Yes. Moving players around will be more challenging. Many GMs have indicated that is what they expect. But this theory is getting an early test with the Florida Panthers looking to move on from Keith Yandle and Pierre-Luc Dubois looking to move on from Columbus. Those are two big issues to arise at the start of a season.
Brett Gardner? What's left at this stage of his career? Didi has been a chat favorite, but I could see him re-upping in Philadelphia given the need the Phillies have there and the fact that prices on shortstop have come down in this frigid market. These are not the sort of players that would be a huge payoff from walking away from Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina. Pederson could offer some supplemental power on a stopgap basis.
Oskar Sundqvist will be an interesting case for sure. An expansion team could plug him into the Top 9 up front. I don't know if he can do enough here to merit protection from the expansion draft.
This market could still be slow to heat up. D.J. was on a different level than most of the other free agents and his bidding still took a while to play out. We could see this market remain slow right into spring training. Most teams are waiting to get some idea of when their revenue will pick up. Only a few teams, led by the Mets, are willing to look past that despite the beating they took in 2020.
I expect the Avalanche to come back with a massive push in this game. The Blues want to answer that in kind because they are reminded daily about their failure in the bubble. They want to reestablish their identity and keep it.
But . . . the Penguins, at the time, wanted Ryan Reaves to protect Crosby. Eventually they changed their mind about that.
In free agency I don't expect to see anybody of consequence. I would expect an addition or two from the bargain bin. Trading seems more likely, although, as I noted earlier, there are still a LOT of unanswered questions about the current pitching. And that's where the franchise is building a potential surplus.
Scott has gained votes every year and this is a good tiime to be on the ballot. But can he more than double his vote percentage in one year? That seems unlikely, given the history of the voting. But he does have a fair amount of support there. He left here on a sour note, as was the case in Philly. There has been some reconciliation, but I couldn't hazard a guess on the cap thing.
I can see Mikkola paired with Scott Perunovich some day, assuming the stay-at-home role. But I do see Mikkola having shutdown and penalty-killing percentage with his long reach. His game looks pretty sound.
Given the utter lack of movement on the market, I really haven't spent much time looking at the poor souls who are trying to find a seat before the music stops. This will be more boring winter ever for baseball fans.
I would expect him to top $2 million per year, given what he did in 2019.
Expectations are high for that team. And the Avs know their window won't stay open long because they will have some massive extension to dole out to their top players. That's the down side on having a team that is top-heavy in talent.
The big unknown for the Cardinals is whether Dylan Carlson can learn to hit a changeup. The expectation is that he will an everyday player here for a long time. Otherwise the players have largely defined who they are. How much are the Cardnals willinig to spend in dollars and/or trade chips for an everyday outfielder while still paying Dexter Fowler? I would expect way more effort on this front next winter after Fowler and Carpenter play out their contracts and the Cardinals gain batter sense of where their various injured or still-developing pitchers are. Right now it's hard to spend due to the pandemic and the bad contracts and it's tough to trade pitching with so much uncertainty there.
That's a fair assessment. Wainwright would be reasonable with his re-signing, but Molina might have to come down some. But both players are marketable and that will be important as this team tries to scrounge up revenue.
The Kyrou bandwagon is beginning to swell . . .
I can't help you there. I would bet the offer is a seven-digit salary, not eight, but that doesn't narrow it down much.
I imagine the Cardinals are pushing for a team option for the second year, or at least vesting triggers that include good offensive productions and a big games-played workload.
Molina will trigger a spirited debate among voters. I believe he gets into the Hall some day, but that may come down the road via the committee route.
Sure, there were major city-county issues back then as there are today. But the Bidwill was utterly hapless as an owner and socially awkward. He fell into his money and he did NOT mix easily with the old money that rules St. Louis at the time.