Poll says … Seager to the Americans? The Tigers all-in? MLB managers, insiders weigh in

The MLB heating furnace is in operation this month – there have already been some significant signings – but that could stall if the current collective agreement ends on December 1st. In the event of a lockout, trading and free agent negotiations will cease until a new deal is negotiated between the players and owners.

Until then, it will continue – at least that’s what the managing directors said at their meeting in California recently.

With that in mind, we asked 20 team managers and MLB insiders from both leagues about free agent landing spots and who is likely to be placed in trades this off-season. Voters were assured of anonymity and given the option to skip any questions that got too close to their home.

This is how they voted – and what they had to say about their selection.

Where will every star free agent shortstop end up?

Javy Baez: Mets 10, Astros 3, Rangers 3, Cubs 2, Mariners 2
Carlos Correa: Tiger 10, Rangers 6, Yankees 3, Astros 1
Corey Seager: Yankees 12, Tigers 4, Rangers 2, Dodgers 2
Marcus Semien: Mariners 8, Tigers 5, Rangers 4, Blue Jays 3
Trevor story: Rangers 8, Tigers 5, Astros 3, Yankees 2, Mariners 2

While in most cases there were clear majorities as to where these stars would play in 2022, most respondents weren’t very sure of their answers. They hedged their bets and named more than one team for multiple players, even though we only counted the best choice for each. The teams looking for a shortstop seem out of the question, but there have been many conflicting thoughts about who will end up where.

“Everyone assumes that AJ Hinch and Correa will be reunited in Detroit, but will not disregard Texas,” said one voter. “They have to build around someone and think that if they have a star or two they will draw well in their new stadium. Winning is not going to happen instantly and Correa is young enough to be part of everything they build . “

“The Yankees need Seager,” said another voter. “You can’t add another right-handed person if a left-handed shortstop is staring at you. It makes too much sense. And we know he can be in the spotlight after the Los Angeles game by accepting a huge free agent contract to play in New York. “

“I think Javy Baez’s reunion with the Cubs could happen if Baez wants to re-enter the market in a year,” said another voter. “But if he’s ready to stay at Second Base, the Mets make all the sense in the world.”

Which shortstop gets the biggest deal – and for how much?

Carlos Correa (unanimously) – Average answer: 10 years, $ 304 million

This was a unanimous decision, perhaps because he is the youngest of the group. Despite having had some injuries, voters overlook one of these issues while offering huge contract numbers. The highest value was $ 350 million over 12 years, while the lowest after eight years was $ 250 million.

“Its size makes it perfect to eventually move to the third base,” said one voter.

“He picked a good year to win the gold and platinum gloves,” said another voter. “This is what you will get in his peak years here, but no one can predict where his defense will be as he ages. The third base will be a good option when he turns 30.”

Who will be the biggest name on the market this winter?

Matt Chapman, 9
Matt Olson, 5
Byron Buxton, 4
Willson Contraras, 1
Josh Hader, 1

The two Oakland players dominated this question as the A’s signaled to other teams that they are open to business. Most of the respondents who chose Chapman as their first choice mentioned Olson and vice versa. People are convinced that at least one will be moved. Some thought it was now or never for Buxton and the twins: either sign him to a long-term contract this off-season or swap him out.

“The A’s will be smart and dangle their players with more than a year in front of the free agency to maximize their returns or just wait a deal until they hear the right thing,” said one voter. “There is no immediate urgency other than some payroll concerns.”

“Chapman’s OPS + has gone down every time for the past four years, but he can still take it third,” said another voter. “The thing with both of them [A’s] Players of their age make them the right choice for a renovation or a team that is ready for immediate action. “

Which team will cause the most sensation?

Tiger, 8
Ranger, 5th
Seafarers, 4
Padres, 1st

The question was asked before the Tigers signed Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year contractso they’re off to a good start. Most believe that in addition to any pitching they acquire, they will get a shortstop. The steps they took under Hinch in 2021 have led them to believe they are very close in a weak American League Central – although that description could change in 2022. So it’s no surprise that [Chairman] Chris Ilitch suggests it is time to do it again, “said one voter.” They think they did a home run with Hinch at the helm of the club. Maybe they have. “

“Texas just seems ready to do something,” said another voter. “Your participation in 2021 was surprisingly good [Adolis] Garcia as well as some young pitching. They are not ready to compete, but I can see that they are taking some steps forward this off-season. “

Which of these aces are you most confident of getting back into shape after injuring yourself in 2022: Justin Verländer, Clayton Kershaw or Noah Syndergaard?

Extender, 16
Kershaw, Jan.
Syndergaard, 0

If the vote seems one-sided, it’s likely because Verlander got over his injury problems after undergoing surgery on Tommy John and missing out on all of 2021 while voters were a little unsure of Kershaw’s situation. He missed this year’s postseason with left elbow / forearm issues while Verlander was declared healthy and has already signed with Houston again. Syndergaard has signed with the angelsbut no voter chose him over the two former Cy Young winners.

“It’s nothing against Kershaw, but Verlander is more likely to make a comeback,” said one voter. “It’s been written off once before just to return to Cy Young’s form.”

“Syndergaard is the youngest of the three, but I can’t choose him over the other two Hall of Fame pitchers,” said another voter.

Which player in this year’s free agent crop is most likely to win Cy Young or MVP in 2022?

Max Scherzer, 9
Freddie Freeman, 6
Carlos Correa, 3rd
Nick Castellanos, 1
Kyle Schwarber, 1

Voters were specifically interested in Scherzer for 2022 as he is one of the oldest free agents available. At some point, the 37-year-old will show some decline, but the majority of respondents didn’t say it will be next year. Correa would likely have to improve his career numbers to win the award, while those who voted for Freeman thought he was “money in the bank”.

“Put Scherzer on a good team and / or in a pitcher’s ballpark, he’s almost automatically in the running,” said one voter. “He showed it to the Dodgers, and if he signs again there he’ll be a good choice to make in November.”

“One of those years I hope to be right about Schwarber,” said the voter who chose the Red Sox free agent. “He’s shown that he’s got monster power and can now beat for a certain average. If he’s playing first base, outfield and DH, who knows?”

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