If you follow this website on a somewhat regular basis, then you know that we will go around with some members of the BBS staff and predict the stats and storylines for every Pats game. With MLB Free Agents set to be able to start signing with teams on November 7th, we will take it around the horn and see where we think the top free agents are going to land.
Ben Zobrist IF/OF (.276 avg, 13 home runs, 76 RBI in 126 games between OAK and KC)
Jordan: I see Ben Zobrist signing with the Los Angeles Angels this offseason. He did just win a World Series with the Royals, but it's all about the money nowadays, and the Angels have the money to pay for a guy like Zobrist. Zobrist is a utility man who can play the infield and the outfield and will provide great protection for Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Kole Calhoun. If the Angels bring in Zobrist, they'll have established an offensive juggernaut that could be a force in the AL West for a few seasons while Pujols is still under contract.
Pete: To be honest, I don't know much about this guy. By just looking at the stats, you would think that this player doesn't deserve $20 million a year. He doesn't hit for a ton of power and his average is just that, average. However, super utility players are a rare commodity in the MLB. The Royals have a bunch of guys, including Johnny Cueto and Alex Gordon, that are slated to become free agents. With Cueto likely gone, I think that Zobrist will re-sign with Kanas City.
Possible Landing Spots: Angels, Royals, Rays, Rangers
Predicted Contract: 4 years, $82.5 million
Jordan Zimmerman RHP (13-10, 201.2 IP, 3.66 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP with WAS)
Jordan: Jordan Zimmerman fell off this year, much to the way the Nationals did. He was outstanding at times but also really bad for stretches. He gave up 6+ earned runs 4 different times this year and wasn't the same Zimmerman we got to see as recent as 2014. I see him singing with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays likely won't retain David Price as he'll demand too much money and, with his struggles in 2015, Zimmerman is definitely the cheaper option.
Pete: Not the best season for a guy in a contract year. If Zimmerman came out and pitched like a mad man, he would be in the conversation with Greinke, Price, and Cueto, Unfortunately for him, he struggled for most of the season, including the home opener against the Red Sox. He has been linked to Boston for awhile and, if the Red Sox get an ace via a trade, he could be on their radar. Jordan mentioned a great scenario, which I think could also very well happen. In the end, I think he stays in the National League, I just have no idea where.
Possible Landing Spots: Blue Jays, Red Sox, White Sox, Nationals
Details: 5 years, $110 million
Alex Gordon (.271 avg, 13 home runs, 48 RBI in 104 games with KC)
Jordan: Gordon isn't going anywhere if you ask me. Just the way Kansas City refused to deal him while he struggled at third base, converted him to, now, one of the top defensive outfielders in baseball, and brought him up through the organization tells me that he loves this team. I also believe that the Royals will do anything to keep him around. Even if that means overpaying him. He's a veteran and was a key contributor to this World Series team.
Pete: God, do I love Alex Gordon. The guy plays hard and just wants to win. He would look AMAZING in a Red Sox uniform. However, I don't think that there is any way that he leaves Kansas City. Like Jordan already said, he has been in the Royals organization for a long, long time. When next season starts, he will be 32. Chances are he will want to finish his career with the Royals.
Possible Landing Spots: Royals, Red Sox, Phillies, Yankees
Details: 3 years, $50 million
Chris Davis 1B/RF (.262 avg, 47 home runs, 117 RBI in 160 games with BAL)
Jordan: It's hard to see Crush Davis anywhere but in Baltimore, so I expect him to re-sign. I also feel like Davis isn't ready to leave yet. He's been one of the deadliest hitters in baseball since Baltimore acquired him from Texas for Koji Uehara and he is perfect for this team behind Adam Jones and in front of Weiters. This team is just a pitcher shy of being taken seriously and Davis needs to stick around for it.
Pete: I'm not a big Chris Davis fan, Sure, he hits mammoth home runs, but thats all he can really do. He doesn't hit for average and is just okay in the field. Nevertheless, because of his power, he is going to get a huge contract. I talked earlier about the possibility of the Red Sox taking a run at him to solidify first base, but I really like what I've seen out of Travis Shaw. In the end, I think he will end up re-signing with Baltimore.
Possible Landing Spots: Orioles, Angels, the Rangers, White Sox
Details: 7 years, $145 million
Johnny Cueto RHP (11-13, 212 IP, 3.44 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP between CIN and KC)
Jordan: Johnny Cueto may have been nasty in his World Series start against the Mets, but don't fool yourself. Cueto isn't primed for the American League game. I see him returning to the NL, likely Pittsburgh who could use another top pitcher to contend with the Cardinals and Cubs. Cueto is better suited for a shorter catcher and facing the pitcher in the majority of his starts. I just don't see his style translating to the AL, and he struggled with KC all the way to the World Series where he picked it up against an NL team.
Pete: Like Jordan said, Cueto should stay in the National League if he knows whats good for him. He has been linked to the Red Sox since the Royals came to town in August, and his personality would be great for the city, but we cannot rely on him to be the ace of this staff. If they want him to be the #2, then I am great with it, but he will be making way too much money for that. The Yankees are going to land one of these three guys, and I think they are stupid enough to grab Cueto.
Possible Landing Spots: Pirates, Red Sox, Nationals, Yankees, Cubs
Details: 7 years, $162 million
Justin Upton OF (.251, 26 home runs, 81 RBI in 150 games with SD)
Jordan: I see Justin Upton going to Texas. There is just something about the summer in Texas that I think will intrigue J-Up. He was linked heavily to them at the deadline and now Texas will only have to forfeit budget instead of their farm to get Upton. I see him sliding in between Beltre and Fielder and really make an impact on a solid Rangers team.
Pete: I don't know much about Upton, admittedly, because he's been invisible in the West Coast for the majority of his career. On a side note, remember how good his brother was when the Rays were good? Great times. After Colby Rasmus had a great postseason for the Astros, chances are he will get a big deal somewhere else. In an effort not to have a platoon in left field, I think the Astros will stupidly overpay for Upton.
Possible Landing Spots: San Diego, Rangers, Astros
Details: 4 years, $90 million
Jason Heyward RF (.293, 13 home runs, 60 RBI in 154 games with STL)
Jordan: I see Heyward going back to St. Louis. He just thrived there and really fit in with that lineup. I don't see him going anywhere else other than back to Atlanta. Heyward can hit anywhere in the lineup and hit for power or contact. Let's not forget he is a pretty good defensive outfielder.
Pete: I agree with Jordan. Hayward fit in great with the Cardinals and don't think he is going anywhere else.
Possible Landing Spots: St. Louis
Details: 2 yr, 25 million dollars
Yoenis Cespedes OF (.291, 35 home runs, 105 RBI in 159 games between DET and NYM)
Jordan: If the Mets are willing to pay this man, I see him sticking around. Cespedes is really the kind of guy that every team would love to have, hitting with a ton of power and is really an underrated runner. This guy can fly. He also has a rifle for an arm and makes almost any outfield a better one.
Pete: Ever since he ran himself out of town with the Red Sox last year, I have hated this guy. Similar to Darrelle Revis, he is a complete businessman. He won't be taking a home discount for the Mets, he is all about the money. Because of that, he could really go anywhere. It sucks for fans, but almost anyone would do the same thing if they were in his situation. In that case, I begrudgingly respect the man. That said, I think that the Mets will pony up and pay the man. There is no way that they let their best power hitter go, right?
Possible Landing Spots: Mets, Dodgers, or any team willing to pay him
Details: 6 years, $145 million
Zack Grienke RHP (19-3, 1.66 ERA, 200 Ks and a .84 WHIP with LAD)
Jordan: Grienke better be coming to Boston. We do know that Grienke suffers from anxiety problems, but Boston desperately needs an ace and better be more than willing to empty their pockets for this guy. Grienke was the most consistent pitcher in baseball in 2015 and, if it weren't for a second half surge from Jake Arrieta, would be, without a doubt, the CY Young. He also is an MVP candidate. I can see Clay Buchholz helping Grienke get accustomed to Boston and the media and make him more comfortable.
Pete: I find it really hard envisioning Greinke with another team other than the Dodgers. We all know about Greinke's anxiety issues, and the laid-back attitude in LA is perfect for him, and we are seeing that through his numbers. 19-3, with a 1.66 ERA and 200 Ks is absolutely incredible. I would love for the Red Sox to be able to get that guy, but I fear that they would be getting an anxiety-ridden, stressed out version of LA Greinke. For your sake, buddy, stay in LA.
Possible Landing Spots: Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers
Details: 6 years, $185 million
David Price LHP (18-5, 2.45 ERA, 225 Ks and a 1.08 WHIP between DET and TOR)
Jordan: Many list Price as a top priority for any team looking for pitching. I say that Grienke and Cueto rank higher than him. Price has the tendency to collapse in the postseason and I just don't see him going to a team like Boston. I see him going to either Kansas City or the Los Angeles Angels. If Price signs with KC, it'll be a case of "if you can't beat 'em, you join 'em." The more realistic choice is LAA. They are a team that has a great group of young stars, as well as some key vets. Slide him to the top of the rotation with Richards, Wilson, Weaver, and Shoemaker to follow and the Angels have a great staff to go rolling into the season with.
Pete: I completely get that many Red Sox fans are afraid that Price will crap his pants once he gets into the playoffs, like he has already proven to do. However, the big thing that everyone is missing is that you have to get to the playoffs first. Price will help with that. Sliding him in at the top of your rotation will guarantee this team as it is currently constituted a playoff spot. If the Red Sox decide to get Price, they will need a Jon Lester-type of guy that can really turn it on in the playoffs to lead them to a World Series. I truly think the Red Sox will make a HUGE run at Price. With the type of money he is going to command, at that point it is up to him on where he wants to pitch.
Possible Landing Spots: Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Cubs, Rangers
Details: 6 years, $175 million