The League Championship Series are in full swing, which means the offseason is but a World Series away …
- There will be another international arm on the market this offseason: Suk-Min Yoon from Korea. A traditional free agent, Yoon has hired Scott Boras to represent him this offseason. The 27-year-old will soon throw for interested MLB teams (it appears), and the market for him will be interesting to see. On the one hand, he’s the right age and doesn’t come with a posting fee. On the other hand, his stats in Korea are good, but not overwhelmingly so. The Cubs always seem to at least explore these types of signings, so we might hear more about Yoon in the coming months.
- At least one GM is thinking that Brian McCann could get six years and $100 million this offseason. Part of the justification? He’s got a bat that could justify a later move from behind the plate to first base or the DH spot. McCann turns 30 next year, so a six-year deal – viewing him as a catcher – would be an extreme commitment. The Cubs have been connected to free agent catching rumors already this offseason, so it’s at least worth keeping an eye on. But, obviously, if McCann does get six years and $100 million on the basis of a future move from behind the plate, there wouldn’t be much sense in the Cubs going all out on him.
- Beyond the Box Score looks at trading David Price – the various implications, inputs, value expectations, price, etc. – and concludes that a deal could look fairly similar to the one that landed the Royals James Shields (i.e., an elite prospect (Wil Myers), a back-end top 100 type (Jake Odorizzi), and some other pieces on each side to even things out). Further, Price’s arbitration costs in the next two years could reach upwards of $40 million for two seasons – not much cost savings over market value there. (I don’t see much sense in the part where Jeff Samardzija is suggested as a centerpiece for a Price trade. Each pitcher is two years from free agency, and I can’t see the Cubs swapping one extension possibility for another – just as I can’t see the Rays sacrificing the downgrade from Price to Samardzija for the resultant cost savings (which are uncertain). The Rays will want true prospects for Price.)
- Speaking of Price, Nick Cafardo reports that the Rays are still trying to figure out a way to keep and extend him, rather than trade him … but it’s a losing battle. Among the possible trading partners, the Cubs once again feature prominently. The reality that fans need to accept, however, as a Price trade is discussed: it is virtually impossible to see the Cubs landing Price without giving up at least one of The Big Four. Moreover, Jorge Soler has a big league contract that pays him quite a bit of money (and arbitration raises, if he earns them), so I can’t see it being Soler. Kris Bryant is untradable until next Summer, so it won’t be him if a deal is made this offseason. That leaves Albert Almora (the front office’s first first-round pick, and a kid they reportedly love) and Javier Baez (broke out as a top 15 prospect in all of baseball). Are you still eager to make a trade?
- Joel Sherman writes about the qualifying offer decisions facing the Yankees and their free agents, and it’s an interesting read as we approach the offseason. Curtis Granderson, for example, will face a very tough decision: accept the $14.1 million qualifying offer and delay free agency another year (while may rebuilding value in the interim), or decline, knowing that his market will be badly hurt, given his middling standing right now?