The Major League Baseball season has come and gone and now it’s time to look ahead to the offseason. There are a ton of big name free agents on the market and it’s prediction time.
OF Aaron Judge
Matt’s Prediction: New York Yankees (Seven-year, $306 million)
After the season that Judge just produced, Yankee fans may riot in the streets if he leaves the team. Judge isn’t likely to leave because he loves the Yankees, and the Yankees love him. However, as we saw last season with Freddie Freeman, nothing is for sure. Judge deserves to be in pinstripes for his entire career and surely the Yankees must understand this. However, teams like the Giants, Dodgers, and even Mets could make this tough on the Yankees. Imagine Judge going to the Mets to spite the Yankees for lowballing him before the season. Madness would ensue. But I expect him back in the Bronx for the foreseeable future.
Tristen’s Prediction: New York Yankees
Judge had a sensational season for the Yankees, breaking the single season American League home run record. He loves playing in New York and they definitely love having his bat in their lineup. Not paying him at the beginning of the season is going to cost them probably $12 million a season but it’s worth it. There’s no way Judge leaves New York and likewise there’s no way the Yankees let him leave.
RHP Jacob deGrom (has 32.5M opt out option)
Matt’s Prediction: New York Mets (Three-year, $145 million)
This is the safe bet. Both parties want to reunite but I wonder if owner Steven Cohen is wondering whether it’s worth paying deGrom all this money with his injury concerns. He is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, but he has missed significant time. The team is already paying Max Scherzer a heafty price, so all this money tied up in two, aging and injury-prone pitchers is a risk. He can afford it but to what extent? I think deGrom ends up back in Queens but it’s no guarantee.
Tristen’s Prediction: New York Mets
DeGrom will no doubt earn more money if he opts out of his current $32 million option with the Mets. It’s widely known that deGrom likes being a part of the Mets and obviously the Mets like having potentially the best pitcher in baseball on their roster. Steven Cohen can afford to pay deGrom and Scherzer $40 million each, especially if he’s serious about winning a world series like he says he is.
SS Carlos Correa (has 35.1M opt out option)
Matt’s Prediction: San Francisco Giants (10-year, $337 million)
Correa showed that he is willing to take the best offer out there when he signed with the Twins last offseason. Now he is going to want to actually get paid this offseason and I see a perfect pairing with the Giants. San Francisco wants to make a major splash this offseason and boy would Correa be one. One of the better defensive shortstops joining this team would allow them to really contend as they did just a season ago. It’s time for San Francisco to get back to winning and Correa can help. Also, how sweet would it be for Correa to not only play in the same division as the Dodgers but directly be a core piece on their rival.
Tristen’s Prediction: Miami Marlins
Almost no one is going to predict this and it makes sense. The Marlins are looking to win now and have settled a strong initial unit with a high level of prospects set to make their debut soon. Jon Berti and Miguel Rojas aren’t getting younger. There’s clouds surrounding Jazz Chisholm’s future so adding another high end middle infielder in maybe the best in the league with Correa is a sensational move. He’s a premium defender and elite level hitter. Chisholm and Corrrea would be the most electric middle duo in the MLB and it’s not really close.
SS Trea Turner
Matt’s Prediction: Boston Red Sox (Eight-years, $294 million)
Turner has talked about his enjoyment of playing with the Dodgers, but many remain skeptical that he would commit to them long-term. He is rumored to favor the east coast and may be pulled there due to family. This would take the Dodgers out of conversation and allow another team to acquire the services of Turner. He was an All-Star this season and really showed out. His defense is still a little questionable, but his offensive production helps overlook this. Signing Turner is a great short-term move but risky long-term when his athletic abilities start to dwindle. Boston finished dead last in the American League East and needs to make a move. Signing Turner could be that move for them to get back to contention.
Tristen’s Prediction: Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox probably lose Xander Bogarets in free agency, which would be a really bad idea but here we are. Turner likes Los Angeles but most think he’d go out East. The Red Sox do have Story at second and Marcelo Mayer for their infield but Turner is too electric to pass up. He’s going to be expensive but brings a new element to a severely lacking Red Sox offense. After putting up 21 home runs, 27 stolen bases and a .298/.343/.466 line he won’t be cheap.
SS Xander Bogarets (has three-year, 60M opt out option)
Matt’s Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers (Six-year, $186 million)
While the Dodgers would love to sign Trea Turner, I’m not sure that they want to pay him both the length and amount of money that he wants. Bogarets is a great replacement for Turner and would give the Dodgers a nice bat added to the lineup. He is a very close friend of outfielder Mookie Betts and the two played together in Boston. A reunion of sorts is in the works for these two this offseason. It’s a win-win as the Dodgers get a really good shortstop while Bogarets gets his money and to play for a contender.
Tristen’s Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies made the World Series with Bryson Stott, Nick Maton and Edmundo Sosa starting at shortstop. They desperately need help there. Bogarets is likely leaving Boston to make more and while he could return he has a good connection with Phillies GM Dave Dombroski. Bogarets ranked in the top half of short stops defensively while putting up a .307/.377/.456 line, 38 doubles, 15 home runs and 73 RBIs. The final piece the Phillies potentially need to take it from World Series runner up to champion. His best baseball is still ahead of him which is insane given he’s only 29 years old and a nine year veteran.