Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Meeting preview!

In brief - none of us have any idea what AA is gonna do.

Full stop.

His public comments suggest:
1. a trade is much more likely than a free agent
2. he's almost certainly not going to sign either Pujols or Fielder
3. If a reporter tell you he's "in on" someone, he's almost certainly NOT.
4. if they tell you a deal is basically done, it probably is.
5. he's much more likely to move on a pitcher than a hitter (albeit someone has to play 2B

My predictions, laughable though it is to try to predict his moves:
(some of these might not be finished at the meeting)

1. he'll bring in a 2B, either Prado, or a former hot young guy fallen on hard times (Beckham, Stewart, for example). also, in a potential surprise move - someone is going to draft Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 - i wouldn't be stunned if that team immediately flips him to the jays for something we can spare.

2. He'll make a significant move for a relatively big name closer. My favorite target is Houston Street, Andrew Bailey is another oft-mentioned trade possibility. It might also be some guy you didn't know was available.

3. He'll add other established relievers. Guys like Holland from KC have been mentioned and while it might not necessarily be him, it will be a guy that will make you take notice. i would not be surprised if he took a guy with a higher contract in order to get a good late inning lefty. Jeremy Affeldt would make mama happy!

4. He will work all week on a #2 starter type, but I'm not sure if a deal will get made because the prices are so high. Jair Jurrigans is madly overpriced and he's not even especially great. He might spend some money on Bedard, Harden, someone like that - risk enough to keep the term down, but good enough to play that role if healthy. otherwise, he will asses the landscape and the go out and try to land Darvish when he's posted.

in fact the one prediciton i'm most confident in - if the jays have no added a very significant SP within the next week, they WILL go all out on Darvish. They have said far too much pulbically about the need to add a pitcher not to.

Oh, and as a final thought, one caveat on Fielder: it has been pointed out on Twitter that if Fielder were to sign a five year deal (instead of the 10 years he wants) and plays well over that period, he will be a free agent again at a younger age that Pujols is listed at right now. and the odds are VERY great that he can sign a much more lucrative deal for the 5 years that follow that date then than he can now.

For instance:

Sign a 10 year deal now for, say, 22 per year AAV. $220 mil in all

OR

Sing a five year deal now for, say, $25 mil per year ($125 mil in all) and then sign one then for (lets suppose a deal similar to what the Cards offered Pujols in length) eight years at $27 mil per (a very modest raise after five years of baseball inflation) for a total of $216 million, and a total earnings over 12 years of $341 million

YES, he runs the risk of career ending injury (think Albert Belle for an example of an unexpected health issue) or a decline in production. but he doesn't lose money unless his deal five year hence is less than $95 million (which is considerably less money five years from now than it is now - see my old report about baseball inflation from a couple of years back)

Can Alex convince Boras that risk is worth taking? if he can (and it's a MASSIVE "if") then those Fielder rumors might be right. but only in that circumstance.

By the time I drag out of bed tomorrow he might well have done something big - some reporter tweeted tonight that Alex had said he "had something on the five yard line" - one presumes he did not mean his own five.

All I know is, it's the most wonderful time of the year! (unless you made the playoffs of course)



Edit to add: My only comment re Jeff Mathis is this - either he will be flipped, or he will agree to a big pay cut before the non-tender deadline, or he will be non-tendered with a much lower salary on the table for him to accept if he wants.

(the trade-off for Mathis is this - go to arbitration and get virtually no raise, say make $2 mil at best, and risk that expensive BUT non-guaranteed deal getting him cut in late March and he walks away with 1/6th that amount (which is less than the minimum salary) OR sign a guaranteed contract for , say, $900k - or risk being non-tendered and finding some other team out there who will pay him more than a million to play for them after the Jays non-tender him)

The one thing that WON'T happen, in my view, is that mathis suits up for the Jays in 2012 with a guaranteed contract paying him more than $1.5 million (and i'd be pretty surprised if it were even more than $1 million)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...A 4 year $120M contract would leave the Prince turning 31 in 2016 and having Bautista coming off the books and the 10-11-12 highschool draft class in full flight ... plus the possibility of 4 years of increased SRO revenues ... an easy argument for AA to make