Sunday, January 10, 2016

Free Agent Market Quickly Becoming too Rich for My Blood

Remember a week or two back when we were all complaining about how slow the MLB free agency market was moving? Well yeah, I almost miss those days now. As a Yankees fan I guess it shouldn’t bother me either way, Brian Cashman has already said the team would stay out of the free agent pool and would rather stick to the trade market instead, but as a Yankees fan I also struggle to take the Yankees GM at his word sometimes. Part of me wants to see Cashman’s plan, or “plan” because who knows the truth besides him, all the way to fruition and another part of me wants to see a big free agent splash like Justin Upton or Wei-Yin Chen. After a slew of signings around the time the 2016 Hall of Fame class were announced though I may be singing an entirely different tune.

Irony aside, as the owner of a blog called the GREEDY Pinstripes, this free agent market is quickly becoming too rich for my blood. There are three signings in particular that kind of made me shake my head and wonder what in the wild, wild world of sports is going on here? First Alex Gordon returned to the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals for basically $18 million a season (yes I know some of the payments are deferred and the deal is a bit front-loaded but the AAV remains the same) before Neftali Feliz signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates for $3.9 million. Finally Chris Davis, all 200+ strikeouts a season and 50 home run power of him, turned down $154 million on the free agency market. Seriously.

We’ll start with the big fish, Gordon. Gordon is not a huge power guy and is instead an average hitter with pop and great defense in left field. He has been one of the best, if not the best, left fielder in all of the game for many years now but is he really worth $18 million a season? According to the VALUE stat on he was worth $22.3 million in 2015 and $49.9 million in 2014 leading his team to the World Series. Obviously those numbers are skewed by his defensive metrics but still, I'm not buying it personally. He is a great fit for the team the Royals have built specifically but if I was the Yankees organization I couldn't bring myself to give Gordon $18 million annually no matter how good defensively he is. 

We’ll continue with Feliz who just a month or two back was thought to be waiting on a minor league deal with incentives for the 2016 season. Here we stand today in mid-January and he signs a deal with the Pirates for $3.9 million guaranteed. Say what? Isn’t this the same guy that posted a 6.38 ERA in 2015 and a 1.99 ERA in just 30 games 2014 while his Fangraphs VALUE was $3.0 million and -$1.6 million in those same years respectively.

Finally, Chris Davis and the mountain of money he turned down already from the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles left a $154 million deal on the table that is either still on the table or has since been retracted depending on who you ask. Davis is a rare commodity these days that can give a team 50 home runs a season and a .250 batting average or less. Is that worth $154 million? Well that depends on the length of the deal, and I presume it would be 7-8 years in length, and the makeup of your team. In a world where Jason Heyward is getting over $200 million for defense and sabermetrics Davis is absolutely worth $154 million or more. You can’t win games when you don’t score making your defense a moot point. I just don’t feel like I would be comfortable with the Yankees giving him that kind of commitment for those sorts of stats. That’s my personal beliefs and they get more severe the closer to $200 million that potential deal gets.

And speaking of strikeouts don’t even get me started on what the Milwaukee Brewers just gave Chris Carter after the guy was designated for assignment and left out on the free agency market for two months. All strikeouts and power, no average and no defense is not worth $2.5 million. Sorry, it’s not.

So in closing it looks like once again Brian Cashman knew what he was doing all along in tackling the trade market early and often. He won’t get the credit for knowing what he is doing, goodness no, except for here on TGP but that’s ok. I don’t think he needs nor wants your approval anyway. 


  1. Daniel, you just gave him the credit he deserves, ad me to that list!
    I believe his plain will bear fruit within the next few years (2017-18), maybe even this year.
    Did anyone see this list of the top ten Yankee Prespects?...

    1. Jorge Mateo, ss
    2. Gary Sanchez, c
    3. Aaron Judge, of
    4. James Kaprielian, rhp
    5. Domingo Acevedo, rhp
    6. Rookie Davis, rhp
    7. Tyler Wade, ss
    8. Rob Refsnyder, 2b
    9. Wilkerman Garcia, ss
    10. Dustin Fowler, of

    or this one....

    1--RF Aaron Judge
    2--SS Jorge Mateo
    3--C Gary Sanchez
    4--RHP James Kaprielian
    5--CF Dustin Fowler
    6--2B Rob Refsnyder
    7--RHP Drew Finley
    8--RHP Domingo Acevedo
    9--RHP Brady Lail
    10-​LHP Ian Clarkin

  2. I just grow tired of reading about how Cashman sucks and should be fired. How do we know Cashman sucks? If it's not George putting his Nose where it didn't belong it's Hal and Randy Levine.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)