At FanRag Sports Network‘s Major League Baseball site Today’s Knuckleball we often do a round table where a group of writers from the site all weigh in on certain pertinent questions regarding different events in Major League Baseball. This could be anything from trade deadline moves to the World Series to the offseason.
This round table is has to do with what we, as professional baseball writers, thought about what has happened over the offseason from moves that have been made to predictions on what is still to come before Opening Day. To read the full round table discussion please follow the link below:
Below are my thoughts on the questions that were posed at this round table discussion:
1) What has been the best deal signed this offseason?
The Royals bringing back Alex Gordon is probably the best deal of the offseason. The Royals know that they basically have a two-year window to win another championship before most of their main players become free agents. There is no way they will be able to resign all of them. Gordon is one of, if not the, main face of the franchise.
Alex Gordon. Getty Images.
He was a hero in the World Series with his game-tying ninth inning home run in Game 1 and when the team is no longer winning he will still be there as a reminder of the very good seasons they had. Gordon is also a life-long Royal and likely will retire with the Royals. He is the perfect player for them to lock down to a new contract. For Gordon’s position and prowess the Royals got a pretty good deal money-wise at four years with an option for a fifth year at $72 million when a lot of players in his positions and around his age were asking for much more. They needed to bring him back. He fits in perfectly with the team. It would be near impossible to picture Alex Gordon in a uniform other than the Royals.
2) Same general criteria, what’s the worst deal that’s been signed thus far (worst for the team). Who overreached on a guy you don’t see making a big impact?
The San Francisco Giants signing both Johnny Cueto (6 years/$130 million) and Jeff Samardzija (5 years, $90 million) is overreaching on two guys who are just not that good. Yes, over the past five years or so Cueto has been one of the leagues best pitchers overall, that is true. However he is inconsistent (as was made apparent when he joined the Royals in 2015) and has had elbow issues in the past.
Jeff Samardzija. Getty Images.
Samardzija had a great start to his 2014 season but ended up being just an average, mediocre pitcher when he was traded to the Oakland A’s and a pretty bad year in 2015 after being traded to the Chicago White Sox. He doesn’t strike me as a pitcher you can really count on and neither does Cueto so spending over $200 million on two pitchers who could literally either be great or be terrible seems like a bad idea. Of course both will benefit from the pitcher friendly confines of AT&T Park in San Francisco but will that be enough to justify $220 million on two players? I just don’t see that happening.
3) Which player on a new team are you most excited to watch?
Personally, I am excited to see if Zack Greinke will make a big difference for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team actually has a pretty good rotation behind Greinke especially with their recent acquisition of Shelby Miller, who despite not getting a lot of wins, pitched brilliantly for the Atlanta Braves in 2015. They have a solid closer in Brad Ziegler and they’ve got Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock who are two of the most solid players around. Goldschmidt especially is, in my opinion, the best first baseman in the game. If the Diamondbacks can make the playoffs in 2016 – he may just win the NL MVP award that has been alluding him. It will be interesting to see if Greinke can replicate the numbers he put up in 2015 and if he can, how far he can lead the Diamondbacks in the NL West – a division that has been dominated for years by the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
4) The market has changed a bit now, so let’s do this again. On Opening Day, Justin Upton will be on the _________ and Yoenis Cespedes will be on the __________.
Justin Upton is (obviously) now a member of the Detroit Tigers and my prediction for Yoenis Cespedes is that he will be on the Chicago White Sox.