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Dodgers president Andrew Friedman would like to bring back both infielder Justin Turner and left-hander Rich Hill, but Friedman is not sure he likes the length (in years) and average annual value it’s going to take to get either deal done. However, his team matches up really well with his former club, the Rays as Longoria and Archer would actually be upgrades at both positions for the Dodgers, and both are already signed to reasonable multiyear contracts. The Rays are always looking for young prospects and non-arbitration-eligible players, and the Dodgers have plenty of those with which to make a blockbuster trade of this magnitude happen.
There is so much more to sift through when the details get announced. So there will be more surprises and more changes and more youth football jerseys, many of them subtle, some of them not so subtle. And only then will we know how all the pieces of this puzzle fit together.
With peace. With stability. With a sport that has now gone so long without a work stoppage that the three other major professional sports in this land have combined for six of them since the last time a labor war erupted in baseball. How surreal is that?
There isn't an obvious fifth team, as most contenders are set at third, and most of the teams with holes at third base are rebuilding or unlikely to spend the money. The Braves have Adonis Garcia at third, but he really isn't that good, and he's as old as Turner. After signing Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey and making noise about going after Sale, the Braves are acting like they think they can contend. Maybe they're the sleeper team here.
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Fowler is one of the most sought-after free agents left on the board, with the Cardinals, Nationals, Blue Jays, Astros, Rangers and Giants all somewhat still negotiating or at least having checked in on the asking price for his services. I think the Cardinals are the best fit for him, because they need a center fielder more than all the other clubs. St. Louis is still one of the game's best baseball cities, and he would fit in perfectly with the "Cardinals Way." The Cardinals have the resources in their budget to sign him with hockey jerseys cheap, and there aren’t a lot of solid alternatives, either in free agency or through trades. This is one of those times when they’ll have to overpay, like they did when they inked shortstop Jhonny Peralta a few years back. With veteran outfielder Matt Holliday off the books, they can reallocate those dollars to Fowler.
There could be one snag to the plan, though: What if Schwarber wants to return and earns his way back in behind the plate? Then the Cubs could be in a pickle again, but that only happens if Montero and/or Contreras struggle to the point of needing Schwarber’s bat in the lineup along whoever replaces him in left field.
Garcia is set to make $12 million in 2017, well under the qualifying offer and less than he’d likely make on the open market. A year after a 2.43 ERA/3.00 FIP performance in an injury-shortened, 20-start 2015 season, Garcia threw 171 innings in 2016, the second-highest total of his baseball jersey wholesale and career. Unfortunately, he gave up a career-high 26 home runs, leaving a lot of fastballs out over the plate for hitters to send out of the park and resulting in the worst ERA and FIP of his career.
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On the same day the Cubs celebrated their first World Series title since 1908, Montero shocked fans when he was critical of manager Joe Maddon regarding his postseason playing time and overall communication between the two.
We'd been led to believe that owners were willing to shred the entire system that required teams to forfeit a draft pick if they signed an elite free agent (i.e., one who received and rejected a qualifying offer). Turned out we were dead wrong. Those teams no longer have to lose their first-round pick dur to Wholesale Jerseys. And that's a significant achievement for the players' union. But teams will still forfeit at least one pick for signing one of those players. And if they're a team with a payroll that rises above the luxury-tax threshold, it will cost two picks -- second- and fifth-round picks. And that's still a big deal.
As you look over the details of that deal today, could it possibly be more obvious that there was never an issue in the 2016 labor talks that was worth blowing up a $10 billion industry over? Never.
They've now made it through 21 consecutive years of labor peace since the strike of 1994-95. And thanks to the deal they made Wednesday night, we know they're about to make it through five more. Hallelujah.
One scenario put forth by a veteran agent had the Cubs moving Montero and offering Ross a deal “he couldn’t refuse” to unretire. Those were the exact words Ross used when asked if he would ever reconsider. But Montero can provide similar leadership as long as he and Maddon are in the same cheap jerseys. Montero has the ear of all the Cubs’ Latin players -- remember he came to the rescue the day Aroldis Chapman needed an interpreter -- as well as the pitching staff.
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The union fought for months against the owners' push to institute an international draft -- and ultimately won that fight. Instead, the two sides agreed to a hard cap on total annual spending for foreign-born amateur players, of about $5 million for every team. With no exceptions. And no flexibility to go above that amount.
The Cardinals might wish to instead spend their money on an outfielder. Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk and Tommy Pham would be the current starters, with Wong possibly in the mix as well. Other than possibly Fowler, however, there isn't a free-agent outfielder who can match Turner's value.
Author of "The GM's Office" blogFollow on TwitterFacebookTwitterPinterestEmailcommentThe Major League Baseball winter meetings are right around the corner, and almost every industry insider will be in Washington, D.C., starting on Sunday, now that we have a new labor pact. With that huge "maybe" no longer hanging over the entire industry, the hot stove is heating up, and deals are well on their way to getting done. Even after this week's $110 million pact for Yoenis Cespedes, there are plenty of big-name free agents who are still available -- and plenty of Chinese wholesale jerseys and teams hustling to make major moves. Here are my predictions for where some of those star players end up and who gets something done during December.
Once upon a time in baseball, it wouldn't have ended this way. So thank heaven we don't live in that time anymore. Thank heaven we live in this time -- because no matter who emerges from this agreement unhappy about how this deal affects them -- peace always beats the alternative. And never more than right now.
Over the qualifying offer for a select group of free agents? Over containing spending on 18-year-old amateur players who happened to be born outside the United States? Over luxury-tax thresholds or tax rates? How did this sport ever drive itself to the brink of a lockout over issues like that? Incredible.