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Ex-Yankee Chris Young signs multi-year contract with Boston Red Sox, per report — November 30, 2015

Ex-Yankee Chris Young signs multi-year contract with Boston Red Sox, per report

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New York Yankees’ Chris Young reacts after grounding into a double play during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, at Yankee Stadium in New York.

By Ryan Hatch

According to FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal via Twitter, the Boston Red Sox have signed free agent Chris Young, the Yankees fourth outfielder of the last 16 months.

The details of the contract were not immediately clear but are reported to be finalized later this week.

Young, a righty, hit .252/.320/.453 with 14 home runs as a backup in 2015, most often inserted into the lineup against left-handed pitchers; his splits vs. lefties were solid all year—.317 batting average with 24 RBI in 153 at-bats. In Boston, Young will have the benefit of smacking balls off Fenway Park’s Green Monster, a big wall in left field.

It’s not shocking the Yankees didn’t bring back Young, especially after they traded for Aaron Hicks from the Minnesota Twins three weeks ago to fill Young’s role.

Young, 32, has played with four organizations since he debuted in 2006 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, socking 169 home runs (32 in 2007 and was fourth in Rookie of the Year) with an on-base percentage of .314.

Young came to the Yankees in 2014 when he was cut by the Mets after hitting just .205 with eight home runs in 254 at-bats. Young also spent time with the Oakland A’s in 2013.

Yankees, Atlanta Braves talked Luis Severino, report says — November 27, 2015

Yankees, Atlanta Braves talked Luis Severino, report says

By Brendan Kuty

At last season’s trade deadline, starting pitcherLuis Severino was among Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s three untouchable prospects, a group that also included first baseman Greg Bird and right fielder Aaron Judge.

But some time before that, of course, Severino — like all prospects before they look like sure bets — was on the table. And apparently the Braves wanted him.

According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien, Atlanta general manager John Coppolella recently said he tried trading for Severino, who impressed in his rookie debut last season.

MORE: Latest on Yankees, Price, Greinke

Severino, 21, went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts for the Yankees after getting called up in August. He’s expected to be in team’s starting rotation next season.

Coppolella, according to the report, he said he made a “strong run” at Severino.

But before making that admission, Coppolella offered some vague details of a deal he’d worked on that didn’t work out. It sounded like he was talking about Severino.

Coppolella said “had a shot to trade a player this past season for a guy who’s now ranked as a top-50 prospect in the game,” but the player the Braves planned to trade got hurt. “And by the time we tried to make the trade, that prospect had shot up the charts and they wouldn’t even talk about the player.”

It’s impossible to use those clues to know definitively the players Coppolella was discussing. But we can try to piece it together a little bit.

On April 5, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported that the Braves told teams that if they wanted closer Craig Kimbrel, they’d have to also take Melvin Upton and his bad contract. Yankees weren’t interested, Sherman said. But the Padres were, and the on the day before Opening Day, San Deigo sent Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Jordan Paroubeck and Matt Wisler to Atlanta for Kimbrel and Upton.

So, the Yankees at least discussed Kimbrel/Upton. And in late February, Upton hurt his left foot and started the season on the 15-day disabled list. And throughout the first half of the season, Severino dominated at Double-A and then went 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA at Triple-A, shooting himself up just about everybody’s top prospects lists. Finally, at the trade deadline, the Yankees discussed Kimbrel with the Padres, but the deal didn’t work out, and San Diego sent him to Boston recently.

Does that deal framework — Upton/Kimbrel for Severino — at least make sense? I think so. Is it definite? Can’t say. Does it matter now? Not really. But is it interesting as a look into how the Yankees were operating before the 2015 season? You bet.

Wide range of trade possibilities keep Yankees unpredictable — November 25, 2015

Wide range of trade possibilities keep Yankees unpredictable

By Chad Jennings

Ivan Nova
New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova, right, gets ready to be pulled from the baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

On the day I got back from vacation, one of the other beat writers called to ask about the trip. We talked about Irish pubs and French museums, then he filled me in on the past week of Yankees news.

“You missed nothing,” he said.

But, I argued, this feels like the kind of offseason when I just as easily could have missed everything. There is nothing the Yankees are definitely going to do, but almost anything seems to be on the table.

Yesterday, Joel Sherman added Ivan Nova to the trade rumor mill, writing that the Yankees are considering the idea of using Nova to help acquire a starting pitcher with more than one year of team control. The notion comes as no surprise — Nova is definitely a tradeable asset — but he’s another example of the Yankees’ recent trade approach, which often involves robbing Peter to pay Paul. Consider:

Gardner1. The Yankees are short on infield depth, have no real backup third baseman and could use a right-handed utility type. Yet they just traded Jose Pirela for a young pitcher. The team clearly wasn’t quite sold on Pirela as a big league role player, and they needed to clear space on the 40-man. Pirela certainly was a bad fit for the Yankees, but trading him might have not only added a young pitcher but also kept one of the upper-level relievers from being DFA at some point.

2. The Yankees did some roster maneuvering just to give John Ryan Murphy a big league opportunity this season, and he was terrific as a young, cheap backup catcher. Yet, the Yankees traded him for a young outfielder. Murphy definitely fit the Yankees, but they decided his trade value was higher than his immediate roster value. They preferred an outfielder with upside rather than a catcher trapped between a contract and a prospect.

3. The Yankees have more than their share of bad contracts causing headaches, yet they are clearly exploring the idea of trading Brett Gardner who has one of the more team-friendly contracts on the roster. Have to give something to get something, and the Yankees clearly recognize it might be easier to replace Gardner than to add a good, cost controlled pitcher through other means.

4. The Yankees took a bit of a chance last winter when they gave Andrew Miller a multi-year contract to solidify the late innings, and he rewarded them with a Reliever Of The Year season. Yet the Yankees are reportedly listening on Miller trade proposals. Again, they could definitely use Miller to fortify their bullpen, but they seem to recognize an opportunity cash in on a good year (especially at a position that’s often fairly replaceable).

5. The Yankees are in need of a starting pitcher to add some depth and impact to their rotation, yet nowIvan Nova‘s name is out there as a trade possibility. That seems like another attempt to focus on the long game, recognizing that Nova might help the Yankees acquire someone who could help the rotation beyond this season. He’s still relatively cheap, but that’s what keeps him having some value on the trade market.

These aren’t necessarily the usual trade routes — these are all players who have immediate value to the Yankees, and in some cases, there’s potential for impact beyond this season — but the Yankees showed last season that they’re willing to have a lot of moving parts involved in roster reconstruction, especially if there’s not a ton of money to spend.

Thanksgiving is only a day away, and so far not a lot has happened with the Yankees. But they seem to be open to enough anything-is-possible scenarios that things could heat up when we least expect it.

Meet Yankees’ prospect Domingo Acevedo, right-handed flame-thrower — November 24, 2015

Meet Yankees’ prospect Domingo Acevedo, right-handed flame-thrower

By Ryan Hatch

With right-handed stud Luis Severino already in the big leagues (and dominating), the nextYankees‘ hard-throwing prospect may not be far behind him.

Meet 21-year-old Domingo Acevedo, who we’ve written about briefly but never at length. This won’t be a novella, but here’s a closer look at the organization’s No. 2 prospect in the New York Penn League:

Who: RHP Domingo Antonio Acevedo, 21 (birthdate: March 6, 1994), from Villa Los Almacigos, Dominican Republic

Vitals: 6-foot-7, 190 pounds

Background: Signed with the Yankees at age 19 from the DR. Has pitched 106.0 innings over the last three seasons, reaching A-ball in 2015.

Stats: In those 106.0 innings, Acevedo has an impressive 2.46 ERA—he’s allowed just two home runs and struck out 188 batters. (He’s walked 33.)

The last two seasons he’s worked exclusively as a starter and only once in 12 games in 2013 did he pitch in relief. His hits per nine innings fell to 7.1 this past season after posting 9.4 and 9.2 in ’13 and ’14, respectively.

Arizona Fall League: The AFL wrapped up last Saturday and Acevedo tossed 12.0 innings over the several weeks in the desert, ending with a 2.25 ERA. Of his seven games he only allowed earned runs (three) in one outing. He gave up just nine hits.

Scouting: Acevedo is an imposing figure (6-foot-7, remember) on the mound even if he’s listed at 190 pounds. (Reports have him heavier than that now.) His wiry, tall frame unleashes fastballs that reach the upper 90 mph range and from that angle, perhaps it’s not surprising he’s surrendered just two home runs in his professional career.

  • Fastball: As stated, it regularly hits the upper 90s (and can reach 103 mph) and he can control it well for someone who’s only been playing baseball for five years. (More on that below.)
  • Slider: Acevedo’s slider drops off considerably in velocity (low 80s) but so too does Michael Pineda’s, a righty that Acevedo’s been compared to. (Pineda’s slider clocked in at 85.6 mph in 20.15) Acevedo has work to do on it, but what minor league starter doesn’t?
  • Change-up: Effective in the minors because it’s so different from his fastball, but it doesn’t cross the plate with a ton of movement and would, right now, probably be hit well at the big league level. But it is said he’s confident in the pitch, and likes throwing it. That’s a good sign it will improve.
Ranking baseball’s top 10 GMs — yes, Cashman makes the list — November 14, 2015

Ranking baseball’s top 10 GMs — yes, Cashman makes the list

By Ken Davidoff

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Royals fans cheered after claiming the World Series trophy on Nov. 1 at Citi Field.

With the general managers’ meetings having wrapped up Thursday, and with the vast majority of the Hot Stove season still ahead of us, let’s do our annual rankings of the top 10 GMs.

Well, almost annual. From the 2013 list, two have since lost their jobs — the Tigers dismissed Dave Dombrowski this past August, and the Braves did the same to Frank Wren following the 2014 season. Now Wren works for Dombrowski in Boston. A third, Andrew Friedman, switched employers from the Rays to the Dodgers in the fall of 2014.

Last year, I didn’t do the list because the GM meetings were held in Phoenix, and I spent a good amount of time profiling local Arizona Fall League players — one of whom, Greg Bird, proceeded to make a significant impact in the major leagues and the other three (Aaron Judge, L.J. Mazzilli and Brandon Nimmo) not so much.

So the list is back, and in light of baseball’s “title inflation” trend, there are more specific guidelines than in the past:

1. For the purposes of these rankings, each team has only one candidate, and it is the person — regardless of title — who has the final say in the baseball operations department. For many organizations, that now is the president of baseball operations. For many others, it’s still the GM.

A team president whose background happens to be in baseball operations — I’m thinking specifically of Philadelphia’s Andy MacPhail and Toronto’s Mark Shapiro — are not the candidate, because those two also are involved in business matters. Neither man attended the GM meetings this past week.

(By the way, no GM or president of baseball operations has sheer “autonomy.” Ownership, be it through the president or the owner himself, always has the final say and often drives the bus when it comes to a strategic course of action or a specific large transaction.)

2. I grade on total body of work, with an emphasis on the recent and how the team looks going forward; team payrolls factor into this, as you score higher for getting more bang for your buck. Reaching the playoffs is the most important accomplishment; advancement in the playoffs is more of a tiebreaker. There’s just too much randomness in October to derive huge conclusions from what happens.

Going back to the first point regarding autonomy, I try to grade the GM only for those things he controls. Many large decisions are made by owners.

3. Two years ago, I invented a rule by which a GM had to serve a minimum of three years to qualify for this list. I should’ve called it “The Cherington Rule” because I couldn’t figure out what to do about then-Red Sox GM Ben Cherington after Boston bombed out in 2012 and won the World Series in 2013, giving him quite the spectrum in two seasons. We’ll retain The Cherington Rule, though it really doesn’t affect any of this year’s candidates.

OK? This explanation long enough for you yet? Here we go:

1. John Mozeliak, Cardinals

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St. Louis is the only team to qualify for the playoffs each of the past five seasons, and that’s primarily because arguably no team drafts and develops as well as the Cards, who consistently integrate high-impact homegrown talent despite selecting annually in the lower half of the first round as a result of their winning records.

Furthermore, Mozeliak, who succeeded Walt Jocketty as the club’s GM after the 2007 season, found a worthy successor to retired manager Tony La Russa (who subsequently gained induction into the Hall of Fame) in unlikely candidate Mike Matheny, who has kept the winning culture going. Other teams have followed this trend of hiring managers without substantive experience of either managing in the minors or coaching in the big leagues. None of those teams has come close to the Cardinals’ success with Matheny.

2. Jon Daniels, Rangers

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Placing Mozeliak atop the list felt easy. Sorting out the rest felt quite challenging. Daniels gets this spot because, in his 10 years on the job, he has taken a licking and kept on ticking like quite no one else. He has worked for two different ownership groups and has reported to more people than that; he even outlasted Texas legend Nolan Ryan, who now helps out the Astros.

But office politics alone won’t keep you on the job. Daniels now has four playoff appearances plus a 2013 near-miss on his resume, and he has pulled this off by dramatically remaking the team throughout the years. Drafts, trades and free agency all have been Daniels’ allies, and the Rangers rebounded from an injury-fest, last-place 2014 with an American League West title in 2015 behind first-year manager Jeff Banisters, who looks like a strong hire.

3. Theo Epstein, Cubs

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As we’ll get into more with other people on this list, it sure is nice to have the luxury of a full teardown. If you make your intentions clear to fans at the outset, as Epstein did with the Cubs, you can go about your business with less pressure and reap the benefits — July trades of veterans and high draft picks — that come with being terrible.

You have to nail those trades and those picks, though, and that’s what Epstein and his crew (including Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer — Epstein is the president of baseball operations) accomplished in getting the Cubs back to the National League Championship Series after overseeing four straight fifth-place finishes. The Cubs appear to be very well-positioned for a long run, and it would be surprising if they didn’t sign at least one big-time free agent this winter to supplement their core. Throw in Epstein’s previous success with the Red Sox, and here he is.

4. Brian Sabean, San Francisco

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Sabean hoists a trophy with manager Bruce Bochy after winning the NL pennant in 2014.Photo: Getty Images

He’s an interesting one to rank for two reasons. First of all, Sabean is now the Giants’ executive vice president of baseball operations, with his longtime protégé Bobby Evans the general manager, and it’s not as simple a hierarchy as the Cubs’, in which Epstein and Hoyer conduct themselves quite similarly to when they were Boston’s GM and assistant GM. Sabean now spends less time in the office and more time scouting. I spoke with Evans this past week at the meetings in Boca Raton about the Giants’ structure. He called it a gradual, organic transition in which he is increasingly becoming San Francisco’s baseball operations quarterback with Sabean serving as a Yoda of sorts.

But Sabean attended the GM meetings, so I’m still counting him as the guy. And that makes him the guy with seven appearances and three World Series titles in 19 years running the show.

And that gets us to our second area of intrigue with Sabean: How much extra credit does he get for winning it all three times (2010, 2012 and 2014) in the past six years? Does the fact the Giants have missed the playoffs altogether in each season following the titles, including 2015, count against him?

The answers are: Some, and not much. Three playoff appearances in the six years is quite good. That the Giants went all the way each of those seasons speaks well of their organizational culture and of the clubhouse stability instituted by Sabean’s longtime manager Bruce Bochy and a coaching staff that has largely stayed intact.

5. Brian Cashman, Yankees

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Ah, yes. Mr. Cashman. The mere refusal to advocate for his immediate firing draws venom from many fan corners. The Yankees haven’t won a playoff game since 2012, for crying out loud!

Look at the other names on this list. Only Mozeliak can relate to Cashman on one very important career track: In 18 years on the job, not once has Cashman made a “sell” trade, nor has he picked in the top half of the draft. Every other man ranked here has benefited greatly from playing the long game. Never has Cashman enjoyed an opportunity to do that. The decision to go crazy two winters ago, bringing aboard Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka — as opposed to ramping it down upon the retirement of the Core Four — was driven by ownership, and it also reinforces the considerable financial room for error that Cashman possesses.

What Cashman re-established last winter, though, is he has a pretty good feel for what he’s doing as he tries to balance the Yankees’ short-term and long-term ambitions. The acquisitions of Nathan Eovaldi and Didi Gregorius both look strong, as does the call to let David Robertson go to the White Sox, get the compensation draft pick and sign Andrew Miller for less money; the Yankees now have 15 postseason appearances in Cashman’s reign. And the farm system is producing again after its notable drought. The Yankees probably will never replicate their 1996-2000 postseason success; the Core Four will go down as the best quartet to debut in the same season in the history of professional sports, and the other teams have gotten smarter and richer. Yet Cashman has the Yankees on a track to be back in the mix every season.

6. Dave Dombrowski, Red Sox

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Dombrowski with interim Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo in the Fenway Park dugout.Photo: Getty Images

The most seasoned baseball operations guy on this list, in terms of years running baseball operations, and it’s preposterous he’s no longer with the Tigers just because they never made it to a parade; owner Mike Ilitch is the same one who pushed for overaggressive free-agent signings such as getting Prince Fielder and re-signing Victor Martinez. Kudos to the Red Sox for pouncing on Dombrowski, who lasted about two weeks in unemployment.

Dombrowski’s trademark attribute is his aggressiveness. He regularly boosted his Tigers teams with July moves of prospects for veterans, and he put together the champion 1997 Marlins with a hyperactive winter (before being ordered to disassemble the club the very next winter). Right before Ilitch let him go from the Tigers, he was aggressive one last time; on the bubble of contention in late July, he pushed to trade assets Yoenis Cespedes (to the Mets), David Price (to Toronto) and Joakim Soria (to Pittsburgh) in order to reload the farm system. So the Tigers are in decent shape moving forward with Dombrowski’s successor Al Avila, while the Red Sox figure to benefit from Dombrowski’s scouting acumen and fearlessness.

7. Andrew Friedman, Dodgers

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He was No. 1 the last time I did this. In my mind, at least, Friedman didn’t drop as much as others have risen. However, the Rays’ lack of draft success in Friedman’s final years in Tampa Bay — once the playoff appearances begat lower picks — led the cash-strapped club to finish under .500 in Friedman’s final season there. Now he enters his second season with the un-strapped Dodgers (he’s president of baseball operations, with Farhan Zaidi as his GM), who must find some starting pitching plus a manager this offseason.

Friedman and his lieutenants managed to clear the future payroll commitment to Matt Kemp (traded to the Padres), but they also dealt Dee Gordon to the Marlins, a move that seemed reasonable at the time, only to backfire. With his own manager soon to be in place, and what figures to be another active winter, we’ll see if Friedman’s Dodgers can get an even higher return for their considerable investment.

8. Billy Beane, Athletics

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Beane should be a serious Hall of Fame candidate down the line. He has done remarkable work with shoestring budgets and with the worst stadium by far in Major League Baseball. The A’s have qualified for the postseason eight times in Beane’s 18 years, and that they haven’t advanced to the World Series says more about small sample sizes than anything Beane has done wrong.

He isn’t higher on this list because 1) again, the competition is fierce, and 2) he has endured a rough eight months or so. Whether you belong to the “He never should’vetraded Cespedes for Jon Lester!” or the “They wouldn’t have even made the playoffs if not for Lester!” camp, the bottom line is the tough A’s finish to 2014 was followed by their brutal 2015, during which they saw their old pal Josh Donaldson put up a season with Toronto that might get him the AL Most Valuable Player award.

The run differential of the 2015 A’s (694-729) shows they weren’t as bad as advertised, though, and Beane made some in-season trades (Tyler Clippard to the Mets, Ben Zobrist to the Royals) that could pay dividends soon enough. Only a fool would count out Beane — now the A’s president of baseball operations with David Forst the GM — from rising again.

9. (tie) Sandy Alderson, Mets; Neal Huntington, Pirates; Dayton Moore, Kansas City

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(From left) Alderson, Huntington, MoorePhoto: AP (2); Getty Images

Yep, this is one big copout. I’m including 11 GMs in my top 10 rankings. I wouldn’t be a bigger copout even if I changed my name to Coppy Copoutoff.

What can I say? I wouldn’t know whom to leave out of this trio, or from the group of 11 as a whole. I felt bad leaving out Baltimore’s Dan Duquette and Houston’s Jeff Luhnow; Washington’s Mike Rizzo has a chance to get right back in the conversation if he can rebound in 2016; and veterans John Hart of Atlanta and Terry Ryan of Minnesota seem to have their franchises headed in the right direction.

Anyway, as for these final three: Alderson is older than Dombrowski, yet his baseball journey features long gaps without running baseball operations. I doubt any sport has featured an executive winning pennants 25 years apart, as has Alderson, without reaching the promised land in between.

We know all about how much talent Alderson inherited from Omar Minaya, and for my money, Minaya should’ve been invited to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a postseason game. He would’ve received huge applause. Yet Alderson and his people developed all of that talent, traded it properly (most notably Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey) and made decisions on whom to retain (Lucas Duda over Ike Davis) and built up a stockpile of young talent they used as trade chips when the club finally was ready to contend again. Needless to say, the Mets, with their studly starting rotation, look very well-positioned for the future.

Huntington has directed the Pirates to three straight wild-card berths on the foundation of strong, mid- to low-market acquisitions via trade and free agency to support homegrown stars Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen. Look how much Francisco Cervelli, J.A. Happ and Jung Ho Kang helped in 2015, and A.J. Burnett gave Pittsburgh his last bullets, good ones, because of how much he enjoyed his 2012-13 stay. Huntington and his staff seem to have an excellent feel for who will fit into their system.

Moore is on a roll for the World Series champions. Two superb trades, sending Zack Greinke to Milwaukee and getting James Shields from Tampa Bay — both of which I ripped at the time, naturally —laid the groundwork for two straight pennants, and enough high draft picks have worked. Two of those, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, have two years remaining before free agency, at which point the small-market Royals probably will struggle to retain them. So Moore has to keep it going. His outstanding work, including the institution of a strong organizational culture, should give Royals fans optimism he can do just that.

Brian McCann wins Silver Slugger Award — November 13, 2015

Brian McCann wins Silver Slugger Award

By Chad Jennings

New York Yankees' Brian McCann (34) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a game-winning three-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the 12th inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 3, 2015, in New York. The Yankees won 7-5. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Brian McCann (34) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a game-winning three-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the 12th inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 3, 2015, in New York. The Yankees won 7-5. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Even with the shift, Brian McCann has won the American League’s Silver Slugger Award at catcher. It’s McCann’s sixth career Silver Slugger and his first with the Yankees.

Reaching a new career-high with 26 home runs and tying a career-high with 94 RBI, McCann finished the season with a .232/.320/.437 slash line. His .756 OPS was the third-highest among A.L. catchers who had at least 250 at-bats this season (that’s including Stephen Vogt, who started 89 games at catcher and another 26 at first base and DH).

McCann’s OPS was still as high as .812 on September 8, but he had just one extra-base hit in his final 75 at-bats of the season.

This is McCann’s first Silver Slugger since 2011.

2015-16 Top 50 MLB Free Agents With Predictions — November 8, 2015

2015-16 Top 50 MLB Free Agents With Predictions

By Tim Dierkis

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Just in time for the tenth anniversary of MLB Trade Rumors, our Top 50 Free Agents list has arrived!  The entire list of available free agents can be found here, and you can filter by position, signing team, and qualifying offer status with our free agent trackerhere.

New to MLBTR?  You can follow us on Twitter, download our free app for iOS andAndroid, listen to our podcast, and sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

This is the fifth year for our free agent prediction contest, which allows you to test your prognostication abilities against those of the MLBTR writing team as well as other readers.  Last year 3,469 people entered, with Carson Pennington taking home the batting title with 15 correct picks out of 49, a .306 average.  Mark Polishuk topped MLBTR writers with 14 correct.  The contest is back for 2016 and is open now!  You canenter your picks anytime between now and November 13th at 11:59pm central time, and you’re free to make changes up until that point.  A Facebook account is required to participate in the contest.  Once all top 50 players have signed, the winners will receive cash prizes.

This year, I asked MLBTR writers Steve Adams, Jeff Todd, Mark Polishuk, Charlie Wilmoth, Zach Links, and Brad Johnson to send me their picks so I could compare to my own.  Discussions with the MLBTR writing team, especially Steve and Jeff, helped inform the predictions found below.  Each player’s team was picked in a vacuum, so we’re not predicting the Nationals will sign both Justin Upton and Gerardo Parra.  Additionally, we’ve added our contract predictions to the mix.  We vetted these as much as possible, but with 50 predictions and a volatile free agent marketplace, we know we’ll be off on some.  Still, the contract predictions give a more clear criteria, as players are ranked by earning power.  Without further ado, we’re proud to present MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agents!

 1.  David Price – Cubs.  Seven years, $217MM.  Price is a true number one starter in his prime.  The 30-year-old southpaw posted a 2.45 ERA in 220 1/3 innings for the Tigers and Blue Jays, and is ineligible for a qualifying offer due to a July trade.  Price is a five-time All-Star and the 2012 Cy Young winner, and he’s got a shot at the award again this year.  Even in a free agent market flush with unprecedented starting pitching, Price is the cream of the crop and should command a record deal.  Clayton Kershaw‘s seven-year, $215MM extension signed in January 2014 should be his target.  The Cubs are the early favorite, as they are known to be seeking an impact starting pitcher and Joe Maddon managed Price with the Rays.  The Blue Jays will attempt to bring Price back, while the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Giants figure to be among those in the mix.

2.  Jason Heyward – Yankees.  Ten years, $200MM.  Since his 2010 rookie season, Heyward has quietly been one of the game’s best outfielders.  He’s an excellent defender and baserunner with a solid on-base percentage and some pop.  Heyward hit a career-high 27 home runs in 2012, but only 38 in the three seasons since.  He doesn’t have the typical power output of a $200MM player, but his all-around game makes him a sabermetric darling with six wins above replacement this year.  A very long term and an opt-out clause are on the table for Heyward because he broke into the Majors at age 20, and is now just 26.  The Cardinals will try to convince Heyward to stay, but teams like the Angels, Yankees, White Sox, and Astros could make a play.  For more on Heyward, click here.

3.  Zack Greinke – Dodgers.  Six years, $156MM.  Greinke is a contender for the NL Cy Young Award after leading all of baseball with a 1.66 ERA in 222 2/3 innings.  He’s been an elite starting pitcher since winning the AL award with the 2009 Royals, and has already earned over $100MM in his career.  Greinke’s 2012 free agent deal with the Dodgers included a clause allowing him to opt out of the $71MM remaining over the final three seasons, and he’s done just that in search of a guarantee of more than twice that much.  Since Greinke recently turned 32, a six-year deal may be out of some teams’ comfort zone.  It’s possible he’ll get into the $150MM range even on a five-year term, however.  His market should be similar to that of Price, but the 22 month age difference will keep Greinke from matching his contract.

4.  Justin Upton – Nationals.  Seven years, $147MM.  Drafted first overall by the Diamondbacks a decade ago, Upton hasn’t quite reached the lofty expectations placed on him.  He’s still a solid source of right-handed power, with 82 home runs over the last three seasons.  Upton turned 28 in August, so there’s room to grow.  Even if he doesn’t, he could still provide decent value at a contract similar to the one Jacoby Ellsburysigned two years ago with the Yankees.  Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was Arizona’s scouting director when they drafted Upton, and there could be a fit if the team is willing to move Bryce Harper to center field.  The Yankees, Angels, Rangers, and Giants are other potential matches.  Click here for our full profile on Upton.

5.  Chris Davis – Cardinals.  Six years, $144MM.  Davis is baseball’s most prolific home run hitter, leading the Majors in 2013 and 2015.  He’s a middle of the order monster and he doesn’t turn 30 until March.  Agent Scott Boras will attempt to downplay Davis’ high strikeout rate and his 2014 suspension for use of Adderall.  Boras will push for seven years for Davis, a term he achieved with Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo previously.  First base is not an in-demand position this winter, so finding a match for Davis is difficult.  He would be a great addition to the Cardinals’ lineup if they lose Heyward.  The Orioles will stay involved, while the Astros, Mariners, and Padres make some degree of sense.  Click here for more on Davis.

6.  Yoenis Cespedes – Angels.  Six years, $140MM.  Cespedes, 30, vaulted up the free agent ranks after bashing 25 home runs in the season’s final three months.  Signed by the Athletics for $36MM as a free agent out of Cuba, Cespedes’ choice to limit that contract to four years has paid off.  He’s ineligible for a qualifying offer, and seems unlikely to return to the Mets.  The Angels are one possibility for Cespedes, though they would prefer a left-handed masher.  The Astros, Giants, Mariners, White Sox, Rangers, and Yankees could get in the mix, but this one’s tough to predict.

7.  Jordan Zimmermann – Blue Jays.  Six years, $126MM.  Zimmermann could become the first Tommy John survivor to score a $100MM contract.  He has a 3.13 ERA over 810 1/3 innings over the last four seasons, but slipped a bit in 2015 and doesn’t boast the strikeout rate of other top arms.  Since Zimmermann won’t turn 30 until May, a six-year term is attainable.  The Blue Jays need arms, and executive Dana Brown was the Nationals’ scouting director when Zimmermann was drafted in ’07.  The Cubs, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Tigers are other good matches.  Click here for more on Zimmermann.

8.  Johnny Cueto – Red Sox.  Five years, $115MM.  Cueto served as the Reds’ ace for many years until the Royals acquired him in July, removing his qualifying offer eligibility.  Prior to the trade, he went two weeks between starts due to an elbow issue, but avoided the DL.  Cueto was not the dominant force the Royals expected, as he posted a 4.76 ERA in 13 regular season starts and pitched poorly in two of his four postseason outings.  The righty capped his season with a complete game to take Game 2 of the World Series.  Cueto’s performance since August may have knocked down his free agent value, leaving teams wary of guaranteeing a sixth year.  He could still be the ace the Red Sox are seeking, as predicted by five of seven MLBTR writers, or clubs such as the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Tigers, Astros, or Blue Jays could win the bidding.

9.  Alex Gordon – Royals.  Five years, $105MM.  Gordon was drafted second overall by the Royals in 2005, one pick after Upton.  He has become one of the game’s best left fielders, combining elite defense with excellent on-base skills and decent pop.  Gordon’s left-handed bat would look great in a lot of lineups, but most MLBTR writers expect him to remain in Kansas City.  How far will the World Champion Royals push the hometown discount?  We feel Gordon’s earning power is around $100MM, so it’s hard to picture him accepting something below $75MM.

10.  Ian Desmond – Mets.  Five years, $80MM.  Perhaps the game’s best shortstop from 2012-14, Desmond slumped to a .233/.290/.384 batting line in 2015.  He still hit 19 home runs, and is easily the best available at his position.  Three MLBTR writers feel the Mets will sign their longtime Nationals adversary, while the Padres and White Sox also got mentions.  Desmond will come with a qualifying offer attached.

11.  Jeff Samardzija – Giants.  Five years, $80MM.  After posting a 2.99 ERA in 2014, Samardzija seemed like another potential member of the $100MM club.  Instead, he struggled with the White Sox in 2015, leading MLB in hits and earned runs allowed.  Executives to whom we’ve spoken still like him the most out of the second tier starters, and think he’ll bounce back from this year’s 4.96 ERA.  Shark had an unconventional path to the Majors, serving as a wide receiver at Notre Dame and pitching mostly as a reliever until 2012.  That has kept his mileage down relative to someone like Yovani Gallardo, who is a year younger but has thrown nearly 27% more career innings.  The Yankees are known to like Samardzija, but the Giants, Diamondbacks, Tigers, Blue Jays, and Astros are just a few others who could get involved.

12.  Mike Leake – Giants.  Five years, $80MM.  Leake is younger than his free agent peers, as he doesn’t turn 28 until next week.  The Reds drafted him in the first round in 2009 and put him straight into the Majors in 2010.  Leake profiles as a sub-4.00 ERA, mid-rotation arm, and he’s ineligible for a qualifying offer due to his trade to the Giants.  His age puts five years on the table.  The Giants generally retain their guys and are the prohibitive favorite, though the Diamondbacks are known to like him.  To read our full profile on Leake, click here.

13.  Wei-Yin Chen – Tigers.  Five years, $80MM.  Chen, a native of Taiwan, was signed by the Orioles out of Japan in 2012.  Though he’s been prone to the longball, the lefty has posted a 3.44 ERA in 377 innings over the last two seasons.  Boras figures to position him as a cut above the typical mid-rotation arms, pushing for a fifth year despite a qualifying offer.  In need of multiple arms, the Boras-friendly Tigers could be a match.

14.  Kenta Maeda – Diamondbacks.  $20MM posting fee plus five year, $60MM contract.  Maeda, 28 in April, recently finished his eighth season with Japan’s Hiroshima Carp.  After he put up a 2.09 ERA in 206 1/3 innings, the Carp may decide to post Maeda.  The posting system established in 2013 caps the posting fee at $20MM, allowing all teams that tie for the highest posting bid to negotiate with the player for 30 days.  Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart admitted a year ago he loves Maeda, so Arizona is a strong contender.

15.  Matt Wieters – Nationals.  Four years, $64MM.  Another former first-round draft pick, the switch-hitting Wieters has an above average bat for a catcher and little competition on the market at his position.  As with Upton, there’s a feeling Wieters hasn’t lived up to expectations, but he’s still a quality player.  His contract will be depressed by last year’s Tommy John surgery, which delayed his 2015 debut until June and prevented him from catching on consecutive days regularly.  We expect him to turn down the Orioles’ qualifying offer, and the Nationals could sign Wieters as an upgrade over Wilson Ramos.  The Braves make sense with Wieters’ strong Georgia ties, while the Angels, Astros, and White Sox could be fits.  Click here for our full profile of Wieters.

16.  Dexter Fowler – Mets.  Four years, $60MM.  Fowler, 30 in March, joined the Cubs from the Astros in a January trade.  He did a fine job as the Cubs’ center fielder, playing in a career-high 156 regular season games and quieting concerns about his 2014 defensive metrics.  The switch-hitter posted his standard solid OBP and a career-best 17 home runs, so he’ll be turning down the Cubs’ qualifying offer in search of a multiyear deal.  A return to the Cubs makes sense, but if they decide to move on, the Mets, Nationals, Angels, Marlins, and White Sox are some decent matches.  Teams like the Mariners and Rangers may seek help in center field, but may be reluctant to forfeit their first-round draft pick.

17.  Daniel Murphy – Angels.  Four years, $56MM.  Murphy, 31 in April, has long served as a solid second baseman for the Mets.  He had the best contact rate in baseball among qualified hitters this year and can also handle third base.  He’s a below average defensive second baseman.  After hitting a career-high 14 home runs in the regular season, Murphy smashed seven more in the span of seven postseason games against the Dodgers and Cubs.  His bat quieted in the World Series, and he also committed a costly error in Game 4.  The idea that 14 postseason games had his free agent value swinging $20MM in either direction was always nonsense, as a qualifying offer and a contract in the range of Chase Headley‘s four-year, $52MM pact made sense for Murphy before the postseason narratives set in.  The Angels and Yankees are the favorites among MLBTR writers, with the White Sox also getting a mention.

18.  Scott Kazmir – Orioles.  Four years, $52MM.  Kazmir put up an excellent 3.10 ERA in 183 innings this year for the Athletics and Astros.  Though he was either struggling or out of the Majors from 2009-12, Kazmir has re-established himself over the last three seasons.  The southpaw, who is ineligible for a qualifying offer, has a case for a four-year deal.  I don’t completely subscribe to the narrative, but Kazmir will have to contend with the impression that he fades down the stretch.  The Orioles, perhaps seeking a more affordable southpaw to replace Wei-Yin Chen, could pursue Kazmir.  The Tigers, Blue Jays, Giants, Dodgers, Padres, and Royals are other possibilities.

19.  Ian Kennedy – Angels.  Four years, $52MM.  Kennedy had a 4.28 ERA for the Padres but seemed deserving of better.  He will deal with the drag of a qualifying offer, but several teams will gravitate toward a pitcher with a 9.3 K/9 over the last two seasons.  Kennedy’s biggest issue is home runs; no one posted a higher rate per nine innings this year.  The Angels, Giants, Astros, Tigers, Blue Jays, and Orioles are potential suitors.

20.  Yovani Gallardo – Tigers.  Four years, $52MM.  Gallardo, 30 in February, spent his career with the Brewers before a January trade to the Rangers.  Once one of the NL’s better pitchers, Gallardo has settled in as a mid-rotation arm.  His peripheral stats this year suggest he was fortunate to manage a 3.42 ERA, and his qualifying offer could hamper his market.  The Tigers could work, as a team seeking multiple starters with a protected first-rounder.

21.  Ben Zobrist – Yankees.  Three years, $51MM.  Baseball’s Swiss Army knife would fit with more than a dozen teams, as he can handle second base and the outfield corners and even back up at shortstop.  Offensively, Zobrist contributes a strong OBP and good pop, plus he’s ineligible for a qualifying offer because he was traded to the Royals.  He’ll be vying for a fourth year, and Victor Martinez did get that, but with Zobrist turning 35 in May it’s still a tough sell.  He remains a good fit for the Royals, while the Yankees, Orioles, Padres, Astros, and White Sox could also make sense.

22.  Howie Kendrick – White Sox.  Four years, $50MM.  Kendrick presents an alternative to Murphy, from the right side of the plate.  He remains an above-average hitter and is considered a competent second baseman.  After nine seasons with the Angels, Kendrick was traded to the Dodgers last December.  The 32-year-old will likely seek a four-year deal, which may cause a few suitors to back away.  The White Sox have a protected first-round pick and could stabilize second base with Kendrick.  The Yankees, Royals, Angels, and Mets are other possibilities.

23.  Byung-ho Park – Rockies.  $10MM posting fee plus five-year, $40MM contract.  Park, a 29-year-old first baseman from the Korea Baseball Organization, was posted by the Nexen Heroes this week.  In the wake of the Pirates’ success with Jung-ho Kang, Park’s price tag should exceed that $16MM expenditure.  Park had big home run numbers but played in a very homer-friendly league.  We may learn next week which MLB team won the posting bidding and if the Heroes will accept it, making this an easier pick for our free agent prediction contest.  The Rockies, Orioles, Cardinals, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Padres, Phillies, and Pirates are potential matches.

24.  John Lackey – Cubs.  Three years, $50MM.  Lackey had a fantastic year for the Cardinals, with a 2.77 ERA in 218 innings.  His base salary was the league minimum due to an injury-related clause he agreed to upon signing with Theo Epstein’s Red Sox in 2009, but the Cards added $2MM in performance bonuses.  After that bargain, the Cardinals made the $15.8MM qualifying offer, and Lackey is expected to turn it down in search of a multiyear deal.  He recently turned 37, so some suitors could be wary of a three-year deal.  The Cubs, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Astros, Royals, Giants, Tigers, Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners, Marlins, Nationals, Rangers, Twins, and Yankees could all be part of his robust market.

25.  Hisashi Iwakuma – Mariners.  Three years, $45MM.  Iwakuma’s run of success continued with the Mariners, as he posted a 3.54 ERA in 20 starts and pitched a no-hitter.  He missed more than two months with a lat strain, however, and turns 35 in April.  He’ll contend with a qualifying offer if he reaches the open market, but interest in a new deal with Seattle is mutual.  Iwakuma’s market would resemble that of Lackey.

26.  Colby Rasmus – Padres.  Three years, $39MM.  Rasmus, a 29-year-old former first-round draft pick, hit a career-high 25 home runs for the Astros this year.  He added four more in nine postseason games.  Rasmus can play all three outfield positions, too.  One of four 2005 first-round draft picks on this list, Rasmus had trouble meshing with the Cardinals and Blue Jays clubhouses but found comfort in Houston.   The Astros made him a qualifying offer, however, and the prospect of forfeiting a draft pick will give some teams pause.

27.  Denard Span – Cubs.  Three years, $39MM.  Span, 32 in February, hit .292/.345/.404 in his three seasons with the Nationals.  His center field defense rated as below average for the last two years, however.  Span had hip surgery on September 1st and will spend most of the offseason recovering, potentially depressing his price tag.  To the great benefit of his market, Span did not receive a qualifying offer from the Nationals.  The Cubs are a good fit for Span, though it’s easier to picture a team like the Mariners coming into play since they have the first unprotected pick in the draft.

28.  Brett Anderson – Dodgers.  Three years, $39MM.  Anderson is another interesting southpaw, although his market will be hampered by a qualifying offer from the Dodgers.  Anderson is young for a free agent, as he doesn’t turn 28 until February.  He doesn’t miss a ton of bats, but he led all qualified starters with a 66.3% groundball rate this year.  He set a career high with 180 1/3 regular season innings with the Dodgers, after injuries limited him to 206 1/3 over the previous four seasons.  Anderson’s injury history likely takes a four-year deal off the table unless the average annual value is greatly reduced.  The Dodgers may retain him, especially since his leverage is reduced by their qualifying offer.  Otherwise his market should resemble that of Kazmir.

29.  Marco Estrada – Athletics.  Three years, $30MM.  Estrada looked like a non-tender candidate for the Brewers a year ago, who traded him to the Blue Jays forAdam Lind.  He didn’t even join Toronto’s rotation until May 5th, but he went on to post a 3.28 ERA in 28 starts.  He also raised his profile with two excellent postseason starts in three tries.  The 32-year-old soft-tosser received a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays — an offer of a one-year, $15.8MM contract upon which he must decide in the next seven days.  Estrada has earned $10MM in his career, so accepting the offer has to be a serious consideration.  Still, Estrada would surely prefer the security of a multiyear deal, and has a good chance of finding a three-year contract even with the draft pick cost.  The qualifying offer gives the Blue Jays leverage over the next week, so it’s possible he’ll strike a multiyear deal with them to remain in Toronto.

30.  J.A. Happ – Royals.  Three years, $30MM.  Happ, a 33-year-old southpaw, posted a 4.64 ERA in 108 2/3 innings for the Mariners but a 1.85 mark in 63 1/3 for the Pirates.  Assuming teams feel some of that success can be replicated outside of Pittsburgh, Happ will be a popular mid-range free agent target, as he’s ineligible for a qualifying offer and probably won’t expect a four-year deal.  The Pirates will attempt to retain him, while the Royals, Orioles, Padres, Angels, Giants, Tigers, A’s, Dodgers, and Marlins also make sense.

31.  David Freese – White Sox.  Three years, $30MM.  Freese is a decent third baseman in a market bereft of them.  33 in April, he hit .260/.328/.394 over the last three years and plays average defense.  The Halos chose not to risk the one-year, $15.8MM qualifying offer to Freese.  That’s a big plus for his free agency and probably makes a third year possible.  He could return to the Angels, while the White Sox and Indians also make sense.

32.  Gerardo Parra – Nationals.  Three years, $27MM.  Parra was a hot commodity on the July trade market after hitting well beyond his norm for 100 games with the Brewers.  The Orioles acquired him, and he tanked in the remaining 55 games.  Still, Parra doesn’t turn 29 until May, he plays all three outfield positions, and he’s not eligible for a qualifying offer.  Parra’s struggles against left-handed pitching prevent him from being a regular, but he’ll be a popular free agent as something between a regular and a fourth outfielder.  There’s a Mike Rizzo connection since Parra came up with the D’Backs, while the White Sox, Mets, and Padres could also work.

33.  Darren O’Day – Red Sox.  Three years, $22.5MM.  O’Day may be the best reliever on the free agent market.  The sidearmer compiled a 1.92 ERA in 263 innings over four seasons with the Orioles.  He has at times struggled with walks and home runs against left-handed hitters, but he doesn’t have to be used as a righty specialist.  Though he recently turned 33, a three-year deal is in order.  If the Orioles elect not to pay the price, the Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Mets are just a few potential suitors.

34.  Joakim Soria – Tigers.  Three years, $18MM.  Soria, the former dominant Royals closer, is fully back to form after April 2012 Tommy John surgery.  He became the Tigers’ closer after Joe Nathan went down with an elbow injury, and was traded to the Pirates in July.  A healthy three-year deal is in order for Soria, who turns 32 in May.  His market will be similar to that of O’Day, perhaps with a boost for some teams due to his closing experience.

35.  Austin Jackson – Rockies.  One year, $12MM.  Jackson looked like a potential star after a breakout 2012 season with the Tigers.  However, his offense declined and he was traded to the Mariners at the 2014 trade deadline.  Seattle sent him to the Cubs this year at the August deadline.  Jackson doesn’t turn 29 until February, and he plays a capable center field.  There’s a good chance he can still pass as a two-win center fielder.  A Boras client, Jackson could attempt to maximize his earnings now on multiyear deal, or rebuild value on a one-year pact.  A return to the Cubs makes sense, while the Rockies, Marlins, Nationals, Rangers, Braves, Reds, White Sox, and Indians could also be fits.

36.  Tyler Clippard – Braves.  Three years, $18MM.  Clippard’s strikeout and walk rates moved in the wrong direction this year, but he still compiled a 2.92 ERA in 71 innings for the Athletics and Mets.  He’s a two-time All-Star who has succeeded in a setup and occasional closer role since 2009.  His history of success should be enough for a three-year deal.

37.  Asdrubal Cabrera – White Sox.  Two years, $18MM.  The Rays signed Cabrera to a one-year, $7.5MM deal in January.  His longstanding record as a below-average defensive shortstop held true, but he showed some pop with 15 home runs and overall was a net positive.  Some teams might prefer him at second base, where he played for the Nationals last year.  The Padres or White Sox could plug him in as a stopgap at either position.

38.  Mat Latos – Pirates.  One year, $12MM.  A few years ago, Latos seemed in line for a monster free agent deal upon hitting the market at age 28.  Then bone spurs in his elbow late in 2013 led to surgery, followed by knee surgery prior to 2014 spring training, and then a flexor mass strain in his elbow.  His 2014 season debut was pushed to mid-June.   He had a stem cell elbow procedure in November 2014, and then the Reds traded him to the Marlins.  He battled minor injuries but showed promise in his 16 starts with the Marlins this year and then joined the Dodgers via trade.  Latos struggled in six outings for the Dodgers and earned his release, hooking on with the Angels in late September to make a few relief appearances.  Latos will probably go for a one-year deal to rebuild value, and the Pirates have a knack for getting pitchers back on track.  As one of only a couple of interesting one-year deal arms, Latos should be popular.

39.  Doug Fister – Astros.  One year, $10MM.  Fister is the other popular one-year deal target, as he served as a dependable starting pitcher until this year.  With his strikeout and groundball rates declining, and his fastball down to around 86 miles per hour, he doesn’t have the upside of Latos.

40.  Mike Pelfrey – Royals.  Two years, $15MM.  Pelfrey isn’t the most exciting free agent starter, but the righty did make 30 starts for the Twins this year with the game’s eighth best home run prevention rate.  Teams like the Royals, Tigers, and Phillies could entertain him for the back end of the rotation.

41.  Antonio Bastardo – Mariners.  Three years, $15MM.  Bastardo profiles as the best lefty reliever on the free agent market after a 2.98 ERA in 57 1/3 innings for the Pirates.  The 30-year-old does have control problems, however.  The Mariners, Twins, and Cardinals are a few potential matches.

42.  Ryan Madson – Twins.  Three years, $15MM.  Madson, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Royals in January.  He hadn’t pitched in the Majors since 2011.  With a 2.13 ERA and strong peripherals in 63 1/3 big league innings, Madson proved he’s all the way back as a top setup option.  Suitors will prefer a two-year deal due to Madson’s age and history, but a third year might win the bid.

43.  Steve Pearce – Rangers.  Two years, $14MM.  Pearce smashed 21 home runs in 383 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2014, but couldn’t replicate his success in his contract year.  He could fill a lefty-mashing left field/first base role for the Rangers.

44.  Shawn Kelley – Diamondbacks.  Two years, $12MM.  Kelley has a shot at a three-year deal, after he posted a 2.45 ERA, 11.1 K/9, and 2.6 BB/9 in 51 1/3 innings for the Padres this year.  He’ll be appealing to a long list of teams seeking to augment the bullpen.

45.  John Jaso – Orioles.  Two years, $12MM.  Jaso spent most of the season as the Rays’ designated hitter, and figures to remain in the American League.  A wrist injury knocked him out for three months this year.  The 32-year-old hit .278/.368/.439 against right-handed pitching over the last three years, but generally shouldn’t face lefties.

46.  Chris B. Young – Yankees.  Two years, $12MM.  Young is a lefty-masher who can play all three outfield positions.  If the Yankees don’t bring him back, the Rangers could be a fit.

47.  Tony Sipp – Astros.  Three years, $12MM.  Sipp, one of the top lefty relievers on the market, revived his career by joining the Astros in 2014.  He seems inclined to stay in Houston, though he may be popular enough to net a three-year offer.

48.  Justin Morneau – Orioles.  One year, $8MM.  After winning a batting title with the Rockies last year, Morneau played in just 49 games in 2015 due to a strained neck and concussion symptoms.  A move back to the American League makes sense.

49.  Alexei Ramirez – Padres.  One year, $7.5MM.  Ramirez’s $10MM option was a borderline call for the White Sox, but they ultimately chose the $1MM buyout.  The 34-year-old struggled mightily in the season’s first three months, but hit a respectable .282/.329/.426 in the second half.  His defense might be a little below average at this point, but teams seeking a shortstop can’t be too picky.

50.  Rich Hill – Phillies.  One year, $5MM.  Hill, 36 in March, rose from the ashes to twirl four brilliant starts for the Red Sox in September and October.  He’s a southpaw with a huge curveball and career-long control issues.  His last run of success as a starter came in 2007, but I like using the last spot on this list for a wild card.

Honorable mentions: Mark Buehrle, Bartolo Colon, Nori Aoki, Rajai Davis,Alejandro De Aza, Jimmy Rollins, Mike Napoli, Marlon Byrd, Chase Utley,David Murphy, Tim LincecumMark Lowe, Alex Rios, Chris Young

Cuban righty Yaisel Sierra has been left off the top 50 list since the timing of his free agency remains an unknown.

Looking for Yankees fits on the free agent market — November 7, 2015

Looking for Yankees fits on the free agent market

By Chad Jennings

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, left, talks with Yankees manager Joe Girardi during spring training baseball practice Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, left, talks with Yankees manager Joe Girardi during spring training baseball practice Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

As of today, the free agent market has opened to all teams. The five-day exclusive negotiation window has closed, so teams are free to being making bids on anyone who’s out there. Listed by team, here are the players whose contracts expired or had options declined, putting them on the open market this offseason. Which players could fit for the Yankees?

Wei-Yin ChenAtlanta BravesRoss Detwiler, Edwin Jackson, Peter Moylan, A.J. Pierzynski

Not much here for the Yankees to fall in love with. The Braves had some success using Moylan as a right-handed specialist out of their bullpen, but the end result was just 10.1 innings in 22 appearances. Next.

Arizona DiamondbacksDavid Hernandez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

This was Hernandez‘s first year back from Tommy John surgery. He wasn’t particularly good, but before the injury he had a 1.12 WHIP with a 3.09 FIP and 10.8 strikeouts per nine. Maybe he’s a buy-low bounce back candidate? Doesn’t turn 31 until May.

Baltimore OriolesWei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis, Darren O’Day, Gerardo Parra, Steve Pearce, Matt Wieters

Two names stand out here. The first is Chen, the left-handed starter who’s been pretty good and occasionally very good with the Orioles these past four years. He could bring some stability to the rotation without costing the money and the years required to bring in one of the bigger names. The other potential fit is O’Day, the side-arming reliever who’s been absolutely excellent in Baltimore and significantly improved his strikeouts this season. If the Yankees want to sign a potential impact reliever rather than trade for one, O’Day might be the best option out there.

Boston Red SoxCraig Breslow, Rich Hill

The Red Sox weren’t very good this year, and they aren’t exactly giving the free agent market much to think about. Hill was surprisingly great down the stretch, and the Yankees are familiar with him. He’d be great for a look on a one-year deal, but his strong finish might be enough for him to get a Major League contract somewhere (probably not with the Yankees).

RamirezChicago Cubs – Trevor Cahill, Chris Denorfia, Dexter Fowler, Dan Haren, Tommy Hunter, Austin Jackson, Jason Motte, Fernando Rodney

Brutal in Seattle this season, Rodney did have a kind of resurgence after he landed in Chicago, and he led the league in saves as recently as 2014. Would be a buy-low gamble on a guy who’s almost 40, so probably not worth it with any sort of significant commitment. Motte, Hunter and Cahill are also kind of wild-card bullpen possibilities. Motte went to Iona College up in New Rochelle, so that’s something.

Chicago White Sox – Matt Albers, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez, Jeff Samardzija, Geovany Soto

Almost immediately after the wild card game, the Yankees were connected to Samardzija. He’s been a steady source of 200-plus innings the past three years, and at his best, he’s a legitimately dominant pitcher (kind of reminds me of Michael Pineda in that way; extreme highs with so-so lows). For the Yankees he could be an innings eater with potential for me, and his disappointing season in Chicago might keep his cost down. If the Yankees trust Ramirez enough to put him at second base, he could also serve as shortstop depth, but that seems like a longs hot to me.

Cincinnati Reds – Burke Badenhop, Sean Marshall, Manny Parra, Brayan Pena, Skip Schumaker

Another group of so-so relievers and guys who don’t fit the Yankees very well. Badenhop doesn’t strike out many guys, but he’s been alright at times, just seems like too many in-house guys could provide the same thing.

RaburnCleveland Indians – Mike Aviles, Gavin Floyd, Ryan Raburn, Ryan Webb

Couple of potential right-handed utility guys. Problem is, Aviles isn’t nearly the hitter he used to be, andRaburn isn’t nearly as versatile as he used to be. If the Yankees still think Raburn could play a little infield — especially first and third — he could be a nice fit as a right-handed hitter who’s had a lot of success against lefties. At the very least, he could fill the Chris Young platoon role. If he’s strictly an outfielder, which he might be, his value goes down, but he’s still a pretty good bat in the right situations.

Colorado Rockies – Kyle Kendrick, Justin Morneau

I’ve always really liked Morneau, but he doesn’t fit the Yankees at all, and Kendrick hasn’t been very good for a few years now. Not much coming out of Colorado to catch the Yankees’ eye.

Detroit Tigers – Alex Avila, Rajai Davis, Tom Gorzelanny, Joe Nathan, Alfredo Simon, Randy Wolf

Plenty of guys on this list could play a right-handed platoon role next season, including Davis, who’s hit .296/.351/.448 in his career against lefties. He was only OK against them this year, though. Still the kind of guy who could plug that hole if some more potent options fall through.

Houston Astros – Scott Kazmir, Oliver Perez, Chad Qualls, Colby Rasmus, Tony Sipp, Joe Thatcher

Left-handed relievers and a left-handed outfielder don’t fit the Yankees at all, but a left-handed starter might. Kazmir actually wasn’t nearly as good with Houston as he had been in Oakland, but he’s still an interesting pitcher in a market pretty deep in starters. For whatever it’s worth, he has a 5.04 ERA in 25 career innings at Yankee Stadium. Going to be interesting to see where he fits in this market.

Ben ZobristKansas City Royals – Johnny Cueto, Jonny Gomes, Alex Gordon, Jeremy Guthrie, Ryan Madson, Franklin Morales, Alex Rios, Chris Young, Ben Zobrist

Depending on which direction the Yankees want to go, though could absolutely find a fit among the Royals free agents. Cueto could be a high-end addition to the rotation, Madson could be a veteran fit for the bullpen, and both Rios and Gomes are right-handed outfielders who could play a platoon role. Most interesting possibility, though, might be Zobrist. He’s a switch hitter who can play basically anywhere. In some ways he’s an ideal fit — a second baseman who could play elsewhere if necessary — but he’s also 34 years old. Are the Yankees willing to come to yet another guy into his late 30s?

Los Angeles Angels – David Freese, Chris Iannetta, Matt Joyce, Matt Latos, David Murphy, Shane Victorino, Wesley Wright

Now that he’s hitting strictly from the right side, I guess Victorino could be a platoon outfield candidate, but it’s also been a few years since he was a particularly good hitter. Freese could be a right-handed corner infielder with some power, but he’s surely going to get an everyday player’s contract, and the Yankees don’t have everyday at-bats to give him.

Los Angeles Dodgers – Brett Anderson, Zack Greinke, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins

The Yankees don’t have a set second baseman, and Kendrick is an awfully good player. That’s an obvious possibility, but he’s also 32 years old. How long would the Yankees have to commit? ClearlyGreinke is one of the top players in this entire free agent market, but are the Yankees going to give him the contract it will take to sign him? Seems unlikely right now.

Miami Marlins – Don Kelly, Jeff Mathis, Casey McGehee

A left-handed utility man, a backup catcher, and a corner infielder who hit .198 this season? Yuck. IfMcGehee and Kelly want to come on board as minor league free agents, great (especially McGehee, who could play third in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as a little depth). Otherwise, not much to like here.

Yoenis CespedesMilwaukee Brewers – Kyle Lohse

Became a really good pitcher in his mid-30s, butLohse had a 5.85 ERA at age 36 this year. With so many solid starters available, Lohse doesn’t move the needle very much.

Minnesota Twins – Blaine Boyer, Neal Cotts, Brian Duensing, Torii Hunter, Mike Pelfrey

With his retirement, Hunter took himself out of that right-handed outfielder conversation. What’s left coming out of Minnesota are mostly middle-inning relievers, thought Boyer has been pretty decent the past couple of years. Still not the kind of signing that would do much to shorten games for the Yankees.

New York Mets – Jerry Blevins, Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard, Bartolo Colon, Kelly Johnson, Daniel Murphy, Eric O’Flaherty, Bobby Parnell, Juan Uribe

Could make a pretty decent case for at least three of the Mets’ free agents as guys who would fit with the Yankees. Murphy can play second base, third base and first base — and outfield if necessary — and his left-handed swing might thrive at Yankee Stadium (but he’s a pretty brutal defender). Clippard last late-inning experience and could give the Yankees another strong right-handed option in the bullpen (but his numbers definitely took a hit this season). Cespedes stands out as one of the best right-handed power bats on the market (but the Yankees would probably have to trade either Brett Gardner or Jacoby Ellsbury to have room for him).

New York Yankees – Chris Capuano, Stephen Drew, Chris Young

Here’s the Yankees’ own group of free agents (these lists don’t count guys like Andrew Bailey who were outrighted off the roster and chose free agency that way). Regardless, the only player from this group who seems to fit the Yankees going forward is Young, who did very well well in his platoon role this year. He’s basically either return or be replaced. The Yankees still need a right-handed outfield option.

Upton JustinOakland Athletics – Edward Mujica, Barry Zito

Relievers are typically difficult to predict from year to year. Two years ago, Mujica was an all-star with the Cardinals. Now it’s unclear whether he would even be an upgrade over the Yankees’ unproven young relievers.

Philadelphia Phillies – Chad Billingsley, Jeff Francoeur, Aaron Harang, Cliff Lee, Jerome Williams

This is basically a list of bullets dodged. If Billingsleywould come to camp on a minor league deal, great. If not, he’s less predictable than any of the Yankees current unpredictable starters.

Pittsburgh Pirates – Antonio Bastardo, Joe Blanton, A.J. Burnett, J.A. Happ, Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez, Sean Rodriguez, Joakim Soria

The Yankees are looking for right-handed versatility, and Rodriguez is a righty who can play basically everywhere (but I’m not sure he plays anywhere particularly well). Versatility is his greatest attribute. Soriastands out as another right-handed reliever with late-inning experience who could give the Yankees another go-to guy. He was pretty good this year. He turns 32 in May.

San Diego Padres – Clint Barmes, Josh Johnson, Shawn Kelley, Ian Kennedy, Brandon Morrow, Bud Norris, Justin Upton

Obviously there’s a lot to like about Upton as a source of right-handed power in an outfield corner. The Yankees could certainly use a bat like that, but he’s going to cost a lot of money, and the Yankees would have to trade an outfielder just to make room for him. Barmes is basically just another version of Brendan Ryan. If this were a few years ago, this would be a pretty nice prospect list.

IwakumaSan Francisco Giants – Jeremy Affeldt, Marlon Byrd, Alejandro De Aza, Tim Hudson, Mike Leake, Tim Lincecum, Marco Scutaro, Ryan Vogelsong

This market actually provides quite a few right-handed platoon outfield options, and Byrd is another one. He had an .820 OPS against lefties this year and could play the role Young played this season. Leake, who turns 28 later this month, also stands out as a relatively young rotation possibility who might not break the bank like some bigger names.

Seattle Mariners – Joe Beimel, Franklin Gutierrez, Hisashi Iwakuma

To suggest Iwakuma could be another version of Hiroki Kuroda feels like connecting dots because they’re both Japanese, but I think there’s more to it than that. Iwakuma has a pretty steady track record, and he might be available on a fairly short-term deal. He could add some stability to the Yankees’ rotation.

St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Belisle, Jonathan Broxton, Randy Choate, Jason Heyward, John Lackey, Mark Reynolds, Carlos Villanueva

Could make a case for Reynolds as a right-handed backup at first and third (though the Yankees probably don’t have room to carry that type of player if it’s not Alex Rodriguez). Could also look at a guy like Broxton as a strikeout guy for the middle innings (but he’s definitely not what he used to be). The name that stands out, obviously, is Heyward because he’s a really good player who’s still in his mid-20s. If they can move Gardner, would the Yankees be willing to go 10 years with Heyward?

PriceTampa Bay Rays – Asdrubal Cabrera, John Jaso, Grady Sizemore

In some ways, Cabrera is another version of Zobrist in that he’s a switch hitter who could be the Yankees’ regular second baseman while occasionally playing other positions (really, just shortstop and third base). Of course, Cabrera’s bat has declined a bit and he really doesn’t have a much experience beyond shortstop and second base, so his versatility is a little more theoretical than proven.

Texas Rangers – Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, Mike Napoli, Ross Ohlendorf, Drew Stubbs, Will Venable

Add Stubbs to the list of right-handed outfielders. He didn’t hit much against lefties this year, but he’s hit them in the past. Also, add Gallardo to the list of potential starting pitchers who could add some high-end potential to the rotation. I really like Ohlendorf, but I’m not sure he’s any better than the young relievers the Yankees already have.

Toronto Blue Jays — Mark Buehrle, Marco Estrada, Jeff Francis, LaTroy Hawkins. Maicer Izturis, Munenori Kawasaki, Mark Lowe, Dioner Navarro, Cliff Pennington, David Price

At the trade deadline, I thought the Yankees might be tempted to give either Luis Severino or Aaron Judge in a deal for Price, but that didn’t happen. Will they now give the contract it will take to get him off the free agent market? He’s the top dog this winter. Estrada is also coming off a really nice year. Actually,Kawasaki might fit as a Triple-A shortstop option, but that’s a really minor possibility.

Washington Nationals – Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, Casey Janssen, Nate McLouth, Denard Span, Matt Thornton, Dan Uggla, Jordan Zimmermann

If the Yankees hadn’t found Didi Gregorius — and if Gregorius hadn’t put together such a nice second half — the Yankees might have been in the market for Desmond. Instead, his disappointing season will surely be someone else’s dilemma. Two better fits from the Nationals might be either Fister or Zimmermann, either of whom would be a nice addition to the Yankees’ rotation (Fister especially if he’ll take a one-year deal).

First wave of possibilities: Complete list of 139 free agents — November 3, 2015

First wave of possibilities: Complete list of 139 free agents

By Chad Jennings

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price watches during batting practice before baseball's American League Championship Series Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 in  Kansas City, Mo. The Toronto Blue Jays will face the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 tomorrow. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price watches during batting practice before baseball’s American League Championship Series Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 in Kansas City, Mo. The Toronto Blue Jays will face the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 tomorrow. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

From the MLB Players Association, here’s the complete list of 139 players who became free agents when their contracts expired today. For right now, they can only negotiate with their former club. They can negotiate and sign with any club beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday. Another 35 players — including the Yankees’ Brendan Ryan — could become free agents depending on options in their contracts.

Atlanta Braves
Ross Detwiler
Edwin Jackson
Peter Moylan
A.J. Pierzynski

Arizona Diamondbacks
David Hernandez
Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Baltimore Orioles
Wei-Yin Chen
Chris Davis
Darren O’Day
Gerardo Parra
Steve Pearce
Matt Wieters

Boston Red Sox
Craig Breslow
Rich Hill

Chicago Cubs
Trevor Cahill
Chris Denorfia
Dexter Fowler
Dan Haren
Tommy Hunter
Austin Jackson
Jason Motte
Fernando Rodney

Chicago White Sox
Matt Albers
Gordon Beckham
Jeff Samardzija
Geovany Soto

Cincinnati Reds
Sean Marshall
Manny Parra
Brayan Pena

Cleveland Indians
Mike Aviles
Gavin Floyd
Ryan Webb

Colorado Rockies
Kyle Kendrick
Justin Morneau

Detroit Tigers
Alex Avila
Rajai Davis
Tom Gorzelanny
Alfredo Simon
Randy Wolf

Houston Astros
Scott Kazmir
Oliver Perez
Colby Rasmus
Tony Sipp
Joe Thatcher

Kansas City Royals
Johnny Cueto
Ryan Madson
Franklin Morales
Chris Young
Ben Zobrist

Los Angeles Angels
David Freese
Chris Iannetta
Matt Joyce
Matt Latos
Shane Victorino
Wesley Wright

Los Angeles Dodgers
Brett Anderson
Howie Kendrick
Jimmy Rollins

Miami Marlins
Don Kelly
Jeff Mathis
Casey McGehee

Milwaukee Brewers
Kyle Lohse

Minnesota Twins
Blaine Boyer
Neal Cotts
Brian Duensing
Torii Hunter
Mike Pelfrey

New York Mets
Jerry Blevins
Yoenis Cespedes
Tyler Clippard
Bartolo Colon
Kelly Johnson
Daniel Murphy
Eric O’Flaherty
Bobby Parnell
Juan Uribe

New York Yankees
Chris Capuano
Stephen Drew
Chris Young

Oakland Athletics
Edward Mujica
Barry Zito

Philadelphia Phillies
Chad Billingsley
Jeff Francoeur
Aaron Harang
Jerome Williams

Pittsburgh Pirates
Antonio Bastardo
Joe Blanton
A.J. Burnett
J.A. Happ
Corey Hart
Aramis Ramirez
Sean Rodriguez
Joakim Soria

San Diego Padres
Josh Johnson
Shawn Kelley
Ian Kennedy
Brandon Morrow
Bud Norris
Justin Upton

San Francisco Giants
Jeremy Affeldt
Alejandro De Aza
Tim Hudson
Mike Leake
Tim Lincecum
Marco Scutaro
Ryan Vogelsong

Seattle Mariners
Joe Beimel
Franklin Gutierrez
Hisashi Iwakuma

St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Belisle
Randy Choate
Jason Heyward
John Lackey
Mark Reynolds
Carlos Villanueva

Tampa Bay Rays
Asdrubal Cabrera
John Jaso
Grady Sizemore

Texas Rangers
Yovani Gallardo
Colby Lewis
Mike Napoli
Ross Ohlendorf
Drew Stubbs
Will Venable

Toronto Blue Jays
Mark Buehrle
Marco Estrada
Jeff Francis
LaTroy Hawkins
Munenori Kawasaki
Mark Lowe
Dioner Navarro
Cliff Pennington
David Price

Washington Nationals
Ian Desmond
Doug Fister
Denard Span
Matt Thornton
Dan Uggla
Jordan Zimmermann

Yankees fill hitting coach jobs with promotion, former player — November 2, 2015

Yankees fill hitting coach jobs with promotion, former player

By George A. King III

cockrell1

Alan Cockrell was promoted from assistant hitting coach to the Yankees’ top job.

The Yankees will replace departed hitting coach Jeff Pentland with Alan Cockrell and promote Marcus Thames to the big league staff.

As previously reported by The Post, the Yankees announced Monday that Cockrell will move from assistant hitting coach to the top job, and Thames will be elevated from Triple-A to the big leagues.

It’s the second time the Yankees have stayed within to fill a high-profile job. When assistant GM Billy Eppler left to become the Angels general manager, Yankees GM Brian Cashman promoted professional scout Tim Naehring, though he will receive a different title.

The Yankees have been impressed with Thames, who has worked in their minor league system for three years. He was also drawing interest from other big league clubs.

Cockrell, 52, was hired as Pentland’s assistant last January, and the two worked to revive veterans Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran into having productive years at the plate. It was the first time the Yankees had two hitting coaches. Cockrell’s major league career consisted of nine games for the 1996 Rockies.

Cockrell, a former University of Tennessee starting QB in 1982-83, had two stints as the Rockies hitting coach and one with the Mariners.

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Marcus Thames after striking out for the Yankees in 2010.Photo: Charles Wenzelberg

The 38-year-old Thames, a 30th-round pick of the Yankees in the 1996 draft, reached the majors in 2002 with the club. The outfielder returned for an 82-games stint in 2010, and also played for the Rangers, Tigers and Dodgers. He finished with a .246 big league average. This season was Thames’ third as a hitting coach in the Yankees’ system, working at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He spent time with the major league club in September.

Cockrell, who helped turn around Didi Gregorius’ season at the plate, will be the third Yankees’ hitting coach in three years. Kevin Long was dismissed following the 2014 season with one year remaining on his contract. Pentland took over in 20015 and wasn’t asked back.

Bench coach Rob Thomson and first base coach Tony Pena had contracts expire Oct. 31, but there are no indications they won’t be back. With bullpen catcher Gary Tuck not returning, the Yankees are looking for a replacement. Former Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey, recently let go by the Diamondbacks as pitching coach, is a possibility.