MLB Off Season/Hot Stove

Congratulations to the Nationals!

This is the thread for post-World Series discussion, including speculation about year-end awards, management/coaching changes, free agents, trades, and so on.

My Astros have finally hit the point where the finances are going to start to pull the team apart - it’s hard to see how they can re-sign Gerrit Cole and also hang on to George Springer and Carlos Correa and also keep all the players they already have signed. Something is going to give, probably Cole.

On the post-season awards, I don’t really know the NL, but in the AL, I’d guess:

MVP: Alex Bregman over Mike Trout - even five years ago this would have been a gimme - people would say, “Mike Trout had a great year but didn’t play for a contender.” Given that Bregman drew basically level with Trout in the two main WAR calculations, I think that factor will still have some relevance.

Cy Young: Justin Verlander over Gerrit Cole. By the narrowest of margins - here I think the momentum from Verlander starting stronger early in the year will carry him over the line. The two are nearly identical in their value added.

Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez over nobody else really stands out. Baby Vlad?

Manager of the Year: Probably Aaron Boone, could be the managers of any of the playoff teams, really, apart from Hinch, whose success wasn’t surprising/overachieving enough to win this award.

To no one’s surprise, Mike Matheny has been named new manager of the Royals.

For NL Rookie of the Year, it’s got to be Pete Alonso of the Mets.

Predictions:

Gerrit Cole and Cole Hamels to the LAA

Strasberg to the Pads

Rendon stays in Wash

MadBum and Chapman to the LAD

The 2020 Election will be about a week after the completion of the 2020 WS. Either America will embrace the WS as an escape from politics or somehow politics will work itself into the WS. The 2019 WS will be seen as baseball at its best.

Angels acquire Parker Markel from the Pirates for cash. Im already requesting days off for the next Angels World Series victory parade down Katella. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not sure. I think the Cubs World Series win was a nice distraction from the 2016 race. I’m in Chicago so there aren’t a lot of Trumpers here but I can see how watching the Cubs vs Indians, two teams that haven’t had much luck in a long time can help people get together over baseball and forget about Hillary or Trump for a while.

How can the Phillies best rid themselves of Bryce Harper so they can win the WS next year?

I really hope the Nats can keep both Strasburg and Rendon. Not sure if it’s gonna be possible.

I’m good with all of these. Although I’d love to see the Dodgers spring for Rendon. MadBum can go somewhere else if we get a young, hot hitting third baseman. Turner shifts to first easily. Trade off Pederson and/or Seager, shoot Kelly, and let me slap the shit out of Roberts and we can call it good.

I think Gerrit Cole to the Angels is one of the safer bets in the free agency market you can make right now. The Angels have money and no pitching. They still have two more years of the ghastly Pujols deal to pay off but there’s light at the end of that tunnel now.

In terms of award winners, Pete Alonso is about as easy a bet as you can make. For AL ROY, I assume Yordan Alvarez wins easily.

AL MVP will be an interesting thing; Mike Trout looked like he was running away with it but then missed a lot of September, and being on a shit team doesn’t help. ESPN ranks AL players by WAR this way:

Alex Bregman - 8.4
Mike Trout - 8.3
Marcus Semien - 8.1
Justin Verlander - 7.8
Mike Minor - 7.8
Lance Lynn - 7.8
Gerrit Cole - 6.9

I’d be fine with Bregman or Semien. Honestly I don’t think I’d put Trout at the top of my ballot.

The NL is similar; Christian Yelich missing the end of the year does not help, so Bellinger likely wins, and deserves to.

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It’s not always a hindrance, however. See Andre Dawson.

Its possible. But the thing about Deez Nats is that it’s a real ensemble cast. And a lot of the cast has free agency or some sort of option coming this off season.

Pitching:

Strasburg would effectively be opting out of a 4 year 100 million dollar contract. I suspect that if we extended the contract for a year or two about the same rate, he would sign. If he leaves anyway then we might be able to pick up Ryu or Cole. I think they are all managed by Boras. You can never tell what he will, do but his clients frequently hold out until the last possible moment

We should exercise the club option on Doolittle.

Hellicksen, Rodney and most of the other free agent relief pitchers should be politely shown the door.

Hudson seems worth keeping around for the right price. His 2019 contract was a 1 year contract for 1.5 million. I don’t think he will be particularly cheap unless the Nats to try and sign him to a 3 or 4 year contract.

Catcher:

We have an option on Gomes. I think the Nats like having two good catchers in Gomes and Suzuki. I think Gomes is probably going to get his one year extension. However, the Nats could probably save 5 million on someone cheaper without sacrificing much if anything at all so they may shop around a bit.

1B:

Nats should probably opt out of Zimmerman. His high price tag along with his negative WAR makes it hard to justify the $18 million salary. However he is fan favorite so I hope they try to renegotiate to something lower and maybe longer in a part time role.

2B:

If we keep Rendon, we will probably say goodbye to two of Dozier, Kendrick and Cabrera. Kieboom is on deck. We could keep Cabrera if h is cheap enough because he can play anywhere in the infield but Dozier seems expensive and Kendrick is probably better off in the AL as a DH or something.

SS:

I hope they buy out Trea’s arb years and give him a 7-8 year contract, It seems like he will only get better and it’s easier to keep a 33-34 year old free agent than a 30 year old one.

3B:

Rendon was reportedly ready to sign an Altuve type deal at the beginning of the year (7 year $164 million), a lot has happened since then. The current offer is about 50 million higher with an AAV similar to Arenado and higher than Machado and while it is rumored to be somewhat backloaded, it is not overly so. He might get more as a free agent but not a lot more. I don’t think Rendon is going to move to chase a few extra dollars unless someone makes him an offer he can’t refuse. If someone does make him a better offer, we can try to pick up Josh Donaldson from the Braves (heck we might just end up swapping 3rd basemen with Atlanta). Our break glass in case of emergency situation would be to promote Kieboom or Garcia.

LF:

Juan Soto is another guy they should try to lock down.

RF:

The Nat have an option on Eaton for 9.5 million with a 1.5 million buyout. For a marginal cost of 8 million, Eaton seems like a keeper.

Where to spend money:

We could use a third good pitcher in our bullpen. I wonder how much it would cost to grab

That makes sense, Damuri. I’ll admit I’m mostly a casual fan and am fairly ignorant of the behind the scenes negotiations.

True, and Cal Ripken in 1991. There was Giancarlo Stanton in 2017, too, and A-Rod in 2003. It’s pretty unusual though. Only about 25% of MVP Awards go to players on non playoff teams, and they’re usually at least teams with winning records.

Me too. But right now everyone in the DC area thinks they’re Mike Rizzo. It’s like how everyone turns into a gymnastics expert during the Olympics.

Almost no one wants to see Rendon leave. But if he rejects a 215 million dollar offer then I don’t know that we blame Mike Rizzo, I think we blame Scott Boras.

We still have to see what happens with Strasburg.

It looks like the Mets are going to hire Carlos Beltran as their manager. I honestly have no idea how I feel about this development.

I didn’t realize he retired as a player, I saw him play many times as an Astro. He’s also the same age as myself and Tom Brady.

Conventional wisdom is that Hall of Fame players don’t make good managers - I think only Frank Robinson and Joe Torre (near-HOF player) managed to be good at both. Not sure if it’s true or just that people remember the failed hall of famers more than they do the guys who have no other distinction besides a single failed stint as a major-league manager. (Or if you’re Jimy Williams, three failed stints.)

Best case scenario might be to transition Zim into a coaching role of some sort.

Nice run-down, Damuri.

Red Schoendienst?

Bill Terry, too.