Tag: free agency

MLB Free Agent Feature: Josh Donaldson

Within this segment, we’ll be breaking down the careers of the top Free Agents on the market. How did they get here? What makes them so enticing to teams? Where could they end up? Let’s find out.

Let’s check in on a man of many names — the great Viking Hoskuld, the Bringer of Rain, the one and only, Josh Donaldson.

Donaldson Displays Dominance…

Joshua Adam Donaldson was born in Pensacola, Florida, and played baseball all throughout high school. He then went on to attend Auburn University, and was selected 48th overall in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Early in his career, Donaldson was admired for his excellent eye and plate discipline, as well as his power stroke. During the 2008 season, the Cubs and Athletics struck a six player deal that included Donaldson, and the then-catcher spent the entirety of the 2009 season in the Athletics Double A system.

The three-time All Star first debuted in 2010, but it was during the 2012 season that his major league career took flight, and he converted to the hot corner full time. Donaldson began as a split time third baseman, but, as his bat began to heat up, he started playing more and more often. In 2013, Donaldson became the Athletics full time third baseman, as well as their prominent bat. In 2014, Donaldson was traded to the Blue Jays for a four-player package, and proceeded to win the AL MVP Award in 2015 He turned in five straight All-Star caliber seasons from 2013-2017, in which hit hit a total of 164 home runs as well as a combined 491 RBI. Donaldson was also consistently praised for his excellent play of third base, as well as his unyielding drive to win. Though he muddled through last year plagued with injury, Donaldson is sure to see a sizable contract this offseason, and very well may be the best deal of this winter.

Who’s Bringing the Rain?

Donaldson’s age and recent struggles will undoubtedly affect the size and value of his nearing contract, however, that does not change the fact that he is due for a payday.

His primary suitors are the Saint Louis Cardinals, who are becoming less and less likely to land Bryce Harper with every passing moment, and are in dire need of an option at third (or first) base. Had Manny Machado been an option at the hot corner, they may have shown more interest in him, but Machado seems set in his choice to play shortstop.

Other teams that should have interest include the the Los Angeles Angels, the Chicago White Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies, should they miss on their other big Free Agent targets.

Donaldson, if healthy, will prove an excellent addition to any teams’ lineup, and will serve as an major presence in the clubhouse as well. It is entirely possible that he ends up becoming one of the most undervalued Free Agents of his class, and he might play a much larger role in the 2019 season than many spectators suggest.

My Prediction: The Saint Louis Cardinals, 2 years, $36 Million

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MLB Free Agent Feature: Manny Machado

Within this segment, we’ll be breaking down the careers of the top Free Agents on the market. How did they get here? What makes them so enticing to teams? Where could they end up? Let’s find out.

This time, we’re checking in on a major commodity — a power hitting, smack talking shortstop: it’s Manny Machado.

How Did Machado Make the Majors

Manuel Arturo Machado, or Manny, was born in Hialeah, Florida, but raised in Miami, and groomed from an early age for baseball greatness. He was picked third overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2010 MLB Draft, and since then has become one of the most talked about young stars of the modern era. At only 26 years-old, Machado has accumulated countless amounts of praise and multiple gold glove awards for his defense at the hot corner, and has slugged his way to the top percentile of major leaguers, boasting a career slash line of .282/.335/.487 and 175 home runs over 926 games.

Machado debuted in 2012 with the Baltimore Orioles at 19 years of age, and hasn’t looked back since. Machado began his career with minimal flare, slugging only 33 home runs throughout his first three major league seasons. However, like his fellow Free Agent Bryce Harper, Machado exploded in his 22 year-old season. Manny came out of nowhere, bombing 35 dingers and slashing .286/.359/.502 with an OPS of .861. Then, he did it again in 2016, dropping 37 home runs and further improving his slash. After that, Manny slumped a bit in 2017, only to return to form completely in 2018, for what would be a career year for the young slugger. He turned in a season of .297/.367/.538 with 37 long balls, and found himself a part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization at the trade deadline.

Manny’s cocky, confident nature can sometimes get in his way, (see the entirety of the 2018 Postseason) but that shouldn’t really affect his value all that much. Teams know what they’re getting with him. A consistent bat, a magician of defense, and an oft over-confident presence. This should be interesting…

Who Wants Him?

Machado’s case is an anomaly. Any team would be glad to add his bat to their lineup, but quite a few of them took exception to his remarks and actions during the 2018 Postseason, which could affect the amount of teams that make him an offer. For example, initially, I thought the Milwaukee Brewers would be major players for Machado. They were able to make it to the NLCS, though there were quite a few holes in their roster, shortstop included. Manny would have fit Milwaukee perfectly, had it not been for his actions during said NLCS, which surely have sworn the Brewers away from him. That being said, there will still be plenty of offers on the table, I can assure you of that.

The frontrunners at this moment in time look like the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. Both teams are massive in market size, and both have money in excess to spend on guys like Machado. Other teams of interest are the Saint Louis Cardinals, and the many dark horses in pursuit of a big bat such as the Chicago White Sox, The San Diego Padres, and, most interestingly, the New York Mets.

It will certainly be curious to see how Machado’s actions, as well as his comments are going to affect his market value. Certain teams may be more willing to spend more money over others, which could lead to a major surprise as to where he ends up. However, my prediction, while safe, seems like the most likely outcome.

My Prediction: The New York Yankees, 10 years, $310 Million.

Kirk Cousins on the Move

Captain Kirk

 

Kirk Cousins and his contract has been the constant talk of the Redskins offseason plans after an unsuccessful 7-9 season.

Cousins has always been valued and as a starting QB, and how joining a team with heavy weapons can progress him into that Elite Top 10 status.

The Broncos, Jets, and the Browns are the teams I feel are the most interested in Cousins as free agency looms.

Broncos Scenario

If Cousins does go to Denver, he will have Emmanuel Sanders and Demariyus Thomas for weapons on the outside. He’ll also have C.J Anderson available in order to establish the run.

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Demariyus Thomas is a toss up for the Broncos as his contract is pending per John Elway and Thomas’s agent. But if the Broncos can retain him, make more singings in accordance to their needs; Kirk Cousins can progress on the Broncos and maybe even give them a new identity since Peyton Manning made them relevant.

The Broncos D is anchored down by Von Miller who is surrounded with talent on D with Chris Harris Jr, along with Shane Rey who was hurt this season.

Jets Scenario

The Jets have $75 Million in cap so it makes perfect sense why Cousins could be targeted by the Jets. The Jets have been looking for a franchise QB since the Sanchez/Rex Ryan era. The Jets have the opportunity to sign Cousins, but should they?

Cousins is 29. He’s thrown for 99 TD’s and 55 INT’s for 16,000+ yards in his career. He’s taken the Redskins to the playoffs once in his 6 year career. He’s only started 3 years out of the 6, but that experiance is key in a short amount of time. Plus his time as the backup to RGIII.

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets

If Kirk Cousins signs with the Jets, he’ll have a healthy Quincy Enunwa, (Maybe) Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, ArDarious Stewart, and Chad Hansen. The WR options are very underrated, but the Jets must add another solid piece to the puzzle, maybe on the running game. Bilal Powell is excellent, but a 1-2 is perfect to go with Powell’s speed. The Jets have a young and upcoming Defense. They also have a coach Cousins likes in Jeremy Bates the new OC for the Jets.

Matt Forte’s future with the Jets is also a mystery.

Browns Scenario

The Cleveland Browns have the most cap room in the NFL as the 2018 NFL Free Agency looms. Even so, I personally don’t think he’ll go to the Browns where QB’s careers go to die.

 

The Browns do however have some interesting options at WR, enough for an established vet like Cousins to transform into viable targets. Targets such as Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and Duke Johnson are good enough to progress along and build around.

The Browns need help on Defense as no doubt one of those top 10 picks will have to be a defensive player. A Veteran QB signee though, would help the Browns as far as growing their young team.

It’s either Allen, Darnold, or Cousins in Cleveland next year, count it.