Reviewing my free agent predictions

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It’s time to review my free agent predictions from back in November.
For the second year in a row, the free agents who signed early did much better than those who waited to hold out for a better deal. Once again, the market dried up quickly, as a lot of teams have started to realize that it doesn’t make sense to pay $4 million for a player who isn’t much better than someone who will make $1 million or less. While the average salary will likely continue to rise throughout baseball, the median salary may start to go in the other direction. The stars may be worth every penny they get, but the players who sign for $5 million-$10 million per year tend to provide poor returns.
What we’ve seen this offseason is a bunch of guys who expect to get solid two- or three-year deals have to settle for one-year contracts. Unfortunately for the free agents, Astros GM Ed Wade only had so much cash to burn.
Catchers
Bengie Molina
Guess: Mets – two years, $11 million
Result: Giants – one year, $4.5 million
Miguel Olivo
Guess: Astros – one year, $5 million
Result: Rockies – one year, $2.5 million + option
Ramon Hernandez
Guess: Reds – one year, $4 million
Result: Reds – one year, $3 million + vesting option
Yorvit Torrealba
Guess: Giants – one year, $3 million
Result: Padres – one year, $1.25 million + mutual option
Rod Barajas
Guess: Royals – one year, $2.5 million
Result: Unsigned
Ivan Rodriguez
Guess: Rangers – one year, $1.5 million
Result: Nationals – two years, $6 million


First Basemen/Designated Hitters
Adam LaRoche
Guess: Orioles – three years, $21 million
Result: Diamondbacks – one year, $6 million + mutual option
Nick Johnson
Guess: Mariners – two years, $12 million
Result: Yankees – one year, $5.75 million + mutual option
Carlos Delgado
Guess: Giants – one year, $7 million
Result: Unsigned
Russell Branyan
Guess: Mets – one year, $5 million
Result: Unsigned
Hank Blalock
Guess: Diamondbacks – one year, $4.5 million
Result: Unsigned
Jim Thome
Guess: White Sox – one year, $4 million
Result: Twins – one year, $1.5 million
Aubrey Huff
Guess: Braves – one year, $3.5 million
Result: Giants – one year, $3 million
Second Basemen
Orlando Hudson
Guess: Mets – two years, $14 million
Result: Twins – one year, $5 million
Placido Polanco
Guess: Dodgers – two years, $12 million
Result: Phillies – three years, $18 million + mutual option
Felipe Lopez
Guess: Cubs – two years, $11 million
Result: Unsigned
Adam Kennedy
Guess: Diamondbacks – one year, $2 million
Result: Nationals – one year, $1.75 million + option
Third Basemen
Chone Figgins
Guess: Cubs – four years, $48 million
Result: Mariners – four years, $36 million + vesting option
Adrian Beltre
Guess: Phillies – three years, $27 million
Result: Red Sox – one year, $10 million + mutual option
Mark DeRosa
Guess: Cardinals – three years, $18 million
Result: Giants – two years, $12 million
Troy Glaus
Guess: Athletics – one year, $4 million
Result: Braves – one year, $1.75 million + $2.25 million in incentives
Joe Crede
Guess: Twins – one year, $2.5 million
Result: Unsigned
Pedro Feliz
Guess: Astros – one year, $2.5 million
Result: Astros – one year, $4.5 million
Melvin Mora
Guess: Mets – one year, $1 million
Result: Rockies – one year, $1.3 million
Shortstops
Marco Scutaro
Guess: Red Sox – three years, $18 million
Result: Red Sox – two years, $12.5 million + club/player option
Miguel Tejada
Guess: Mariners – one year, $4 million
Result: Orioles – one year, $6 million
Orlando Cabrera
Guess: Reds – one year, $4 million
Result: Reds – one year, $3.02 million + mutual option
Alex Gonzalez
Guess: Blue Jays – one year, $2.5 million
Result: Blue Jays – one year, $2.75 million + option
Khalil Greene
Guess: Pirates – one year, $2 million
Result: Rangers – one year, $500,000 + $1.05 million in incentives
Outfielders
Matt Holliday
Guess: Red Sox – six years, $120 million
Result: Cardinals – seven years, $120 million + option
Jason Bay
Guess: Angels – five years, $75 million
Result: Mets – four years, $66 million + vesting option
Johnny Damon
Guess: Yankees – two years, $22 million
Result: Unsigned
Hideki Matsui
Guess: Yankees – two years, $18 million
Result: Angels – one year, $6 million
Vladimir Guerrero
Guess: Rangers – two years, $18 million
Result: Rangers – one year, $6.5 million + mutual option
Mike Cameron
Guess: Braves – one year, $8 million
Result: Red Sox – two years, $15.5 million
Jermaine Dye
Guess: Giants – one year, $8 million
Result: Unsigned
Marlon Byrd
Guess: White Sox – three years, $20 million
Result: Cubs – three years, $15 million
Rick Ankiel
Guess: Marlins – one year, $4 million
Result: Royals – one year, $3.25 million + mutual option
Coco Crisp
Guess: Padres – one year, $4 million
Result: Athletics – one year, $5.25 million + option
Xavier Nady
Guess: Cardinals – one year, $3 million
Result: Cubs – one year, $3.3 million
Randy Winn
Guess: Mariners – one year, $2.5 million
Result: Yankees – one year, $1.1 million
Starting Pitchers
John Lackey
Guess: Yankees – six years, $102 million
Result: Red Sox – five years, $82.5 million
Aroldis Chapman
Guess: Yankees – six years, $48 million
Result: Reds – six years, $30.25 million
Randy Wolf
Guess: Mariners – three years, $36 million
Result: Brewers – three years, $29.75 million + option
Ben Sheets
Guess: Rangers – two years, $20 million
Result: Athletics – one year, $10 million
Rich Harden
Guess: Orioles – two years, $18 million
Result: Rangers – one year, $7.5 million + mutual option
Jarrod Washburn
Guess: Twins – two years, $17 million
Result: Unsigned
Joel Pineiro
Guess: Brewers – three years, $22.5 million
Result: Angels – two years, $16 million
Andy Pettitte
Guess: Yankees – one year, $10 million
Result: Yankees – one year, $11.75 million
Brad Penny
Guess: Brewers – two years, $16 million
Result: Cardinals – one year, $7.5 million + $1.5 million in incentives
Vicente Padilla
Guess: Dodgers – two years, $15 million
Result: Dodgers – one year, $5.025 million + $1 million in incentives
Jon Garland
Guess: Athletics – one year, $7.5 million
Result: Padres – one year, $5.35 million + mutual option
Doug Davis
Guess: Nationals – two years, $12 million
Result: Brewers – one year, $5.25 million + mutual option
Carl Pavano
Guess: Diamondbacks – one year, $7 million
Result: Accepted arbitration from Twins (one year, $7 million)
Jason Marquis
Guess: Mets – two years, $10 million
Result: Nationals – two years, $15 million
Pedro Martinez
Guess: Marlins – one year, $5 million
Result: Unsigned
Brett Myers
Guess: Rangers – one year, $4 million
Result: Astros – one year, $5.1 million + mutual option
John Smoltz
Guess: Cardinals – one year, $4 million
Result: Unsigned
Erik Bedard
Guess: Red Sox – one year, $4 million
Result: Mariners – one year, $1.5 million + mutual option
Randy Johnson
Guess: Retirement
Result: Retirement
Braden Looper
Guess: Padres – one year, $3.5 million
Result: Unsigned
Justin Duchscherer
Guess: Angels – one year, $2 million
Result: Athletics – one year, $2 million +$3.5 million in incentives
Relief Pitchers
Jose Valverde
Guess: Braves – three years, $30 million
Result: Tigers – two years, $14 million + option
Rafael Soriano
Guess: Rays – two years, $14 million
Result: Accepted arbitration from Braves, traded to Rays (one year, $7.25 million)
Mike Gonzalez
Guess: Astros – three years, $18 million
Result: Orioles – two years, $12 million
Billy Wagner
Guess: Orioles – one year, $7.5 million
Result: Braves – one year, $7 million + vesting option
Fernando Rodney
Guess: Tigers – three years, $15 million
Result: Angels – two years, $11 million
Octavio Dotel
Guess: Mets – two years, $10 million
Result: Pirates – one year, $3.5 million + option
LaTroy Hawkins
Guess: Astros – two years, $9 million
Result: Brewers – two years, $7.5 million
Brandon Lyon
Guess: Phillies – two years, $8 million
Result: Astros – three years, $15 million
Takashi Saito
Guess: Diamondbacks – one year, $4 million
Result: Braves – one year, $3.2 million + $2.3 million in incentives
Chan Ho Park
Guess: Phillies – one year, $4 million
Result: Unsigned
J.J. Putz
Guess: Nationals – one year, $2.5 million
Result: White Sox – one year, $3 million + $3.25 million in incentives
Rafael Betancourt
Guess: Rockies – one year, $4 million
Result: Accepted arbitration from Rockies (two years, $7.55 million)
Ryota Igarashi
Guess: Cubs – two years, $6 million
Result: Mets – two years, $3 million
Kevin Gregg
Guess: Nationals – one year, $3.5 million
Result: Blue Jays – one year, $2.75 million + club options
Kiko Calero
Guess: Red Sox – one year, $3 million
Result: Unsigned

Twins’ top prospect Nick Burdi will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.

Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.

It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”

Brock Holt has been shut down from game activity

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Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.

According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.

Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.