Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Mets Re-Sign Cespedes

The Mets and Yoenis Cespedes agreed to a 4 year/$110 M contract today which will keep Cespedes in New York through his age 34 season.  Although the pricetag is hefty, I expected Cespedes to get more.  He was by far the best free agent on the market and he's still relatively young for a  FA.  MLBTR projected him to get 5 years/$125 M.  Personally, I'm surprised he did not get a 6 year deal.  Of course, every baseball contract is a risk and Cespedes could suffer a career ending injury on Day 1, but in the current MLB economy, this is a good deal for the Mets and about as low risk as you can get.


Another move caught my eye yesterday.  The Brewers signed FA Eric Thames, who is returning from a stint in the Korean league, to a 3 year/$15 M contract.  That is a surprisingly big contract for a player with a resume as thin as Thames'.  The other interesting part of this deal is the BrewCrew DFA'd Chris Carter, who hit 41 dingers last year.  That's right, 41!  That got me to thinking.  Those 41 dingers might look awfully nice coming from the Giants left fielder in 2017!  Now, Carter played mostly 1B for the BrewCrew last year and his defensive metrics in LF have always been awful.  On the other hand, his defense in LF is not significantly worse than Michael Morse's was, and that worked out pretty well for the Giants.

Then I got to looking at what Mac Williamson's numbers look like projected to 600 PA's and you get close to 30 dingers by several routes.  Take Carter's 41 dingers playing half his games in Milwaukee and put him in AT&T Park for half his games and you get….maybe 30 HR's?  Consider that Big Mac was actually a fairly strongly positive defender last year and I'll put my faith in Mac.  Maybe  Billy Beane would be interested in signing Chris Carter?  Hey!  Chris Carter and Khris Davis might hit 100 dingers between them!


Jerry DiPoto, the Mariners GM, is becoming somewhat of a hero of mine for doing exactly what I have always thought should be done more, trading prospects for prospects. In his latest move, he sent former #6 overall pick, Alex Jackson, to the Braves for a couple of minor league pitchers who don't have Jackson's ceiling, but who are both a lot closer to the major leagues.  I actually like this deal a bit more for the Braves.  They were dealing from a big surplus of pitching prospects and Jackson, while still not putting up numbers to write home about, started to look unpathetic last year in low A ball.  In a league which is approximately equivalent to the SAL in terms of being pitching friendly, Jackson went .243/.332/.408, 11 HR, 8.9 BB%, 27 K% at age 20.  While it is not particularly young for the level and not what you are hoping for from a former #6 overall draft pick, it's also not Mendoza Line stuff either. I still like Jackson's ceiling.

The two pitchers DiPoto got in return both have great chances to be serviceable #4, 5 SP's but that's their ceiling.  He needed pitching depth and he got it, while giving up on Jackson's ceiling.


DiPoto also made an interesting prospect-only trade earlier in the offseason when he picked up former first rounder Richie Shaffer from the Rays in a 5 prospect-only swap.  Shaffer is kind of a mirror image of Alex Jackson as formerly highly touted hitting prospect who has not exactly set minor league hitting records and stumbled in his first taste of MLB action.  On the other hand, he hit 30 HR's over 3 levels in 2015 and it is still probably too early to give up on his ceiling.


  1. Cubs signed John Jay to a one-year deal. Probably signals they're out of the Dexter Fowler bidding. If it weren't for the fact we're looking to bring in a closer, I'd be on the bandwagon. He's got a solid career OBP (.366) and he's turned his defense around. I wouldn't mind it if the Giants brought in Melecon & Fowler and that would allow them to platoon Span in LF with either Parker or Williamson.

    As for Carter... 0.9 WAR in 644 ABs. Sure, lots of dingers. Bad defense, 32% strike-out rate, career .219 hitter. I'm sure Mac Williamson could hit like that even if he never improves. However, Williamson plays at least average MLB defense, possibly above average, (struggling with small sample size issues and not many 'eyeball test' games) so I'm all on the 'stick with Williamson' boat.

  2. Why can't the Giants go with Williamson in 2017?
    For 8 years, since 2009 (other than 2013), the Giants have fielded a credible team (3 WS, 4 playoffs plus a fair try in 2011) without a particularly special LFer (excepting Melky for 2/3's of 2012).
    Mac might be better than all of them.
    Why not give him 40-50 games? How else can they find out if he's the future?

    1. And spend the money saved on a closer!
      Speaking of, thinking a little crazy, if Chapman wants a 100M contract, why not 9 years at $10 million plus a $10M signing bonus and an opt-out in 2 years when someone will cough up $20M a year as salaries inflate out of control.
      One good year and the Giants win, 2 good years they both win: Chapman will make a lot more and the Giants got 2 years for $30M.
      Chapman hasn't pulled a Armando Benítez - he hasn't lost anything off his FB yet.