MLBTR Predicts Three Major Signings for Yankees
In their list of 2016-2017 Top 50 MLB Free Agents with Predictions, MLB Trade Rumors forecasts three big signings for the New York Yankees.
One of my favorite articles of the offseason each year is MLB Trade Rumors rankings of the top 50 free agents that features an estimate of the contract they will land a prediction of which club they will sign with. It is not only a lot of fun to read, but usually proves very accurate, especially for the general size of the contract each guy will take home and the teams who will be in the hunt for him. These are not guesses, but reflect a great deal of input from MLB executives and others working in the industry.
The MLBTR team links the Yankees to a number of free agents, but officially predicts three signings for them: closer Aroldis Chapman, starting pitcher Rich Hill, and utilityman Steve Pearce. All three would address clear needs for the club and would go a long way towards making them contenders next season.
Chapman third on their list of the top free agents which is pretty impressive for a reliever, but also reflects the general lack of top talent available. They predict a five year $90 million contract, which is right where I put him too in my most recent estimate. Nine figures is probably within reach for the flamethrower as well if things get nuts this winter.
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Hill is ranked as the second best starter available behind Jeremy Hellickson and 14th overall. They see the 36-year-old lefty landing a three year $50 million deal, which is the figure I suggested the Yankees offer last week. While that is admittedly an insane amount given the health risk involved, there is no one I’d rather see them sign this winter. If he makes just 20 starts for the 2017 Yankees, he could make them a playoff team as long as Masahiro Tanaka pitches like he did last year.
It is criminal that Pearce only ranks 42nd on the list with an estimated two year $10 million contract, which is lighter than the two year $16-18 million deal I’ve suggested. The combination of his middle-of-the-order bat and defensive versatility makes him a perfect fit for a New York roster in need of both. The elbow injury he suffered in the second half hurts his earning power, but he should be ready to go by Opening Day.
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