Initial reports after the World Series, was that he was on pace for a 10 year, $300 million type of contract. So it was to be expected that teams were going to line up for his services, and he would let them place their bids until he got the contract he wanted.
But something changed. Was it the fact that he didn’t lead the Dodgers to a World Series title? Perhaps it was his piss poor attitude during the playoffs? Maybe it was the experts with their overall numbers and player projections, which determined players aren’t worth the risk of a long term contract. Whatever the reason, seems the line was smaller than expected, and sounds like the take home pay isn’t what he was expecting.
Than came the report, that Machado was offered a 7 year deal with the Chicago White Sox, for somewhere between $170 – $180 million. Sounds like Manny thinks he’s worth more than the similar type contract that another guy in Chicago got, Jason Heyward.
Now I’m not a Manny Machado fan, but of all teams, I think Manny is a perfect fit with the White Sox. Manny and Jose Abreu would make good in the 3 and 4 spot in the batting order, and with both of them help up and coming talent Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson and Daniel Palka improve their offense, you could have your first 6 batters in the lineup with those above names. I believe the White Sox are on pace to be contenders in the AL Central in about 3 years, and if they can sign Manny, that brings my theory up a year. I dare say it would be sooner, but with the injury to Michael Kopech, I think we’re delayed a year.
But after the new one year deal Nolan Arenado just received from the Rockies (1 year, $26 million), I think that just helped Manny’s value skyrocket, and possibly putting the White Sox out of the running. If Nolan can get $26 million, Manny has to think he can top that. My guess is that Manny is now taking no less than $250 million. He may try to push it, because he knows what ever he ends up signing for, Nolan will top that next year.
My overall guess with Manny, is that he’s doing the right thing, and waiting for Bryce Harper to sign first. Whatever Harper ends up signing for, definitely determines how Manny plays the money game. My original thought was that he would “settle” and get a $200 million deal. With the Arenado signing, now he won’t sign for anything less than $250 million. Only way he gets $300 million or more, is if Bryce Harper does not sign with the Phillies.
Part of me believes that no matter where Manny Machado signs, he won’t stay with said team through the entire contract, as he’ll get traded away like Giancarlo Stanton did from the Marlins, with his absurd contract. Spring Training is less than 2 weeks away and I’m ready for Opening Day. Let’s get the rest of these players signed, so I can get to a ballgame.