The explosion of actual rumors and news over the past few days have interrupted everybody’s favorite game at the outset of the offseason: predicting things about which you are virtually guaranteed to be wrong 80% of the time!
So it is with free agency, where the Mystery Team dominates and misinformation rules. But predictions are fun, and at least minimally informative as they do suggest the thinking around the game (that is to say: predictions are rarely just bald guesses with absolutely no thought or information involved whatsoever).
Some of the latest predictions …
- Jon Heyman lists the top free agents with predictions – from him, from a GM, and from an agent – on how much they’ll get, but not where they’ll sign. This is annually one of my favorite sets of predictions, because the range of figures on the deals, if memory serves, is usually pretty accurate (especially when there’s consensus among Heyman and his sources). Among the notable predictions: Max Scherzer is generally in the 7/$175M range that most are throwing out there; Jon Lester is at six years from everyone, but total commitments ranging from $125 million to $150 million; James Shields is right around the expected 5/$100M; Russell Martin is at four or five years and $60 to $70 million (SOLD!); David Robertson’s figures are crazy, with two of three saying three years and $45ish million, which is a ton more than the projections for Andrew Miller; guys like Francisco Liriano and Brandon McCarthy don’t project to get more than a few years in the $12 million AAV range; and, as expected, Jason Hammel is in the 3/$27 to $30M range.
- The CBS Sports staff sees the Cubs probably getting Jon Lester and Russell Martin.
- The MLBN Radio crew sees the Cubs probably getting one of Lester/Scherzer, and maybe getting Martin.
- At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron has the Cubs signing Max Scherzer for seven years and $175 million (he’s guessing the Cubs prefer Scherzer to Jon Lester), Russell Martin for five years and $75 million, and Brett Anderson for one year and $7 million. I don’t think any of that is unrealistic, and it’s certainly a splashy offseason. I’m not sure that would be the best overall approach for the Cubs, though. I suppose I’d be relatively pleased with it, even if the Scherzer deal would make me anxious.
- If you missed any of the earlier predictions, you can have fun with MLBTR’s set – the Cubs are everywhere – and a couple others that have the Cubs getting both Jon Lester and Max Scherzer.