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

Mets Syndergaard ejected after throwing behind Utley

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NEW YORK — In a scene that has seemed inevitable since October, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard has been ejected for throwing a 99 mph fastball behind Chase Utley of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since his late takeout slide in last year’s playoffs broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.

New York was incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules on slides at bases this season. But the Mets had not attempted to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard’s first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman’s back by a considerable margin.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting irate Mets manager Terry Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected.

Indians’ Brantley unsure of return from shoulder injury

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CLEVELAND — Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has no timetable for his return from the shoulder injury that has sidelined him for the second time this season.

Brantley spoke to reporters Saturday for the first time since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 14. He began the season on the DL following surgery for a torn right labrum in November. Brantley hit .231 with seven RBIs in 11 games before being shut down again.

“I wasn’t bouncing back quick enough to keep playing back-to-back games, which is very important,” he said. “I want to be healthy each and every day and I have to play at a high level. This is the major leagues. You have to be at the best of your ability and the highest health-wise you can be.”

Brantley, who received an anti-inflammatory shot in the shoulder two weeks ago, doesn’t think he returned from the surgery too soon.

“I was ready,” he said. “We talked about it. We had a great process laid out. Everything went smoothly. It was just a bump in the road.”

Brantley has been hitting off a tee but isn’t sure when he will begin taking swings in the batting cage. He is playing catch since he throws left-handed but wants to be cautious about resuming a hitting program.

“Surgery is nothing to play with,” he said. “You have to be smart and understand your body.”

Brantley visited Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed the surgery, in Wilmington, Delaware after he returned to the DL. An MRI showed no changes in the shoulder.

“He said everything checks out good, just make sure to take your time and we’ll see what happens from there,” Brantley said.

Brantley finished third in the AL MVP voting in 2014 when he hit .327 with 20 homers and 97 RBIs. He batted .310 with 15 homers and 84 RBIs last season.

Blue Jays walk off Red Sox, 10-9, as Travis scores Martin

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TORONTO (AP) Devon Travis drove home Russell Martin with two out in the bottom of the ninth as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 10-9 on Saturday.

With the Blue Jays trailing 9-8 on a David Ortiz home run in the top of the inning, Boston closer Craig Kimbrel retired Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders. But Justin Smoak singled on a line drive to center, and with Ezequiel Carrera pinch running for Smoak, Martin drove in his third run of the day on a double to tie the game.

After Martin advanced to third on a wild pitch, Travis forced third baseman Travis Shaw to stretch to corral a shot, and though he tried to throw Travis out at first, his throw was dropped by Hanley Ramirez and Martin scored.

The walk-off win was Toronto’s second of the season, the first coming against Texas on May 3, and completes the series win over the Red Sox, snapping a two-series home losing skid.

Martin hit his third home run in four games with a solo shot over the right-field wall in the sixth inning, while Xander Bogaerts and Shaw both had home runs for the Red Sox.

Ortiz’s 13th home run of the season and league-leading 46 RBI had seemed to be enough for the Red Sox, who watched an 8-4 lead disintegrate in the eighth inning as the Blue Jays rallied to tie the score.

Reliever Gavin Floyd (2-3), who gave up Ortiz’s shot, got the win, while Kimbrel (0-2), on his 28th birthday, was tagged with the loss.

Bogaerts, who went 3-for-5 with three runs, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 21 games with a homer off the top of the left-center-field wall in the fourth inning. The streak is the second longest in the majors this year, behind teammate Jackie Bradley Jr.’s 29-game run, which ended Thursday.

Ramirez drove in three runs, while Dustin Pedroia had a pair of doubles and two RBIs as he extended his hitting streak against Toronto to 22 games.

Boston starter Rick Porcello gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out five over 6 2/3 innings.

Marcus Stroman tied his shortest outing of the season, also against Boston, surrendering seven runs on 11 hits while striking out five. He was chased in the fifth inning with one out.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki (right quad) was placed on the 15-day DL. Tulowitzki, who is batting just .204 this season with eight home runs and 23 RBIs, had sat out two games this week with the injury. Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney are expected to split time at shortstop until the veteran returns. Toronto activated left-handed reliever Aaron Loup from the 15-day DL to take Tulowitzki’s place. Loup, who has yet to play this season, has been recovering from a forearm strain and just completed a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP David Price (7-1, 5.34) returns to a happy hunting ground Sunday. The former Blue Jay makes his first start of the season at Rogers Centre, where he is 11-1 in 15 career starts with a 3.34 ERA.

Blue Jays: RHP R.A. Dickey (2-6, 4.60) is 0-5 in his last eight starts against the Red Sox. He is looking for his first win against them since going 4-0 in 2014.

Hendricks pitches 5-hitter, Cubs beat Phillies 4-1

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CHICAGO (AP) Kyle Hendricks pitched a five-hitter for his second career complete game, Dexter Fowler hit a leadoff homer and the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday.

Hendricks (3-4) struck out seven and walked none. He was in line for his second career shutout before giving up a run in the ninth.

Fowler sparked a two-run first against Jerad Eickhoff (2-7) with his sixth home run.

Jason Heyward had two doubles for Chicago, which has won four in a row. Ben Zobrist had two hits, including an RBI double, to extend his streak to 14 games.

The Phillies lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Philadelphia had just four hits before right fielder Heyward and second baseman Zobrist allowed Freddy Galvis‘ fly to drop between them for a leadoff double in the ninth.

Galvis scored from third when Ryan Howard struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt. The Cubs had a shift on with the lefty at the plate, allowing the runner to take a huge lead.

Catcher Miguel Montero looked him back, but Galvis took off for home as he threw to first on the strikeout, spoiling the shutout and drawing boos from the crowd. Hendricks then retired Cameron Rupp on a groundout.

Dominant in a rare win over struggling Atlanta in his previous start, Eickhoff came up short against the team with the best record in the majors. The right-hander went six innings, allowing four runs and eight hits while striking out seven and walking one.

The Cubs, tops in the majors in run differential, wasted no time grabbing the lead.

Fowler drove a 3-1 fastball just over the wall in left-center for his second leadoff homer this season and the 16th of his career. Heyward followed with a double and scored on a two-out double by Zobrist, who came in on a 22-for-50 tear.

The Cubs made it 3-0 in the third on back-to-back singles by Addison Russell and Hendricks and a double by Heyward. Hendricks got thrown out trying to score to end the inning, but the way he was pitching, it didn’t matter.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: Galvis came up limping in the sixth inning after Hendricks hit him in the right leg with a pitch. He walked gingerly to first and stayed in the game after being tended to by a trainer.

UP NEXT

RHP John Lackey (4-2, 3.38 ERA) goes for his first win in more than three weeks for Chicago while RHP Vince Velasquez (5-1, 2.75 ERA) tries to shake off his shortest outing of the season for Philadelphia. Lackey is 0-1 in his past three outings, although he has lowered his ERA from 4.02 to 3.38. Velasquez lasted four innings against Detroit on Monday, allowing three runs and nine hits.