MLB Hot Stove Survey – Where will the star of freedom land? Who will spend big? Weighted Execs

MLB hot stove is working this month – had some important signings – but that could stop when the current collective bargaining agreement ends on December 1. If something goes wrong, free agency and transaction negotiations will stop until a new agreement between the player and the owner is signed.

Until then, it’s business as usual – at least that’s what the general managers have to say at their meetings in California recently.

That way, we polled 20 team executives and MLB insiders from across both leagues on free agents landing spots and those likely to move on. deals this season. Voters were guaranteed anonymity and given the option to skip any questions that were too close to home.

Here’s how they voted – and what they had to say about their picks.

Where will each free agent star land?

Javy Baez: Mets 10, Astros 3, Rangers 3, Cubs 2, Mariners 2
Carlos Correa: Tigers 10, Rangers 6, Yankees 3, Astros 1
Corey Seager: Yankees 12, Tigers 4, Rangers 2, Dodgers 2
Marcus Semien: Mariners 8, Tigers 5, Rangers 4, Blue Jays 3
Trevor’s story: Rangers 8, Tigers 5, Astros 3, Yankees 2, Mariners 2

Although in most cases where the majority of these stars will play in 2022, most respondents are not very sure about their answer. They hedge their bets, referring to more than one team for several players, although we only count the top pick for each. Teams looking for shortcuts don’t seem to be up for debate, but there’s a lot of conflicting opinions about who’s going to get there.

“Everybody thinks AJ Hinch and Correa will reunite in Detroit, but don’t count Texas,” said one voter. “They need to build around someone and think they’ll do well at their new stadium if they get a star or two. Victory won’t happen instantly, and Correa is young enough to be back. be a part of whatever they build.”

“The Yankees need Seager,” another voter said. “They can’t add another right-handed club when a left-handed player is staring at them. That makes too much sense. And we know he can handle the attention after play in Los Angeles. I chose him as the least disappointed by accepting a huge free agency deal to play in New York.”

“I think a Javy Baez reunion with the Cubs could happen if Baez wants to re-enter the market in a year,” another voter said. “But if he is willing to stay at second base, then the Mets will make sense in the world.”

Which stop will get the biggest deal – and for how much?

Carlos Correa (unanimous) – Average answer: 10 years, $304 million

This was a uniform choice, probably because he was the youngest of the bunch. Even though he had a number of injuries, voters overlooked any of those issues while given the huge number of contracts. The highest was $350 million in 12 years, while the lowest in eight years, $250 million.

“His size makes him perfectly suited to move to third base,” said one voter.

“He picked a good year to win the Gold and Platinum gloves,” said another voter. “You’ll get that in his prime years here, but nobody can predict where his defense will be as he gets older. Third base would be an option. good choice when he turns 30”.

Who will be the most traded names this winter?

Matt Chapman, 9
Matt Olson, 5
Byron Buxton, 4
Willson Contreras, first
Josh Hader, first

Two Oakland players dominate this question, as player A has signaled to the other teams that they are open for business. Most of the respondents who chose Chapman as their #1 choice mentioned Olson and vice versa. Everyone believes that at least one person will be moved. A few think it’s now or never for Buxton and the twins: Either sign him to a long-term contract this season or trade him.

“The A’s would be smart about this and hang their players for over a year before being free to maximize their profits or simply keep a deal until they hear the right thing. right,” said one voter. “There is no immediate urgency other than any payroll concerns.”

“Chapman’s OPS+ has dropped every last four years, but he could still pick it up in third place,” another voter said. “Problem about both [A’s] the players their age makes them suitable for rebuilding or a ready-made team. “

Which team will resonate the most?

Tiger, 8
Rangers, 5
Mariners, 4
Padres, 1

The question was asked before the Tigers signed Eduardo Rodriguez come a five-year agreement, so they’re off to a good start. Most believe they’ll get a miss out of whatever pitch they get. The steps they’ve taken in 2021 under Hinch have led them to believe they’re very close to competing in an underdog American League Center Cup – though that description could change in 2022. . “Tigers are always willing to spend under their ownership, so it’s no surprise that [Chairman] Chris Ilitch said it’s time for them to do it again,” said one voter. They think they’ve hit the mark at home with Hinch running the club. Maybe they have. “

“Texas looks like it’s ready to do something,” said another voter. “Their attendance rate is surprisingly good in 2021. And they have some pieces to build around. [Adolis] Garcia as well as a number of young players. They’re not ready to compete yet, but I can see them taking some steps forward this season. “

You are most confident to be back in shape in 2022 after being injured: Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw or Noah Syndergaard?

Verlander, 16 years old
Kershaw, 4 years old
Syndergaard, 0

If the vote looks set to fail, it could be because Verlander is weathering trauma issues following Tommy John surgery and missing for the whole of 2021, while voters are a bit uncertain about Kershaw’s situation. He has missed this year’s season with left elbow/forearm problems, while Verlander has been declared healthy and re-signed with Houston. Syndergaard has signed with angels, but no voter chose him over Cy Young’s two previous winners.

“Nothing against Kershaw, but Verlander is in a better position to come back,” said one voter. “He was wiped out before just to return to his Cy Young form.”

“Syndergaard is the youngest of the three, but I couldn’t have picked him over two Hall of Fame pitchers,” another voter said.

Which player in this year’s free agent season is most likely to win Cy Young or MVP in 2022?

Max Scherzer, 9
Freddie Freeman, 6
Carlos Correa, 3 years old
Nick Castellanos, first
Kyle Schwarber, first

Voters are especially interested in Scherzer for 2022, as he is one of the oldest free agents out there. At some point, the 37-year-old will show some decline, but the majority of respondents did not indicate it will be next year. Correa will probably have to improve the numbers in his career to win the award, while those who voted for Freeman see him as “money in the bank.”

“Put Scherzer on a good team and/or in a pitcher’s pitch, he’s almost automatically in,” said one voter. “He’s shown just as much with the Dodgers, and if he re-signs there, he’ll be a good choice you can make in November.”

“One of these years, I hope to be right about Schwarber,” said one voter who chose the Red Sox freelance agent. “He showed he has monster strength and can now hit average. If he plays some of the first bases, peripheral and DH, who knows?” MLB Hot Stove Survey – Where will the star of freedom land? Who will spend big? Weighted Execs

Jake Nichol

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