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Passan: The Greatest Free Agent Class


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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/10-degrees--breaking-down-mlb-s-upcoming-free-agent-class--the-greatest--and-most-expensive--ever-233810112.html

There is a chance that the 18 players listed below will crack $2 billion by themselves. It's a safe bet that together they'll exceed $1.5 billion. And considering the record spending for a free-agent class came two years ago around $1.9 billion ? and that the names below do not include Wei-Yin Chen, Yovani Gallardo, Hisashi Iwakuma, Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, John Lackey, Mat Latos, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau, Daniel Murphy, Mike Napoli, or a single relief pitcher in a market where relief pitchers make bank ? the amount by which the record is smashed could be substantial.
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No doubt this will be a key offseason for the Orioles. Hopefully we'll be able to trust in the internal pitching options if Gausman can come back healthy and Bundy continues to make progress.

I'd love to be able to sign Heyward, resign O'Day, and maybe one of Wieters or Davis, I'd prefer Davis but I wouldn't give either over 6-7yrs / 90-100M

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This article from today notes that IF, a "hope not, but maybe" IF, the Orioles are sellers.. this is a uniquely good year to do so.

We have a TON of money for next year.

http://www.camdenchat.com/2015/5/18/8617043/baltimore-orioles-trade-deadline

However, the Orioles are shedding nearly $60 million this off season. Even with some arbitration raises and other minimum salary guys filling out the roster the team could conceivably have $40 to $50 million to play with in free agency and trade acquisitions.
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o

I remember when the free agent damn broke in between the 1976 and 1977 seasons.

There were 23 players that were granted free agency that off-season.

That may not seem like a lot now, until you consider the history.

Curt Flood sued baseball for his free agency over the course of 1970 and 1971, taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court. Although Flood lost his case, it opened the jar of cookies that eventually spilled over.

After the conclusion of the 1974 season, Catfish Hunter was declared a free agent due to a violation in his contract by Athletics owner Charlie O. Finley.

After the conclusion of the 1975 season, Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally were both declared free agents by arbiter Peter Seitz. They were the first major league players ever granted free agency due to playing out their option.

Hence, the following off-season's 23 players being granted free agency was an enormous (and historical) breakthrough. The biggest (and highest paid) of those free agents was Reggie Jackson, who signed a 5-year, $2.96 Million contract to play for the Yankees.

$600,000 per year, and it made Reggie the highest player in the history of the game.

Converted to today's dollar terms, that still only comes to about $2,460,000 per year ...... far less than the average player of 2015, who gets $4.3 Million per year.

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First off, no way this is the greatest FA class in history. Agreed?

Anyway, the Orioles have a grand total of three free agent contracts guaranteeing money in 2016 (Adam Jones, Ubaldo Jimenez, JJ Hardy). They total $41.8 mil. Aside from all the pending free agents, most of whom I do not believe the Orioles bring back, the following will be in arbitration:

w/ 2015 salary

Chris Tillman (4.32)

Miguel Gonzalez (3.27)

Brian Matusz (3.2)

Zach Britton (3.2)

Everth Cabrera (2.4)

Travis Snider (2.1)

Ryan Flaherty (1.07)

Manny Machado (548)

David Lough (525.5)

Brad Brach (523)

Steve Clevenger (514)

BB-Ref estimates that the arbitration costs will be another $43.2 mil, and the total (including pre arb players) will be $92.3 mil. A couple of those guys could be shaved to get well under $90 mil, which would give us roughly $30 mil to play with to break even.

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We will need at least one corner OF and possibly a 1B. I go all in on Upton (not for 200 mil though). I don't think he'll get that. More like 7/150. If we can't land Upton I'd like to see us go after Dexter Fowler or Denard Span. Any of these players fill a whole in LF.

There aren't too many good 1B options available. May have to go with Pearce/Snider/Walker there or (gulp) Davis finishes the season with middling numbers and accepts a QO (not out of the question).

No reason at all IMO to spend a penny on pitching, either for the rotation or the bullpen.

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Considering how deep the pitching market is, there could be some bargains there. Even though we have depth, if a Gallardo type is available for 70 cents on the dollar, it may be worth it anyways. Then we could either horde our guys, stack our pen, or trade from our depth to get younger, higher upside prospects or a solid first baseman/outfielder type.

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No doubt this will be a key offseason for the Orioles. Hopefully we'll be able to trust in the internal pitching options if Gausman can come back healthy and Bundy continues to make progress.

I'd love to be able to sign Heyward, resign O'Day, and maybe one of Wieters or Davis, I'd prefer Davis but I wouldn't give either over 6-7yrs / 90-100M

Duquette said he has no intention of signing premium FA's, and I believe him.

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