It must be that time of the year …
Soon after ESPN’s Dan Szymborski released his contract projections for the impending historic free agent class that arrives after this season, MLB Trade Rumors shared their first 2018-2019 Free Agent Power Rankings.
And since we’re still in the early parts of the 2018 season – i.e. before the draft-rumblings pick-up, the hot stove takes off, and the playoff races get heated – Jon Heyman thought he’d throw out some projections for the upcoming free agent class, too.
In a post combining free agent power rankings, landing spot predictions, and very-early “rough estimates of the hauls they’ll receive,” Heyman has put together a fun, comprehensive read for your Friday afternoon.
Note: Instead of picking an exact dollar amount and a team, Heyman has separated the free agents into buckets (like you see below) and included the “most likely landing spots” for each. Check out his write-up for the full list and all the particulars, but we want to discuss some of the buckets:
$200 Million and Up
- Bryce Harper, OF
- Manny Machado, SS
- Clayton Kershaw, SP
- Dallas Keuchel, SP
- Josh Donaldson, 3B
- A.J. Pollock, OF
- Craig Kimbrel, RP
- Patrick Corbin, SP
- Andrew Miller, RP
- Marwin Gonzalez, INF-OF
- Zach Britton, RP
- Brian Dozier, 2B
- Elvis Andrus, SS
- Cody Allen, RP
- Garrett Richards, SP
Reminder: For the rest of the list, individual write-ups and some guesses on where each player will land, be sure to check out Heyman’s post at FanRag.
First and foremost, Brian Dozier and Elvis Andrus are the only two *not* in the top ten above who were in MLB Trade Rumor’s top ten. Heyman has replaced them with Andrew Miller and Marwin Gonzalez, though all four appear within the top 15, so it’s not really too much of a disconnect.
As for some of the specifics, I should note that Heyman seems to double-down on his belief that Harper could get *$500 MILLION* … but I’ll take the under on that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if he has another season like 2015 this year (and he seems to be on his way), he’ll set a new record and might even eclipse $400M … but, no, he’s not getting $500M. I just don’t see the line moving that far that fast. (Reminder, Dan Szymborski’s projections have Harper earning $258M over 8 years, which wasn’t even more than Manny Machado, so …).
So where does Heyman see Harper going? Well, as he’s hinted before, the Cubs are not even included in the four most likely landing spots: Nationals, Dodgers, Phillies, and Giants. All four of those teams will be involved, I’m sure, but to not even include the Cubs in the conversation? Eh … we’ll see.
The same goes for Manny Machado – Heyman includes the Phillies, Yankees, Cardinals, and White Sox, and I have no beef with any of that. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs in play for Machado, and that’s without even seriously considering that they tried to trade for him this offseason. In a sense, the Cubs could add either Machado or Harper and make it work, 1) because you make it work however you can when someone of their age and talent level expresses an interest in joining your team, and 2) because a position move here or a trade there would open up plenty of space.
Let’s leave it there for now. In the meantime, here’s another free agent ranking piece with some predictions to get you through the weekend. Everyone likes rumors and big contract predictions, right?