Contract Crowdsourcing 2023-24: Ballot 7 of 11

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent seasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating a contract crowdsourcing project, with the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowd to better understand and project the 2023-24 free agent market.

In recent years, we’ve added a few features to these ballots based on reader feedback. You now have the option to indicate that a player will only receive a minor-league contract, or won’t receive one at all. If there is a player option, team option, or opt out in a player’s contract, you’ll be able to indicate whether you think he will remain with his current team or become a free agent. Numbers are prorated to full season where noted. The projected WAR figures are from the first cut of the 2024 Steamer600 projections.

Below are ballots for eight of this year’s free agents — in this case, another group of starting pitchers.

Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the co-host of Effectively Wild. Prior to joining FanGraphs, her work appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside. You can follow her on twitter @megrowler.

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5 months ago

I think everyone here gets a 1 year but for Wacha.

Doug Lampertmember
5 months ago
Reply to  cwood41

My pitcher votes are VERY heavy on making the qualifying offer and accepted for both ballots 6 and 7.

If I were a MLB GM, I’d be willing to go 20.5 mil for a currently healthy decent starter (everyone always needs more pitching, because all pitchers are injured, some of them just throw anyway). I’d be reluctant to go long (see the part about all being injured).

Given the contracts these guys are likely to get if they decline the option, Ive got lots of accepted options or staying on current contracts. I doubt that they all will, but I don’t know how to project who’ll be irrational about it or who can actually do noticably better than 20.5 mil for a 1 year deal.

5 months ago
Reply to  cwood41

I think so too. Maeda might get 2. He’s been very good when he has pitched. That means he might be in-demand enough that someone gives him a 2 year, $10M deal or something to get him instead of a 1 year, $12M contract and going somewhere else.

Smiling Politelymember
5 months ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

Yeah, I’m in the one year boat, but Maeda was the genuine puzzler. In the end, I copped out by assuming he would be offered and accept a QO, which might actually happen if he wants to stay there. If you think he can give you 165+ innings, wouldn’t you pay $20m for only one year in this market?

Last edited 5 months ago by Smiling Politely
Pepper Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  cwood41

Imagine if Severino had been a FA this past spring instead of now. Probably cost himself like $80 million.

5 months ago
Reply to  Pepper Martin

The thought of him hitting free agency and not only not getting the QO, but it being an obvious no-go, would have seemed crazy last year.

5 months ago
Reply to  cwood41

Gibson seems like a good bet to get 2 years, and Maeda might too. I imagine Kershaw can get multiple years if he wants them, and after seeing what the other late 30s pitchers have gotten recently, he may want the same.