Who gets a Conforto lottery ticket? Freeman’s short-term LAD deal? Football hitters predictions, more

Michael Conforto just finished his worst offensive season as a daily player in MLB (.232/.344/.384, 106 wRC+), and unfortunately, it’s going to cost him.

Had the 28-year-old Libero posted something closer to one of his better offensive seasons (something between Rs 127 to Rs 158+) or even closer to his career average (124 Rs+), he would have been locked out for a north 100 deal. million dollars this winter. Instead, the low year and hung up on draft pick compensation makes people wonder if he’ll have to get a one-year deal to re-create some value, or something cheaper than what was expected over four or five years.

Brett and I have been really high about the potential value there for the Cubs (especially on a four-year deal, where the “cost” of draft pick compensation can be spread out over several seasons), and we’re probably not alone:

A little recruiting there from Marcus Strowman, perhaps? We know he loves it!

For what it’s worth, the Cubs have plenty of space on their court and a particular need for some extra left-handed attacks next season (ZIPS projects: .252/.356/.431; 119 wRC+). And sure enough, Conforto, 28, might be the type to aim for help for a few years, not just 2022. Wherever he goes, if it’s for more than a year, I think the next Conforto team might just be a cheap buy from a really strong player. general. I hope the Cubs can take advantage of what appears to be a general reduction in the market.

For what it’s worth, the New York Post analyzes the words of Mets manager Buck Showalter, who may have slipped, noting that the Mets could still add a free agent player, and Conforto sounded his mind. Remember that the “cost” of re-signing a qualified free agent like Conforto will be lower for the Mets than anywhere else. If he’s intent on looking for a one-year deal, New York might be the place for you. And hey, Buster Olney told us the Mets would “spend more money” after closing.

Speaking of this topic…

Buster Olney rumor dump

At ESPN, Buster Olney pulled his sources within the industry to see what’s expected on the transaction side immediately out of the shutdown, and there’s a lot more to address. Among the highlights…

β€’ The industry clearly believes that Freddy Freeman will (1) sign too quickly after the hiatus and (2) likely not be with Atlanta: β€œ…there is a growing belief that Freeman will land somewhere outside Atlanta because of the standoff in his negotiations,” she said. Sources say The Braves are offered $135 million over five years, and Freeman is looking for a six-year deal.” As far as I remember, this is the strongest language yet regarding Freeman’s possible exit. I still think the Braves should desert and give him that sixth year, but if the Yankees or the Dodgers move quickly out of the gate, there may not be a chance for Atlanta to think about it.

β€’ But here’s a new wrinkle: While the Dodgers have long been associated with Freeman, it was believed that President Andrew Friedman wouldn’t hand a six-year deal to an even older first man. So the new rumor? The Dodger-special: β€œBut a really lucrative short-term deal β€” I can see that,” one agent said, assuming a more viable $140 million four-year contract in Los Angeles β€œisn’t a bad alternative to the Braves show if you stick!

β€’ No surprises here, but just to confirm: Olney thinks it’s likely that A’s will have trade offers on the table for Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, and will close those deals quickly.

β€’ Updated medical reports on Carlos Correa (back) and Trevor Storey (arm) are getting a lot of attention from big spenders across the league. It looks like the teams will rely heavily on the latest news to make an informed decision about these offers, and it makes me feel like we might not see the Korea deal *immediately*. The Lock Switch to Scott Boras goes with that thinking.

β€’ Go to Olney’s post for details on Clayton Kershaw, the best balms on the market (free agents and commercial candidates), Jose Ramirez’s availability, Nick Castellanos allure, and much more.

FA Hitter Outlook: Performance and Contract

Dan Szymbourski has a must-read of the day at FanGraphs. It’s a very interesting and informative read, as it uses its ZiPS projection system to predict the next X number of years for each of the remaining biggest free agent hitters in terms of expected performance and price tag. It even takes some guesswork at each player’s destination.

In the post: Carlos Correa (Angels), Freddy Freeman (Padres), Trevor Storey (Yankees), Michael Conforto (Phelez), Kyle Schwarber (Brothers), Chris Bryant (Blue Jays).

First thing’s first, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Schwarber speculate with NL Central (he’s been connected to both Brewers and Cardinals this winter), and I really hate it. I don’t want to root out against him. I really do.

But more importantly, I see some real value and intrigue here. For example, Schemborsky asked Korea to go to the Angels for “only” $240 million over seven years. The Cubs were reportedly trying to get Correa to take a seven-year deal before the shutdown, which caught my eye right away. For reference, ZiPS maps files the value of Correa’s performance at $216 million, though it’s a hypothetical lock-in for much more if the drugs are good enough (well, the Tigers offered him a 10-year deal worth $275 million already this off season).

I’m also looking at the expected Conforto deal (for two years, $35 million) with some interest, and wondering if the Blue Jays are getting a heist from Kris Bryant for less than $100 million.

Since most major league teams can correlate player value with amazing consistency across the league, I tend to take exercises like this seriously. There is a chance that your favorite front office has very similar internal numbers in mind – not in terms of presentation, per se, but in terms of actual rating.

Brave Notes

At The Athletic, David O’Brien drops some thoughts on the Braves’ plans immediately after the break, and most of it is predictable: The league still generally expects the Braves to eventually get ahead of Freddie Freeman. However, Freeman should have legitimate alternatives, so it’s not entirely in their hands. Meanwhile, trading in favor of Matt Olson and signing with Anthony Rizzo are realistic alternatives. Again, mostly things we already knew.

However, the reason I’m sharing this article today is because O’Brien made what I believe is the first mention of the possibility of the Braves going after Carlos Correa, who is believed to be seeking a deal in the $300 million range (that’s like two new rumors out there). He probably doesn’t see it – if they’re going to spend twice the money, they should just pay Freeman, in my opinion) – but it’s there.

O’Brien also suggests that Braves and World Series MVP Jorge Soler meet when the lockdown ends. That’s interesting on its own, of course, but it caught my eye, because Soler had quite a few rumors about him in this off season. I think this is among the first I’ve seen. Other good things in the O’Brien story: William Contreras’ trade, rotation plans, bullpen predictions, more.

Odds and ends

β€’ It is said that the Citizens will seek their first baseman to pair up with Josh Bell outside of the break, but their efforts are not expected to reach the level of Anthony Rizzo/Freddy Freeman. I suppose that means Matt Olson is also off the table.

β€’ Meanwhile, if you remember, the Rays were reportedly looking to add a first-right baseman through the off-season trade, and a former hitter – and current free agent – Tommy Pham just suggested he’s open for the position.