Impact of Rizzo and Anderson
Let’s start with the two free agents, Rizzo and Anderson, because they will have a certain impact in the league.
Anthony Rizzo: Two years, $40 million guaranteed
The deal was technically for two years and $34 million including a $17 million club option ($6 million buyout) in 2025. But that’s $40 million guaranteed over two years, so that’s how we’re going to discuss it for settlement purposes. following conversation.
As Brett pointed out in his opening story, there was no immediate impact from Rizzo’s deal, in part because he was always expected to re-sign with the Yankees. Had he signed with the Astros, they would have been busted by Jose Abreu’s transfer market, but it’s never seemed more likely. So whatever on that front.
HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean there is zero impact on the Abreu market (and, by extension, the Cubs).
Abreu may be 2.5 years older than Rizzo, but the former Southsider (137 wRC+) has had a better offensive season than the former Northsider (132 wRC+), and the last three seasons have been much stronger:
Rizzo: .234/.341/.451 (119wRC+); 1,367 PA
Abreu: .289/.366/.489 (137wRC+); 1,600 PA
Abreu (369) also played 40 more games than Rizzo (329) in that stretch. So if Rizzo was able to get what is effectively a two-year, $40 million deal, I think Abreu can probably match or beat him. Just something to keep in mind for a guy who has been connected enough to the Cubs over the last few weeks.
Tyler Anderson: three years, $39 million
Again, Brett went into some of the immediate impacts of this deal in his dedicated post right here, but something else has popped up since he posted:
Last night, Ken Rosenthal linked free agent starting pitcher Justin Verlander to the Los Angeles Dodgers — specifically, he said — if Anderson declined his QO. Which he did. So there you are. Also helping this cause: Verlander is unrelated to draft pick compensation and the Dodgers are a perennial contender (makes sense for a 40-year-old).
Remember, in 2017, when the Cubs might have had Justin Verlander, who wanted to come to Chicago? Since then, he has had 102 starts with a 2.26 ERA and 825 strikeouts in 652 IP. Lol.
Teoscar Hernández is available
We already know the Blue Jays are looking to trade one of their young wide receivers this offseason, but Jon Morosi hears of another player who may be available in Teoscar Hernandez:
Teoscar Hernández, who I think is one of the best trade candidates out there this offseason…. He’s entering the final year of his contract before free agency, so the Jays have some decisions to make. They also have… a very right-handed dominant lineup… So with Hernandez entering free agency after this season and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as well, there is a belief that either one could be pressured to bring in a pitcher or become a little more left-handed or both.
Morosi noted that the Mariners are a team to watch, and even specifically named Chris Flexon as a potential returner.
Before you go shopping for the Cubs, note that Hernandez and Gurriel are both right-handed corner fielders. The Cubs are looking for a center fielder and *also* want to go lefty. I’m also not really able to trade the pitch (unless it was for a real impactful, multi-year talent).
So could the Cubs and Blue Jays reunite on one of the catchers? Yes, absolutely. But for one of these outfielders? Eh, not so much.
Predictions for Judge, Bogaerts, Senga
We’ve already discussed Gordon Wittenmyer’s big prediction (Carlos Correa at the Cubs!), but he had other useful information at NBC Sports Chicago. Between them:
- Giants president Farhan Zaidi “absolutely” loves having hometown kids, because those players end up being “more invested and involved in the organization and community. He also said “financially, there’s nobody who it would be beyond our capabilities.” Free agent fullback Aaron Judge grew up a Giants fan in California.
- echoed Wittenmyer Jon Heyman’s recent report that the Phillies might be interested in Xander Bogaerts (although I still believe Trea Turner is their main target). Wittenmyer also said he keeps an eye on the Mariners and believes Bogaerts could be a backup for the Cubs.
- Senga is in San Francisco on a recruiting visit, and separately, Seiya Suzuki has already reached out to recruit him for the Cubs.
- I’m reading between the lines a bit, but Ken Rosenthal seems to be implying that the Brewers might want to “reconfigure their payroll a little bit” this offseason. And to achieve that, they might consider trading Kolten Wong (1yr, $10m left) or Hunter Renfroe (1yr, ~$11.2m). Conversely, they are NOT likely to trade shortstop Willy Adames, which takes a theoretical alternative (albeit a MUCH lower level) out of the market.
- With the Rangers threatening Jacob deGrom, the Mets are reportedly considering Justin Verlander (which lines up with Rosenthal’s report) and Kodai Senga: “The idea of signing Verlander to a high AA contract like that of Max Scherzer has been hovering around the Mets front office for months, and remains a topic of discussion. Also, Senga “will meet the Mets soon,” according to SNY.
- Two more deals for the Rays, plus one with the Cubs, make three:
- In case you missed all these other shortstop rumors today: