Thought experiment: How many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean?

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Baseball news is slowing down for Thanksgiving and for some reason this idea randomly popped into my head while on Twitter, so I figured I’d ask it here: How many MLB teams, if given the option, would say yes to being taken off the hook for all guaranteed contracts currently on their books?

In other words, all or nothing. Wipe the slate clean. Every player signed for guaranteed money is no longer on your team and you’re no longer responsible for their contract. You get to keep all players not signed to specific, non-minimum salaried contracts, which means pre-arbitration eligible players basically.

For instance, my beloved Twins would wipe six players off their books: Joe Mauer, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Glen Perkins, Kurt Suzuki, and Mike Pelfrey. Hughes would hurt a lot, since he was great in 2014 and is reasonably priced, but Mauer, Nolasco, and Pelfrey would be easy calls to jettison. Overall the Twins would probably be better off with a clean slate.

Another example is the Yankees, who’d be wiping these players off their books: Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Martin Prado, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young. Obviously some of those would hurt, but as a whole the Yankees would seemingly jump at that chance to wipe the slate clean.

Which other teams would do the same?

Marcus Stroman: José Bautista could ‘easily’ pitch in MLB bullpen

José Bautista and Marcus Stroman
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José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.

Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”

In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”

Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”

Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:

Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”

I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.