2022 Top 50 Free Agents Chat by Ben Clemens November 8, 2021 2:01 Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, welcome to a chat for our top 50 free agents post. 2:02 Ben Clemens: It was a labor of love, and of cooperation — our whole stable of writers chipped in really great commentary. You can pin the people who you think were mis-ranked on me, but everyone else did yeoman’s work getting this from ‘Ben writes 50 names’ to a giant article 2:02 Ben Clemens: Let’s take some questions! 2:02 Guest: Best FA fit for the Cardinals? 2:02 Ben Clemens: I’m actually gonna say Scherzer. I don’t know if they’ll go after him, but they need pitching stability, they probably don’t want many long-term deals, and he’s from St. Louis 2:02 Dave: If I asked you a question on reddit can I ask you a question here too? 2:02 Ben Clemens: Of course! 2:03 Ben Clemens: I did a reddit AMA earlier, and if you’re interested in predicting where these 50 free agents will land and hopefully winning some internet kudos, you can play their prediction contest here: 2:03 Ben Clemens: https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/qpfqkc/20212022_top_50_free… 2:03 LOVE GALLO: Do we think that Kershaw not getting a QO is a sign that the injury is worse than we thought? Or could this potentially be a courtesy move on the Dodgers to let him go elsewhere? 2:03 Ben Clemens: I’m right between these two 2:03 Ben Clemens: Which is why I hedged in his comment and ranking 2:04 Ben Clemens: I had him higher before they didn’t QO him, and I still wonder whether it’s just a courtesy move 2:04 Ben Clemens: But it could definitely be an injury thing, too, which is why I took the coward’s way out and projected him for roughly a QO 2:04 Jeremy: Which of these FA make the most sense for the Marlins? 2:05 Ben Clemens: Hm, I actually think Mark Canha would make sense here 2:05 Ben Clemens: My default for these not-quite-ready teams is to say go sign some pitchers 2:05 Ben Clemens: That’s not really Miami’s problem, though 2:06 Ben Clemens: I don’t think they’re gonna mess around at the top of the market, but Canha would play right away, can play enough positions that he probably won’t block anyone, and injects some badly needed OBP into their lineup 2:06 joe: Do you see any of the big SS playing a different position in 2022? 2:06 Ben Clemens: Entirely possible that Semien is, a lot of evaluators like him at second over short 2:06 Mannyfan69: Ridiculous that E-Rod isn’t on the list. What does the guy have to do to prove himself to the haters? 2:06 Ben Clemens: He is number 13… 2:07 Ryan: Does Jon Gray get more than what the Rockies offered? It seems their offer was what you have him projected. 2:07 Ben Clemens: I think he’ll get roughly what they offered. He’s a player I worried about being too low on, so if I’m wrong it’s almost certainly on the low side, so I understand why he turned their offer down 2:08 Dan: Who is the 51st top free agent? 2:08 Ben Clemens: Alex Wood. Then Eddie Rosario, then Andrelton Simmons. 2:08 Joseph: What kind of moves do you think the Giants make to address their (rather large) starting pitching holes? 2:08 Ben Clemens: I think they’ll look to add one top-tier starter. Scherzer would make some sense, so would a Gausman reunion or kicking the tires on Syndergaard if he declines his QO 2:08 Ben Clemens: E Rod? Ray? whatever 2:09 Ben Clemens: After that, I think they’ll be the Giants! They’ll dip into the mid-tier free agent range for some guys they like 2:09 Mr. Redlegs: What was your projected salary for Wade Miley if the Reds Cubs didn’t pick up his option? How much surplus value did he have with that option? 2:09 Ben Clemens: I had him projected for 2/11 2:09 Ben Clemens: So I don’t think the surplus was huge 2:09 Six Ten: I was thinking Canha to the Royals makes a lot of sense, too, for all the same reasons. He definitely has the air of the kind of hole filler that a small market team signs when they think their core is getting close to competing 2:10 Ben Clemens: Totally agree. I think Canha is AWESOME, fits in almost everywhere, and is wildly underrated nationally 2:10 Dave: Does Andrew Chafin make the top 60? 2:10 Ben Clemens: Yes 2:10 Yung Joc: Aside from (hopefully) Freeman, do you see the Braves attempting to sign any big names? 2:11 Ben Clemens: I think they’ll go for Freeman and some mid-level pitching. I doubt this happens but Stroman would be great with their infield, depending on how much you believe in Riley’s defense 2:11 Guest: With projections for Kris Bryant sort of averaging out to the $160/6 range, do you see the giants having the tolerance to bring him back or will boras and the looming lock out scare them off? 2:11 Ben Clemens: To be clear, I don’t think anyone in the Bryant tier is signing before the CBA is resolved 2:11 Ben Clemens: But I don’t think that the size will scare them off if the AAV is reasonable. He’s not too old, and that’s not too much money, particularly with Posey retiring and changing their salary situation a bit 2:11 Dave: Ok, my question is how are you doing? This seems like a lot of work. 2:11 Ben Clemens: Haha I’m good! 2:12 Ben Clemens: It really is a lot of work, and I’ll be drained tomorrow (two podcasts to record on the topic, and then I’ll be done done) 2:12 Ben Clemens: But doing a list like this on my own is really cool 2:12 Ben Clemens: I had a great time coming up with it, and hoooooopefully I’m not just wildly wrong somewhere 2:12 Ben Clemens: I might be too high on Jonathan Villar, for exmaple, but at #48 I’m not too torn up about that 2:13 171: Think the O’s would sign Cutch for a veteran presence and use him as a DH, or maybe Yan Gomes for a good defensive catcher to mentor Adley as he establishes himself in the bigs? 2:13 Ben Clemens: I think Gomes will do better than the O’s are willing to pay 2:13 Ben Clemens: Cutch would make sense, more at my price point than the crowd-sourced one, which I think is too high 2:13 Ben Clemens: He’s a nice bat who shouldn’t really play in your outfield all that much, but I think he’d be a nice clubhouse add for a team that has done a lot of losing 2:13 Ben Clemens: Everyone loves Cutch 2:13 Joseph: what do you think is the highest caliber of player that could sign prior to December 1st, assuming that CBA negotiations aren’t settled by then? 2:13 Ben Clemens: A QO type taking a one-year deal in that range 2:14 Ben Clemens: So let’s say Thor? 2:14 LOVE GALLO: If a salary floor would be implemented, would that additional spending for teams below atm most likely come from trades or FA? 2:14 Ben Clemens: Well, the current proposal is for a soft floor 2:14 Ben Clemens: So in fact, I think teams wouldn’t spend up to it anyway 2:14 Ben Clemens: But if it were to come from one or the other, trades 2:14 Ben Clemens: Maybe the Rays would do it in FA, but a lot of the teams spending no money aren’t even trying to win 2:15 Ben Clemens: So it’s more efficient to soak up bad contracts and get something back than pay some player who might contribute with their bat or arm 2:15 Ben Clemens: When they don’t actually need that contribution in 2022 2:15 carlo: is brad miller in the top 75 2:15 Ben Clemens: I guess so. The back end of that is a lot of guys who will be on one-year incentive-laden deals, and I’d surely take a shot on him at that level 2:15 Ben Clemens: If he’s more 2020 Miller than 2021, neat! 2:15 Dan: How many wins would the Orioles or Nationals be projected to win is management said he is a blank check. Go sign what ever 9 free agents youd like? 2:16 Ben Clemens: Nine?? 2:16 Ben Clemens: Wow, that’s a lot 2:16 Ben Clemens: Okay, so I’d take the Nats, and sign: Correa (SS), Seager (3B), Semien (2B), Marte (CF), and like five great pitchers 2:16 Ben Clemens: I think they’d easily be projected to win the NLE 2:16 Alex Wei: What do you think the Dodgers will do to shore up their starting rotation depth? Do you think they’ll re-sign Kershaw, Scherzer, both, or neither? 2:17 Ben Clemens: My best guess is that they resign Kershaw but not Scherzer 2:17 Ben Clemens: This is based on gut feel, not inside info at all 2:17 Nate: How realistic is the prospect of a 1 year deal for Baez? Did he play his way back into the multi-year deal conversation during his time in New York? 2:17 Ben Clemens: I think he did. I also agree with Brendan’s idea that maybe he’d take a big-money but short contract, but I think plenty of teams will offer him something in the $20 million range for at least 4 or 5 yeras 2:18 171: Rebuilding teams if salary floor is implemented: “Hey… Preller, MY GUY! Lets talk about Hosmer…” 2:18 Ben Clemens: Exactly 2:18 Nate: Think you could see the Astros potentially splurging on anyone if Correa and/or Verlander wind up leaving? 2:18 Ben Clemens: I think the Astros will be in the market for pitching 2:18 Ben Clemens: Their starters just didn’t have it this postseason, and as much as I like Framber, using him as your #1 is tough. McCullers will be back, but one more great arm would go a long way. I thikn that might be Verlander, but if not, there are plenty of exciting pitchers who would make this rotation look much deeper 2:19 James: Lets say hypothetically a team really wanted Correa, but wouldnt go more than 4 years. What would the money have to be to make him consider it? 2:19 Ben Clemens: Ooh, very interesting question 2:19 Ben Clemens: So, I think that if he ages normally, he could probably get 5/100 in four years. That’s like Semien level, give or take 2:19 Ben Clemens: So I guess if I were him I’d want 4/50? 2:19 Ben Clemens: er, 4/200 2:20 Ben Clemens: I realize I was inconsistent in total vs. AAV quoting there 2:20 Guest: Why do you like Aaron Loup more than my favorite player, a sidearm reliever named Aaron Loup? 2:20 Ben Clemens: You got me! 2:20 Davell: Really think media is sleeping on Cubs this offseason. Jed and even Ricketts have said they’ll be spending, even if it’s “intelligently”, as Jed has said too. Been a really long time since they’ve had this much flexibility and with a new network and declining attendance-I really think they’ll spend just for those alone. 2:20 Ben Clemens: We’ll se! 2:20 Ben Clemens: see! 2:21 Ben Clemens: I’m skeptical until I see a signing 2:21 KB: Why do you have McCutchen over Rosario. Rosario is much younger and Steamer has them as very similar players in 2022. Wouldn’t teams be more willing to go with 30 year old over the 35 year old? 2:21 Ben Clemens: Because I think a lot of teams will like McCutchen’s bat more, and because I dunno, I would rather sign McCutchen, myself. If someone pays more for Rosario, it would hardly shock me 2:22 APS: Your numbers seem to generally err on the side of fewer year/higher AAV contracts than the crowdsourced numbers. Do you think this is a real trend in player contracts and if so, what is driving it? Or will clarity around a new CBA make teams more willing to invest longer term dollars? 2:23 Ben Clemens: I do, at least for people who are outside of the very very top tier. My reasoning is that teams have a far more uncertain revenue picture than they have in quite some time, so they’ll be willing to pay up for flexibility 2:23 Ben Clemens: The outcome of the CBA could completely change this, so it’s all extremely speculative of course, but I just think that’s the way the game is heading 2:23 Jacob: In addition to not receiving a quality offer Kershaw got PRP injections, which I can only remember being done for partially torn UCLs. What else have PRP injections been use for on baseball players? 2:23 Ben Clemens: General elbow discomfort, I believe 2:23 Ben Clemens: But yeah, it’s not GREAT 2:23 Tiger Fan: Should the Tigers go crazy on Correa, or get Story and some strong pitching like Gray or ERod? What’s a better use of the money there? 2:24 Ben Clemens: I think both of those are pretty equivalent 2:24 Ben Clemens: If they can sign Correa for a number they find palatable, I think they will, b/c of the Hinch connection, but there’s exactly one Carlos Correa available this offseason 2:24 Dan: Biggest infield hole for the O’s is 3B since they don’t really have a prospect ready to come up yet. Who makes the most sense as a stopgap? 2:24 Ben Clemens: Depends on what they’re trying to do this year 2:25 Ben Clemens: Jonathan Villar if they just want to put someone with a glove out there. Kyle Seager if they want to put a semi-famous person with some pop out there. Brad Miller if they just want to put someone who really shouldn’t own a glove out there 2:25 Phil: Can you say more about Simmons, if he’s just off the list? Are you anticipating a bounce-back offensively, and does that put him ahead of Iglesias? 2:25 Ben Clemens: I’d take a shot at him bouncing back offensively 2:25 Ben Clemens: Basically 2:26 DM: Does Suzuki project as an impact player like he’s being hyped as, or is he more of a platoon piece the way your forecasted contract forecasts 2:26 Ben Clemens: Well, clearly I think the latter 2:26 Grandpaboy: If the $$$ was roughly equal and the Cubs had to choose between Matz and Gray, who’s the right choice. 2:26 Ben Clemens: Gray for me 2:26 barney gumble: hey ban. does the presence of 2 hot SS prospects affect the yankees’ propensity to sign one of the big FAs at all? and will they look for a mid tier pitching option too? 2:27 Ben Clemens: I don’t think it should, personally. It’s not a lock that they’ll both play short, it’s not a lock that the top shortstops will stick at short, and they can always make trades and re-align the infield if they have to. A bird in the hand, and all 2:27 Mop: Why do people think Belt would take the QO? He just had a career year. This is the best chance he’ll have for another multi-year deal. 2:27 Ben Clemens: So, I went back and forth on what Belt would do when he was given a QO 2:27 Ben Clemens: I had him at 2/14 when I thought they might not QO him 2:28 Ben Clemens: I like Belt but I think there’s reason to be skeptical that he’ll repeat his 2021 — it was a career year, like you said 2:28 Ben Clemens: Would you take 2/14 over a QO? I would if I were Belt, because if he’s good next year, sick, get a nice FA deal. If he’s not, I bet he could still get like 1/9 or something 2:28 Ben Clemens: Er sorry, I’d take the QO 2:29 Ben Clemens: That’s why I projected him for it, but if his market is more like our crowdsource (2/16.5), then he’d be well-served to decline the QO 2:29 Ben Clemens: It’s really cuspy, is my point 2:30 Paul: Where would you have had LIndor among this group of SS? 2:30 Ben Clemens: Right now? Tied with Seager 2:31 Ben Clemens: Before 2021? Top of the list 2:31 Dave: Do you think the Seager bros try to end up in the same place? 2:31 Ben Clemens: Eh, not if it messes with the money they’d receive 2:32 Ben Clemens: Like, playing with your brother is nice, but so is thirty million dollars 2:32 Ben Clemens: Buy a really nice videoconference room! 2:32 Paul: Isn’t Kluber’s contract last year a pretty decent comp for Velander? Obviously TJ is arguably less significant than Kluber’s injuries, but I think that’s the closest comp out there. $11m seems a lot more reasonable for a 39 y/o coming off that much time missed than $20m 2:32 Ben Clemens: He got a QO, so… 2:32 Romorr: I still hear so many people say about CC and Seager, that they are entering their prime. A 27 year old FA is different than a typical prospect. Expecting the best to come seems foolish to me? 2:32 Ben Clemens: .I would say that they are IN their prime 2:32 Ben Clemens: Entering vs. in is different, but not THAT different 2:32 Dave: So you don’t think Hosmer will opt out next winter? 2:32 Ben Clemens: Ah, thanks! Could use a nice laugh 2:33 Slew: Are you considering doing FA 100-125 list so Cleveland fans can read about some players their team might sign? 2:33 Ben Clemens: FanGraphs Top 50 NRI’s 2:33 Mr. Redlegs: Who’s your best guess on who will get a minor league contract but then end up earning significant pt? 2:34 Ben Clemens: Hm…. lookin through my list of eligible but not listed players 2:34 Ben Clemens: Donovan Solano 2:34 Rat Racoon: Which of the big free agents has the biggest chance of walking away with far less than expected? And then the reverse, who might get far more among some of the lesser known guys (Canha I’d guess)? 2:35 Ben Clemens: I dunno if Canha will do better than I projected him, but I had him meaningfully higher than the crowd, so I htink he’s a good choice 2:35 Ben Clemens: I also had Yan Gomes pretty high on a relative basis 2:35 Ben Clemens: Those are my two favorites on the list 2:35 Ben Clemens: I think that Rodon and Story are two confusing ones 2:35 Ben Clemens: Where their range is just SO wide that it definitely has ‘far less than expected’ in it 2:36 barney gumble: a lot of talk about teams inking Seager with the intent of moving him to 3B in a couple years. isn’t it silly to pay a premium for a SS when you know he’ll move and lose even more of his value as he ages? 2:36 Ben Clemens: Yes, unless he has the bat of literally Corey Seager 2:36 Ben Clemens: Luckily, Seager does, so I think it’s okay 2:36 Ben Clemens: It’s like Springer, kinda 2:36 Dave: Baez also a wide range candidate? 2:36 Ben Clemens: Oh yeah, him as well 2:36 Ben Clemens: Though I think his is more in terms of whether he wants a short or long deal 2:36 Ben Clemens: I think there’ll be a market 2:36 Joseph: If the dodgers could only sign 2 of their own free agents, which 2 do you think they would sign? 2:37 Ben Clemens: Seager and Kershaw 2:37 Ben Clemens: But maybe Taylor and Kershaw? 2:37 Ben Clemens: My thinking with Seager is that signing Trea Turner isn’t a lock 2:37 Ben Clemens: If they do sign Turner, they cna move Seager to third, JT will probably be DH’ing 2:38 Brian: Cards should go and do 2/70 for Scherzer and 4/80 for Stroman, easy NLCS trip (at least) with health 2:38 Ben Clemens: While I disagree with your easy NLCS trip, I do agree that this would vastly improve the team. Stroman is also a great fit for their max-defense infield 2:39 Mop: I guess I’m biased on Belt. I know his injury history is a worry but here’s a list of better hitters by wRC+ (min 500 PAs) from 2020-2021: 2:39 Mop: Bryce Harper and Juan Soto. End list. 2:39 Ben Clemens: Yeah, Belt has been great 2:39 Ben Clemens: We’ll see! I started him lower on the list and kept moving him up the more I thought about it 2:39 Dave Cameroon: Out of the top 10 position player guys, which do you think could be the biggest bust? 2:40 Ben Clemens: Maybe I’m just far off base on this, but I’m super skeptical of Story. It shows in my lower projections as well as where he ranks on my list 2:40 Ben Clemens: I’d also put Starling Marte on there, just for age-related reasons 2:40 Ben Clemens: That’s why I think he’s likely to find a sweet spot at short years/good AAV 2:40 Ben Clemens: Teams are more willing to take bust risk with those types of contracts 2:41 Ben is hot: Assuming the Dodgers lose Bauer for the year and re-signed Kershaw is out for the year with injury, what SP do you think they pursue? 2:41 Ben Clemens: Would they try Alex Wood again? They might. I think that Yusei Kikuchi would be interesting there if he doesn’t want to head back to NPB. I’d also be in on E Rod, who I think is just wildly underrated 2:41 Phil: Do you think teams will be reluctant to go super-long with Correa? Am I crazy to get a bit of a Nomar-like quick dropoff with this guy? 2:41 Ben Clemens: Not really 2:42 Ben Clemens: The teams that are reluctant to go long just won’t be in the bidding 2:42 Sliver57: I’ve seen Taylor to Giants as the cost-effective/lower-commitment version of Bryant? 2:42 Ben Clemens: Oh yeah, I could see that too 2:42 Ben Clemens: I like Bryant’s bat quite a bit more, personally 2:42 Ben Clemens: But if the Giants don’t see it that way, they could save a bit of cash and go shorter with Taylor 2:42 Pale Hose Time: Can you see any rationale behind the White Sox not offering a QO to Rodon or is just them being cheap? 2:42 Ben Clemens: Wonderful question that I’ve been thinking about quite a bit 2:43 Ben Clemens: There are basically three options 2:43 Ben Clemens: One, they’ve seen his medicals and it’s just a picture of Tommy John 2:43 Ben Clemens: Two, they’re being cheap 2:44 Ben Clemens: Three, they’re in the market for a different pitcher and think that Rodon is highly likely to accept the QO to try for a pillow contract type move 2:45 Ben Clemens: So let’s say that ownership has said ‘you have 25 million dollars of room annually for contracts, and no, I don’t care if you say someone is a good deal’ 2:45 Ben Clemens: If you want to sign Gausman or E Rod for hte long run, and think Rodon would take the QO, maybe you back off? 2:45 Bryce Larper: Maybe you covered this earlier but what is the reasoning if any behind the reds waiving Miley? 2:45 Ben Clemens: They wanted to save $1 million 2:45 Ben Clemens: Because they were declining his option 2:45 Ben Clemens: I would not have done it; clearly I think they could have traded him for value 2:46 Ben Clemens: They claim they didn’t but uh 2:46 Ben Clemens: Disagree 2:46 Just some guy: If you think ERod is underrated, why did you leave him off your list? 2:46 Ben Clemens: Because I hate the Red Sox even more 2:46 Jeremy: As a Phillies fan, how wrong/crazy is it for me to want the Phillies to sign enough of the guys from the top half of your top 50 to cover CF, LF, SS, 3B or 2B, DH, and 2 rotation spots? 2:46 Ben Clemens: It’s not even a little crazy 2:46 Ben Clemens: They won’t do it, but they’re in a position where a few players would make a lot of difference in a tough NLE 2:47 Wild Thing Vaughn: Which free agent do you think provides the best value relative to the contract you would offer? 2:47 Ben Clemens: Interesting way of looking at this 2:47 Ben Clemens: Hm…. Chris Taylor 2:47 Ben Clemens: He could make 4/15 look like a real bargain 2:48 Ben Clemens: I’m not sure he will, but he’s a sweet spot of ‘can be really good when on’ and ‘not projected for THAT much money’ 2:48 Marry me Ben: The Angels seem to have a narrow window of contention with Trout, Rendon, Ohtani healthy and Pujols contract off the books. Who do you think the Angels should try to sign to compete for a playoff spot? 2:48 Ben Clemens: I disagree with their window being narrow, I think they should try to compete at least until Trout is 35 or so. I’d be in the market for starting pitching, basically 2:49 Dan: Assuming the players are getting a larger percentage of the revenue after the CBA I’d really like to see some of that targeted to players who resign with their old team but I can’t think of a way to do this that doesn’t require a baseball dictator to manage the transition. 2:49 Ben Clemens: Could be a Bird Rule kinda thing, in the NBA you get special dispensation to ignore caps and so on when re-signing your own players 2:49 Ben Clemens: Maybe they could have some of the luxury tax money diverted into a pool that pays players who re-sign with their team a 10% bonus? I dunno 2:49 KB: Verlander intrigues me so much, mainly because I think he’s a guy worth betting on, but I don’t feel like it’s been talked about enough that he’s trying to do something that’s truly unprecedented. From what I could find on some basic Stathead searches, NO ONE (at least in the last 60 years) has come back from two lost seasons at age 37 and 38 and come back at age 39. 2:50 Ben Clemens: Yeah, it’s a really strange case. That’s why I think he’s really likely to accept the QO — the Astros definitely have an information edge on other teams, so I think other teams will be hesitant to compete with them 2:50 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: You’ve referenced never started Gloomhaven a few times before. If it’s anything around being intimidated, Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion has a really nice onboarding process and often goes for <$30 at Target with their sales and Circle offers. Plus the classes and battle goals can then be used as an expansion for the original Gloomhaven. 2:51 Ben Clemens: Ooh, board games in the free agency chat, I’m into it 2:51 Ben Clemens: I have heard that as well 2:51 Ben Clemens: also, there’s a computer game version now that is getting glowing reviews 2:51 Rick: Nats have approx $90M commited for ’22 and clear needs at either SS/3B and a big bat in the OF (plus 1-2 SP). Do they make 1-2 splash signings or strictly stay in the bargain bin/1 year flip zone? 2:52 Ben Clemens: I think they’re going to straddle that line. I think they probably won’t sign anyone in my top ten, but that they will sign some pitcher to a long-ish term deal and maybe try for a few mid-range hitters on multi-year deals as well 2:52 Cole: Curious to know what you would have projected Mike Zunino to get in free agency if the Rays had turned down his option 2:52 Ben Clemens: Close to Gomes, low eight figures basically 2:52 Ben Clemens: Or high seven 2:53 James: Jim Crane seemed fairly confident the Verlander would decline the QO. Is there any sort of communication between players and teams indicating their intentions before offers go out? 2:53 Ben Clemens: Yes, there is 2:54 Ben Clemens: But it’s not binding or anything, and I just think Verlander will have a hard time passing that up 2:54 Jeremy: Well, since my previous Phillies-related suggestion wasn’t even a little crazy, I also think they should sign Yan Gomes to back up Realmuto, and sign Iglesias and Jansen to shore up the bullpen. Now is it a little crazy? 2:54 Ben Clemens: Still not crazy to want it, no 2:54 Ben Clemens: Will they do it? Of course not 2:54 Just some guy: Jaws of the Lion is great. The digital version of Gloomhaven is also great. 2:54 Dan: Why does everyone think you left E-Rod off the list? lol 2:54 Ben Clemens: Maybe they don’t know his name, I don’t know 2:55 Ben Clemens: I’m pretty sure that we are the outlet that ranked him highest, which is what’s extra strange 2:55 Rat Racoon: Such a weird dynamic that you have 3 slam dunk HOF pitchers (Kershaw, Scherzer, Verlander, and probably a 4th with Grienke) and that there’s a non-zero chance that all 4 take 1 year deals (I know Scherzer almost definitely won’t) 2:55 Ben Clemens: Yeah they all seem to be aging out at such similar paces 2:55 Ben Clemens: I do think the other three could all take one year deals 2:55 Ben Clemens: I’d love the Cards to sign Greinke and see if there’s more in the tank 2:55 Ben Clemens: And the other two are such injury risks that one year makes the most sense 2:56 Slew: Re: Verlander (And forgive me if this is uncouth), but isn’t he one of the guys said to have benefited disproportionally from the sticky stuff? And if so, doesn’t that make him an enormously risky proposition? 2:56 Ben Clemens: I haven’t really heard that suggestion aside from some tinfoil hat Trevor Bauer nonsense, but basically, I don’t think tihs is a huge worry? The idea that some pitchers will just stop being good b/c they can’t put sticky stuff on their fingers doesn’t seem to bear out with what happened to anyone in the real world 2:57 zach: Who’s accepting the QO? 2:57 Ben Clemens: I have: Thor, Conforto, Verlander, Belt 2:57 Ben Clemens: The only lock, in my eyes, is Thor, though 2:57 Dennis: Only 2 non-closers made top 50? In today’s landscape, where do you see the value in established and consistent middle RPs? Boxberger, Kelly, Chafin, etc. 2:58 Ben Clemens: I think they’re really nice pieces and I’d love to have them 2:58 Ben Clemens: If you can get guys in the mid-seven-figure range, it seems liek a bargain 2:58 Ben Clemens: Loup, Graveman… I put a big number on Collin McHugh, but the crowd thinks he’s getting 1/5 2:58 Ben Clemens: There would be a lot of relievers in the 51-75 range, too 2:59 Just some guy: Clank Legacy is great. Descent Legends in the Dark is great. The 7th Continent is great. Lots of great games out there. 2:59 Ben Clemens: Oh man, I love Clank Legacy and Clank in general 2:59 Ben Clemens: I haven’t played Descent, and never really got into 7th Continent, though I have been meaning to give it another try 2:59 Ben Clemens: The mechanics just felt better suited for a computer game to me 2:59 Sad Dbacks fan: With a large hole at 3B and a way too lefty lineup for the snakes who do you see them pursuing 2:59 Ben Clemens: Kyle Seager? I just don’t think they’re going to spend real money 3:00 Ben Clemens: I think they feel burned by the false promise of their core in 2019 and are gonna try rebuilding a little harder before going for it again 3:00 Brose Canseco: Matt Chapman likely landing spots if traded – Nats? 3:00 Ben Clemens: I was thinking about this for the AMA earlier, and I really couldn’t find an obvious landing place 3:01 Ben Clemens: The Nats have no prospects to trade 3:01 Ben Clemens: The Mets don’t really either 3:01 Ben Clemens: Would the Brewers or Jays be interested? He’d be at least a sideways Semien replacement for Toronto if they pursue Ray over Semien 3:01 Jason Stack: How would the free agent market for hitters and pitchers be affected if in the new CBA the rules were changed so that instead of three outs per inning there were four? 3:01 Ben Clemens: You’d need many more pitchers 3:02 Ben Clemens: Also, you’d want relievers who can get you more than three outs, for obvious reasons 🙂 3:02 John S.: Of the shortstops on the market, can any reasonably play centerfield? 3:02 Ben Clemens: Hmmmmm 3:02 Ben Clemens: The fastest two are Story and Baez 3:03 Ben Clemens: So like, no, but not a hard no 3:03 Ben Clemens: Everyone else? Hard no 3:03 Biscuits: The Nationals have two young infielders that haven’t fully grasped a starting role (Kieboom and Luis Garcia) and Alcides Escobar set to play next to Josh Bell. What the heck should they do? 3:03 Ben Clemens: I’ve thought a decent amount about the Nats, because my mom and a ton of my friends are Nats fans 3:04 Ben Clemens: I think that they can treat 2022 as a building to 2023 year by signing some pitchers they like, a few interesting hitters, and basically trying to fill every position with a)interesting youth or b)players who could be on a championship team in 2023 3:04 Ben Clemens: Give Kieboom another shot, give Garcia 2b, and good god don’t play Esky anymore 3:04 Kosch: How do you entertain Jason’s stupid question about fundamentally changing baseball by altering the number of outs in an inning and not answer my great question about that thing? 3:04 Ben Clemens: It’s because of my great dislike for Eduardo Rodriguez 3:04 Ben Clemens: I left him off the top 50 list, and I’m leaving your question out too 3:05 Bobby: I’ve heard all the homecoming rumors about Story/Kershaw, will the Rangers attempt to sign these two or anybody else? 3:06 Dave: Javy in CF sounds like a big old waste of his SS talent 3:06 Ben Clemens: Okay sorry, thought I’d replied to Bobby’s comment already 3:06 Ben Clemens: So let’s hit these in order 3:07 Ben Clemens: I thikn the Rangers will be in on a lot of people, they have the payroll room and an interesting roster, though they’re still a few years away I think 3:07 Ben Clemens: I don’t quite buy the Kershaw rumors, but Story would make a lot of sense if you think IKF is more of a third baseman 3:07 Ben Clemens: Defensive metrics seemed to have no clue what to do with him this year, if you believe OAA he’s probably better suited at third 3:07 Ben Clemens: As to Dave: lol yeah 3:07 Ben Clemens: Don’t play Javy at CF 3:08 Ben Clemens: He’s just such a talented defender that he COULD 3:08 mike sixel: Odds the Twins sign one of the better FA pitchers? They need three…..also, I can’t believe Verlander got a QO. That’s a ton of money for a guy with his recent history and age. 3:08 Ben Clemens: I think that the Twins will sign at least one pitcher in my top 25 list 3:08 PieTraynee: If (big if) the Pirates were going/able to sign one of the top 50 free agents, who do you see it being? 3:08 Ben Clemens: #50 3:09 Mets fan: Let’s say the Mets wanted to sign Correa and Baez, but also want to leave open optionality in case one of Mauicio, Baty, or Vientos takes a big step forward. What do you think about a contract like this for Correa: 2/$80M with a player option for 8/$180M? Correa gets 2 years at a high AAV and can hit free agency again at 28 years old. If things go south, he can lock in $180M. 3:09 Ben Clemens: They…. they have Francisco Lindor 3:09 Ben Clemens: I think that some other team could maybe credibly make that offer, but I wouldn’ take it if I were Correa 3:09 Ben Clemens: I’d just want a big bundle of money a la Bryce Harper 3:09 Ben Clemens: Screwing around with options is for when you can’t guarantee yourself THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS 3:10 Phil: How shocked would you be if the Red Sox sign a shortstop (I mean, a good one)? 3:10 Ben Clemens: Quite shocked 3:10 Ben Clemens: I know that people want to trade Bogaerts for some reason, but I think that’s just Red Sox fans, not the front office 3:10 Eyebrows: Mariners are rumored to be spending big this offseason. If you had to guess, what players do you think they end up with? 3:10 Ben Clemens: Kris Bryant and a pitcher 3:10 Ben Clemens: It would be hilarious if they ended up with Chris Taylor and he went back to being bad, though 3:11 171: Why would any team offer a 2 year contract with a PLAYER OPTION for 6 more years and $100mm more?? Will Correa completely fall apart and suck? probably not but if he does you know he’s going to pick up that $100mm 3:11 Ben Clemens: There’s that too 3:11 Ben Clemens: There were a lot of weird things in that hypothetical, hah 3:11 Phil: I don’t think Red Sox fans want to trade Bogaerts! I think a small subset of obsessive analytics-oriented ones do. 3:11 Ben Clemens: Fair enough 3:11 Ben Clemens: As you might imagine, my view of Sox fans over-indexes to those types 3:11 Just some guy: Dwellings of Eldervale. Lost Ruins of Arnak. Hadara. 3:12 Ben Clemens: My wife and I have been meaning to try Lost Ruins for months now 3:12 Mets fan: the idea there is that the mets are getting 10 years of correa at a much lower AAV if things fall apart 3:12 Ben Clemens: But…. they don’t want that/ 3:12 Ben Clemens: if it fell apart, they don’t want any part of Correa 3:12 Ben Clemens: But also he has nowhere to play 3:12 Ben Clemens: But also he wouldn’t take it 3:13 Ben Clemens: It’s a cool idea for some team to try, and I generally think that offering players opt outs is a great idea, but I don’t think that exact one would happen 3:13 Ben Clemens: Player options and opt outs are so similar that I just consider them both to be the same 3:13 Ben Clemens: And to be clear, teams DO offer these types of deals 3:13 Ben Clemens: Look at Nolan Arenado’s deal with the Rockies, or Machado with the Padres 3:13 Russell: Am I the only one wondering why it is analytics-oriented red sox fans that would be against Bogaerts? 3:13 Ben Clemens: It’s because they’re in love with that sweet sweet surplus value 3:14 Ben Clemens: Why have a good player now for one year when you could have average regulars for chepa for 5 years 3:14 Ben Clemens: Why not build the whole team out of surplus value? 3:14 Ben Clemens: That’s basically the argument I’ve seen 3:14 Ben Clemens: Surplus value is great 3:14 Ben Clemens: Good teams sign players to deals that are team-advantageous 3:14 Ben Clemens: But I think good teams also have stars, and Bogaerts is a star 3:14 Ben Clemens: Seems like a lot of work to trade him for another Alex Verdugo then try to retool around that again 3:15 Martin: Realistic targets for the Jays? I know they’ve said they’re planning to up payroll but I can’t see them making a serious run at any of the top guys, bar Semein. I think an offer for Scherzer would fit really nicely. 3:15 Ben Clemens: I think they might be eyeing Ray more than people have said 3:15 Ben Clemens: He seemed to put it together with them, and their pitching coach/staff seem to do well getting the most out of him 3:15 Phil: Is Schwarber out for the Red Sox now that Martinez is coming back, or might they trade Dalbec and put KS at first for a year, figuring on moving him to DH and Casas to first in ’23? 3:16 Ben Clemens: I do think that Schwarber is out for them 3:16 Ben Clemens: I thought he’d land there if JDM left, but it’s just an awkward amount of bat-only guys to carry 3:16 Joe: I know they won’t, but should the Orioles start at least trying to bring in actual free agents as opposed the Matt Harvey’s of the world? 3:16 Ben Clemens: Totally yes 3:17 Ben Clemens: Not top-tier guys, but pitchers who they could work with to improve 3:17 Ben Clemens: Giants east kinda deal 3:17 Catherine: Speaking of the bizarre Alcides Escobar extension, any chance they’re leaving that position a void because they think Turner would be open to a reunion next offseason if they can compete in 2023? 3:17 Ben Clemens: Yeah, I could definitely see that 3:17 Ben Clemens: The Nats really seem to like Turner, and rightfully so 3:18 Nats Fan: Don’t play Esky? Esky had a solid year. Should the NATs try for a top tier SS then? 3:18 Ben Clemens: I totally believe our projections on Esky… and they are for 623 PA and 0.3 WAR 3:18 Ben Clemens: It’s a $1 million contract, that’s fine for a backup 3:18 Ben Clemens: Which is presumably what they see him as 3:18 Joe: Who would be the best fit for the Os, then? 3:19 Ben Clemens: How about signing Alex Wood, Collin McHugh, and Jon Gray 3:19 Ben Clemens: A sampler platter of good pitchers who have outs to become great pitchers 3:19 Puster Bosey (retired): What team makes the most sense for Carlos Rodon to sign, and does he go for a one-year prove-it contract? I don’t think there’s a bigger gamble in this year’s FA class 3:19 Ben Clemens: If I were a team, I’d want to offer Rodon the contract I suggested — 3/15 3:19 Ben Clemens: I’d do 4/15 maybe too? 3:20 Ben Clemens: I’m thinking that you want to keep the AAV down but spread the years out, because you don’t want too many eggs in one basket for an oft-injured guy 3:20 Ben Clemens: The Tigers would actually make some sense there; they’ll already be babying their rotation, so they’re a good bet to go 6-man, which helps Rodon 3:20 Ben Clemens: They’re also likely to be competitive for the next four years 3:21 171: Camden Yards would like a word with any pitcher who wants to make a 1 year prove it deal with Baltimore, unfortunately. 3:21 Ben Clemens: Yeah, sadly 3:22 Ben Clemens: I think you could still convince pitchers to go there though 3:22 Ben Clemens: Teams understand that Camden is not a fun place to pitch 3:22 Dave: If you get all 50 contract guesses right will Meg give you the keys to the site? 3:22 Ben Clemens: I hope so! 3:22 Ben Clemens: Also, there’s legit no shot I get all of these even close 3:23 Ben Clemens: This has been a surprisingly hard exercise 3:23 JR: The padres payroll being what it is. Do you think they’re able to add say, a Marcus Stroman? Do you see a fit there? 3:23 Ben Clemens: I don’t really see a fit, to be honest 3:23 Ben Clemens: The Padres need pitching depth more than anything else 3:23 Ben Clemens: They’re not short a number two, they’re short four number fours 3:24 Dalton Wilcox: Am I the only one on the Lorenzen as a SP wagon? He has the pitch mix, the arm health, the athleticism 3:25 Ben Clemens: I gave him some consideration, and I think he’d be a nice sign for some team that is interested in trying him full-time in the rotation 3:26 Dalton Wilcox: O/U Michael Lorezen at 4/40? 3:26 Ben Clemens: I will take the under 3:26 Ben Clemens: Not that these are perfect estimations, but our crowdsourcing had him at 1/4, lol 3:27 The Stranger: If the Red Sox sign a SS, it should be Semien to play 2B. But really it seems like they should prioritize pitching this year 3:27 Ben Clemens: I agree with this completey 3:27 Ben Clemens: completely* 3:27 Ben Clemens: just get pitching! 3:28 Ben Clemens: Alright, on that note, I’m going to call this a chat. May your dreams of your team signing a trillion players all come true, and may the CBA be resolved soon enough that it doesn’t mess with next season 3:28 Ben Clemens: Have a great day, everyone.