Top 111 Free Agents: the non-tender edition

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With the batch of non-tenders helping to repopulate the ranks, it seemed like a good time to present an updated top 111 free agents. Players are listed based on how I think teams view them, rather than any personal feelings.
The original list can be found here.
1. Matt Holliday
2. John Lackey
3. Jason Bay
4. Adrian Beltre
5. Johnny Damon
6. Joel Pineiro
7. Aroldis Chapman
8. Jose Valverde
9. Mike Cameron
10. Jason Marquis
11. Mike Gonzalez
12. Ben Sheets
13. Fernando Rodney
14. Orlando Hudson
15. Mark DeRosa
16. Adam LaRoche
17. Jarrod Washburn
18. Marlon Byrd
19. Nick Johnson
20. Felipe Lopez
21. Jermaine Dye
22. Jon Garland
23. Hideki Matsui
24. Bengie Molina
25. Vladimir Guerrero
26. Carlos Delgado
27. Doug Davis
28. Vicente Padilla
29. Garrett Atkins (NT)
30. Octavio Dotel
31. Miguel Tejada
32. Brett Myers
33. Russell Branyan
34. Orlando Cabrera
35. John Smoltz
36. Erik Bedard
37. Matt Capps (NT)
38. Hank Blalock
39. Kelly Johnson (NT)
40. Pedro Martinez
41. Xavier Nady
42. Chan Ho Park
43. Rick Ankiel
44. Chien-Ming Wang (NT)
45. Randy Winn
46. Darren Oliver
47. Justin Duchscherer
48. Aubrey Huff
49. Troy Glaus
50. Coco Crisp
51. Jim Thome
52. Jonny Gomes (NT)
53. Miguel Olivo
54. Jack Cust (NT)
55. Kevin Gregg
56. Yorvit Torrealba
57. Braden Looper
58. Ryota Igarashi
59. Juan Uribe
60. Scott Podsednik
61. Joe Crede
62. Kiko Calero
63. Rod Barajas
64. Marcus Thames
65. Todd Wellemeyer
66. Ryan Church (NT)
67. Mike MacDougal (NT)
68. Scott Olsen (NT)
69. Craig Counsell
70. Rocco Baldelli
71. Randy Johnson
72. Reed Johnson
73. Jamey Carroll
74. Austin Kearns
75. David Weathers
76. Jose Contreras
77. Adam Kennedy
78. Ronnie Belliard
79. Gabe Gross (NT)
80. Alfredo Amezaga (NT)
81. Ryan Garko (NT)
82. Jerry Hairston Jr.
83. Guillermo Mota
84. Kelvim Escobar
85. Khalil Greene
86. Mike Jacobs
87. Fernando Tatis
88. Endy Chavez
89. D.J. Carrasco (NT)
90. Chad Tracy
91. Jose Arredondo (NT)
92. Livan Hernandez
93. Melvin Mora
94. Bob Howry
95. Gary Sheffield
96. Russ Springer
97. Jason Giambi
98. Tim Redding
99. Seth McClung (NT)
100. Garret Anderson
101. Eric Hinske
102. Ron Mahay
103. Brian Anderson (NT)
104. Ramon Castro
105. Shelley Duncan
106. Danys Baez
107. Jeff Weaver
108. Clay Condrey (NT)
109. Mark Loretta
110. Frank Catalanotto
111. Chris Duncan
Saturday’s non-tenders are listed with an (NT) next to their names. John Buck and Anthony Reyes would have made the list, but they’re already gone. Craig Counsell apparently is as well, but since he deal to stay with the Brewers isn’t official, he comes in at No. 69.
The cutoff for players likely to get multiyear deals is right around No. 30, though some of the catchers and relievers in the middle of the list will get two-year deals. Several guys in the bottom 20 may have to settle for minor league contracts.
Atkins comes in as the top non-tender. He’d probably prefer a one-year contract so that he can rebuild his value, and the Orioles might be willing to give him $5 million or so. The Twins are another team that figures to have some interest.
It might be that Arredondo has already agreed to a minor league deal to stay with the Angels, but he makes the list anyway. There should be several teams interested in stashing him away while he misses 2010 following Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees are paying $86 million for a one-inning reliever

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OXON HILL, MD — The Yankees signing of Aroldis Chapman late Wednesday night came as something of a surprise. And the money — $86 million — was something of a shock. Yes, we knew that Chapman was going to break the bank and likely set a record as the highest paid relief pitcher in history, but seeing it in black and white like that is still rather jarring.

In the coming days, many people who attempt to analyze and contextualize this signing will do so by pointing to the 2016 playoffs and the unconventional use of relievers by Terry Francona and the Indians and Joe Maddon of the Cubs. They’ll talk about how the paradigm of bullpen use has shifted and how relief pitchers have taken on a new importance in today’s game. Chapman’s astronomical salary, therefore, will be described as somehow more reasonable and somewhat less shocking than it first seems.

Don’t buy that jive for a second.

Yes, Andrew Miller and, to some extent, Chapman himself were used unconventionally in the 2016 playoffs, but not long into the 2017 season we will see that as an exception, not the rule. And not just because Chapman showed himself unable to hold up to that level of use in the playoffs. It will be the exception because the Yankees have shown no inclination whatsoever to deviate from traditional bullpen usage in the past and there is no reason to expect that they will do so with Chapman in the future.

As you no doubt remember, the Yankees had Chapman, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller for the first half of 2016. Such an imposing back end of a bullpen has rarely been seen in recent history. All of them, however, were used, more or less, as one-inning-a-piece guys and no real effort was ever made to break any bullpen usage paradigms or to shorten games the way many applauded Terry Francona for doing in the playoffs.

Miller pitched 44 games for the Yankees, totaling 45.1 innings. He pitched more than a single inning on only three occasions. Chapman pitched 31 games for the Yankees, amassing 31.1 innings. He was used for more than one inning only twice. Betances worked in 73 games, totaling 73 innings. On 11 occasions he pitched more than one inning.  It was unconventional for a team to have three relievers that good, but they were not, in any way, used unconventionally. Nor is there any reason to expect Chapman to be used unconventionally in 2017, especially given that Miller is not around and Chapman has shown no real ability to be stretched for multiple innings for a sustained period.

None of which is to say that having Chapman around is a bad thing or that he is any less of a closer than his reputation suggests. It’s merely to say that the Yankees paying Chapman unprecedented money for a closer should not be justified by the alleged new importance of relief pitchers or that changing role for them we heard so much about in the playoffs. Indeed, I suspect that that changing role applies only to pitcher use in the playoffs. And I do not suspect that this transaction alone pushes the Yankees into serious playoff contention, making that temporary unconventionality something of a moot point in New York for the foreseeable future.

It is almost certain that the Yankees are paying $86 million for the same one-inning closer Aroldis Chapman has been for his entire seven-year career. His contract may or may not prove to be a good one for New York based on how he performs, but don’t let anyone tell you now, in Decemeber 2016, that it’s better than you think because Chapman will somehow transform into a 1970s-style relief ace or something.

Report: Yankees sign Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million deal

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Update (12:02 AM EST): Rosenthal adds that Chapman’s contract includes an opt-out clause after three seasons, a full no-trade clause for the first three years of the contract, and a limited no-trade clause for the final two years.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees have signed closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. Mark Melancon recently set the record for a contract earned by a reliever at $62 million over four years. Chapman blew that out of the water and many are surprised he didn’t fetch more.

Chapman, 28, began the 2016 season with the Yankees but he was traded to the Cubs near the end of July in exchange for four prospects. The Cubs, of course, would go on to win the World Series in large part due to Chapman. The lefty finished the regular season with a 1.55 ERA, 36 saves, and a 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings between the two teams.

Chapman was the best reliever on the free agent market and, because he was traded midseason, he didn’t have draft pick compensation attached to him.

The Yankees don’t seem to be deterred by Chapman’s domestic violence issue from last offseason, resulting in a 30-game suspension to begin the 2016 regular season.