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Some Free Agent Bats to Consider


ReclaimTheCrown

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So I did some quick research based on the MLBTR list of free agents for this offseason (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/09/2016-mlb-free-agents.html) and picked out some guys of potential interest. I would definitely love to resign Chris Davis, but fear he may be out of our price range, or that someone is just going to offer him stupid money. These guys may be more in play if we can't resign Chris (though a few of these guys are going to get stupid money as well).

Bummed the season is over, so looking to next year already...I'm assuming here that these are options for 1B, DH, or COF, as those will be our presumed holes heading into next year.

- Howie Kendrick. Not a ton of power but a consistent hitter, career .755 OPS guy. Typically was a second basemen, but plays 1B as well so may be a reasonably cheap replacement for CD. 4/52 is the MLBTR projection, though he will likely cost a draft pick.

- Daniel Murphy. Same type of thing, but LH hitter. Career .756 OPS, little more power. 2B but can play 1B as well. Would bet a contract in the same range, maybe a bit more.

- Ben Zobrist. This is an interesting one, and a potentially great fit. Tons of versatility will drive his cost up, but a career .355 OBP and .786 OPS. The fact that he's 35 means it hopefully won't get a major long term deal. Probably 3 years? Traded midseason so no draft pick compensation. Very interested.

- Aramis Ramirez. More of a stretch, and he's an old guy on the downward slope of his career, but maybe a few good years left in him as a 1B/DH. 37 years old, so short contract. Eh.

- Yoenis Cespedes. Would be at least 6/120 so probably too rich for our blood, and may not be a character fit. But the guy can crush.

- Alex Gordon. This is another really interesting one to me. He has a player option that apparently he's unlikely to pick up. Great defensive OF has missed part of the year with an injury, he's 32 and a career .783 OPS guy with a .348 OBP. I think he'd be a good fit, though the ~5/90 they're saying he's going to get could be a bit rich for us.

- Colby Ramsus. I was never a giant Rasmus fan, but he had a pretty darn good year. 25 jacks, .240/.315/.477 for a .792 OPS. Obviously no OBP and driven by power numbers, but that's pretty good production for 483 ABs. 2.7 WAR this year. Could probably do worse, especially considering he'd hit 30 in Camden Yards. I'd think about throwing some coin at him. Would have actually fit pretty well on this team....wish we had signed him 1/8 mil instead of trading for Snider.

- Justin Upton and Jason Heyward. Putting these guys together because they're both young and will probably demand monster contracts that we won't be willing to pay. I may actually prefer Upton because he would help recoup some of the lost power from CD, and he could probably maintain pretty good defensive value with a move to the corner outfield. These guys are going to get close to CD money (maybe just a touch less), but if we were gonna throw that type of cash at one guy, these guys aren't a bad move.

- Dexter Fowler. I'm a pretty big Fowler fan (really wanted us to trade for him last offseason), and he's had a solid year (.346/.411/.757). Apparently he had a bad first half but an excellent second half. Switch hitter and 20 steals, too. Think he would be an excellent fit atop our order. I've seen pretty high numbers for him though (like 80-90 mil deal), so may be rich for us. Could help reshape our offense, though.

- Denard Span. Slightly poor man's version of Fowler, a little older, a little more hobbled, but a pretty good player. .352 career OBP, but not a lot of power. Draft pick compensation on both of those guys, though (looks like we'll be picking 15th).

Thoughts? Most of these guys would take a draft pick, though, so that's certainly an impediment. But if we're going to get value in FA, we'd need to be willing to take that hit.

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So I did some quick research based on the MLBTR list of free agents for this offseason (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/09/2016-mlb-free-agents.html) and picked out some guys of potential interest. I would definitely love to resign Chris Davis, but fear he may be out of our price range, or that someone is just going to offer him stupid money. These guys may be more in play if we can't resign Chris (though a few of these guys are going to get stupid money as well).

Bummed the season is over, so looking to next year already...I'm assuming here that these are options for 1B, DH, or COF, as those will be our presumed holes heading into next year.

- Howie Kendrick. Not a ton of power but a consistent hitter, career .755 OPS guy. Typically was a second basemen, but plays 1B as well so may be a reasonably cheap replacement for CD. 4/52 is the MLBTR projection, though he will likely cost a draft pick.

- Daniel Murphy. Same type of thing, but LH hitter. Career .756 OPS, little more power. 2B but can play 1B as well. Would bet a contract in the same range, maybe a bit more.

- Ben Zobrist. This is an interesting one, and a potentially great fit. Tons of versatility will drive his cost up, but a career .355 OBP and .786 OPS. The fact that he's 35 means it hopefully won't get a major long term deal. Probably 3 years? Traded midseason so no draft pick compensation. Very interested.

- Aramis Ramirez. More of a stretch, and he's an old guy on the downward slope of his career, but maybe a few good years left in him as a 1B/DH. 37 years old, so short contract. Eh.

- Yoenis Cespedes. Would be at least 6/120 so probably too rich for our blood, and may not be a character fit. But the guy can crush.

- Alex Gordon. This is another really interesting one to me. He has a player option that apparently he's unlikely to pick up. Great defensive OF has missed part of the year with an injury, he's 32 and a career .783 OPS guy with a .348 OBP. I think he'd be a good fit, though the ~5/90 they're saying he's going to get could be a bit rich for us.

- Colby Ramsus. I was never a giant Rasmus fan, but he had a pretty darn good year. 25 jacks, .240/.315/.477 for a .792 OPS. Obviously no OBP and driven by power numbers, but that's pretty good production for 483 ABs. 2.7 WAR this year. Could probably do worse, especially considering he'd hit 30 in Camden Yards. I'd think about throwing some coin at him. Would have actually fit pretty well on this team....wish we had signed him 1/8 mil instead of trading for Snider.

- Justin Upton and Jason Heyward. Putting these guys together because they're both young and will probably demand monster contracts that we won't be willing to pay. I may actually prefer Upton because he would help recoup some of the lost power from CD, and he could probably maintain pretty good defensive value with a move to the corner outfield. These guys are going to get close to CD money (maybe just a touch less), but if we were gonna throw that type of cash at one guy, these guys aren't a bad move.

- Dexter Fowler. I'm a pretty big Fowler fan (really wanted us to trade for him last offseason), and he's had a solid year (.346/.411/.757). Apparently he had a bad first half but an excellent second half. Switch hitter and 20 steals, too. Think he would be an excellent fit atop our order. I've seen pretty high numbers for him though (like 80-90 mil deal), so may be rich for us. Could help reshape our offense, though.

- Denard Span. Slightly poor man's version of Fowler, a little older, a little more hobbled, but a pretty good player. .352 career OBP, but not a lot of power. Draft pick compensation on both of those guys, though (looks like we'll be picking 15th).

Thoughts? Most of these guys would take a draft pick, though, so that's certainly an impediment. But if we're going to get value in FA, we'd need to be willing to take that hit.

I think that your listing of Kendrick and Murphy as potential replacements for CD is indicative of what a black hole the crop of potential free agent first baseman are. ( Corey Hart, Jeff baker, etc.) Ramirez announced earlier in the year that he would likely retire after this season. If the orioles are unable to sign CD, I would target Rasmus and Fowler. Fowler would give the Orioles a potential leadoff hitter, and Rasmus I agree that Rasmus has potential to hit 30 HRs playing half of his games at OPACY. Also, if the Orioles don't sign CD, I think that they will try to plug a couple of holes with the money. If not, I agree that Upton is the guy that I would Pursue. He has more power potential than Heyward. Thanks for putting together the list.

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So I did some quick research based on the MLBTR list of free agents for this offseason (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/09/2016-mlb-free-agents.html) and picked out some guys of potential interest. I would definitely love to resign Chris Davis, but fear he may be out of our price range, or that someone is just going to offer him stupid money. These guys may be more in play if we can't resign Chris (though a few of these guys are going to get stupid money as well).

Bummed the season is over, so looking to next year already...I'm assuming here that these are options for 1B, DH, or COF, as those will be our presumed holes heading into next year.

- Howie Kendrick. Not a ton of power but a consistent hitter, career .755 OPS guy. Typically was a second basemen, but plays 1B as well so may be a reasonably cheap replacement for CD. 4/52 is the MLBTR projection, though he will likely cost a draft pick.

- Daniel Murphy. Same type of thing, but LH hitter. Career .756 OPS, little more power. 2B but can play 1B as well. Would bet a contract in the same range, maybe a bit more.

- Ben Zobrist. This is an interesting one, and a potentially great fit. Tons of versatility will drive his cost up, but a career .355 OBP and .786 OPS. The fact that he's 35 means it hopefully won't get a major long term deal. Probably 3 years? Traded midseason so no draft pick compensation. Very interested.

- Aramis Ramirez. More of a stretch, and he's an old guy on the downward slope of his career, but maybe a few good years left in him as a 1B/DH. 37 years old, so short contract. Eh.

- Yoenis Cespedes. Would be at least 6/120 so probably too rich for our blood, and may not be a character fit. But the guy can crush.

- Alex Gordon. This is another really interesting one to me. He has a player option that apparently he's unlikely to pick up. Great defensive OF has missed part of the year with an injury, he's 32 and a career .783 OPS guy with a .348 OBP. I think he'd be a good fit, though the ~5/90 they're saying he's going to get could be a bit rich for us.

- Colby Ramsus. I was never a giant Rasmus fan, but he had a pretty darn good year. 25 jacks, .240/.315/.477 for a .792 OPS. Obviously no OBP and driven by power numbers, but that's pretty good production for 483 ABs. 2.7 WAR this year. Could probably do worse, especially considering he'd hit 30 in Camden Yards. I'd think about throwing some coin at him. Would have actually fit pretty well on this team....wish we had signed him 1/8 mil instead of trading for Snider.

- Justin Upton and Jason Heyward. Putting these guys together because they're both young and will probably demand monster contracts that we won't be willing to pay. I may actually prefer Upton because he would help recoup some of the lost power from CD, and he could probably maintain pretty good defensive value with a move to the corner outfield. These guys are going to get close to CD money (maybe just a touch less), but if we were gonna throw that type of cash at one guy, these guys aren't a bad move.

- Dexter Fowler. I'm a pretty big Fowler fan (really wanted us to trade for him last offseason), and he's had a solid year (.346/.411/.757). Apparently he had a bad first half but an excellent second half. Switch hitter and 20 steals, too. Think he would be an excellent fit atop our order. I've seen pretty high numbers for him though (like 80-90 mil deal), so may be rich for us. Could help reshape our offense, though.

- Denard Span. Slightly poor man's version of Fowler, a little older, a little more hobbled, but a pretty good player. .352 career OBP, but not a lot of power. Draft pick compensation on both of those guys, though (looks like we'll be picking 15th).

Thoughts? Most of these guys would take a draft pick, though, so that's certainly an impediment. But if we're going to get value in FA, we'd need to be willing to take that hit.

I do not want to give up any picks at all.

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It all depends on what happens with some of the other holes. If we go cheap on pitching, then I could see going for one of the bigger names like Upton (perhaps even Davis).

Personally, I would be more inclined to go cheap on hitting, go with a guy like Murphy, platoon him with Mancini (with Mancini also getting ABs at DH), then extend Manny and go all-in on Price.

For everyone who says we "must" sign Davis (or a top tier guy like Upton, Cespedes, etc), my big question is what do we do about pitching. Ubaldo-Tillman-Gausman-Gonzo is not a competitive rotation.

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I do not want to give up any picks at all.

I'm inclined in that direction as well - last thing we need to do is to further hamstring our farm system. Leaves the pickings pretty slim in terms of FA bats (Zobrist, Cespedes, and not much else in terms of proven bats. Might Rasmus get a QO as well?)

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A pick for a game changer like Heyward or Davis is much different than a pick for Fowler or Kendrick.

Fully agree.

Brings me back to something I've thought of a few times (and I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this): I'll preface this by saying I have no idea how MLB would make the determination, but there should be tiers for free agents and the cost in terms of draft picks. For example, to sign a Howie Kendrick, a team should not be penalized in the same way they would be if they sign a Jason Heyward. Instead there should be some type of tiering where signing an obviously elite guy like Heyward or Davis costs you your first round pick, but signing a more fringy type QO guy (like a Kendrick or a Wieters) would only cost you a second. Or something like that. It would be more equitable and not so heavily kill the value of these guys that get tagged with a QO but aren't really that great (thinking about Kendrys Morales two years ago when he signed very late with I believe the Twins because no one was willing to part with a pick for him).

I like the system, I just think it needs some tweaks.

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Fully agree.

Brings me back to something I've thought of a few times (and I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this): I'll preface this by saying I have no idea how MLB would make the determination, but there should be tiers for free agents and the cost in terms of draft picks. For example, to sign a Howie Kendrick, a team should not be penalized in the same way they would be if they sign a Jason Heyward. Instead there should be some type of tiering where signing an obviously elite guy like Heyward or Davis costs you your first round pick, but signing a more fringy type QO guy (like a Kendrick or a Wieters) would only cost you a second. Or something like that. It would be more equitable and not so heavily kill the value of these guys that get tagged with a QO but aren't really that great (thinking about Kendrys Morales two years ago when he signed very late with I believe the Twins because no one was willing to part with a pick for him).

I like the system, I just think it needs some tweaks.

I don't necessarily think that there should be any compensation. Maybe something to incentivize players to stay with their long-term teams, but why are teams compensated for losing a guy who they had for six-plus years and then didn't resign? I think the QO process works quite well. Morales and his agent knew what they were doing when they declined the QO - they knew it made a middling free agent prohibitively expensive. They could just as easily have taken a 1/15 deal and not missed any time.

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If you assume we don't get any of the big names, I think that again this year Rasmus could be a good fit. A Reimold/Pearce/Jones/Rasmus outfield could work well while not breaking the bank all the way. Saving some $$$ hopefully for Davis and/or SP help.

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Heyward is going to get more money and a longer contract than Davis, IMHO. He's 26 hasn't really had any down years. He'd be my #1 target. Our OF is a disaster outside of Jones, so we need to shore that up.

Heyward's difference is that a lot of his value is tied up in defense. And how your preferred metrics and projections value that defense, and its likely trajectory going forward. I have a feeling that Heyward might not get quite the contract that a similarly-valued, similar-age player with more of an offensive tilt would.

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