Grading My Free Agency Predictions

 

Back in early November I posted my annual Free Agency prediction column where I intelligently prognosticated guessed where 10 of the top free agents in baseball would end up.  You can read the original post here.  With spring training just around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to take a look back and see how many I got right.

As usual, I didn’t do well…

The “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” Division

Albert Pujols

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals

Actual: Los Angeles Angels

I still find it shocking that he left St. Louis, the city that treated him like gold from the moment he arrived and where he won two World Series rings.  Money talks though, and it’s tough to say no to a quarter of a billion dollars.  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in thinking he’d re-sign.

Heath Bell

Prediction: San Diego Padres

Actual: Miami Marlins

Still seems weird to call them the “Miami” Marlins, and not the Florida Marlins.  After hearing for so long that he didn’t want to leave and that he’d take a hometown discount to stay, Bell bolted for Miami and a huge (and hugely awful) 3-year $27-million contract.  It might hurt on the field, but at that price San Diego is much better off without him.

The “I Guess I’ll Stay” Division

Jonathan Papelbon

Prediction: Boston Red Sox

Actual: Philadelphia Phillies

In what was perhaps the worst of any free agent contract, the Phillies will pay Papelbon $50-million over four years.  This was made to look even worse when Ryan Madson, Philly’s 2011 closer, signed a 1-year $8.5-million deal with the Reds not long after.  I thought Boston would do everything they could to keep him, but the new front office apparently had no interest.  For once, I agree with the Red Soc.

Carlos Beltran

Prediction: San Francisco Giants

Actual: St. Louis Cardinals

From what I heard, the Giants might have never been a factor in signing him, which is a bit strange considering all the run production they lack.  If Pujols would have stayed, Beltran never would have signed with St. Louis (and neither would anybody else for the next 10 years at that price), but credit the Cardinals for doing what they could to fill his shoes.

Jimmy Rollins

Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies

Actual: Philadelphia Phillies

Hey, hey!  I got one right!  In reality, this was almost a no-brainer.  There was no way Rollins was ever going anywhere. 

The Logical Train of Thought Division

David Ortiz

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

Actual: Boston Red Sox

I believed the hype that Ortiz would join his buddy Jose Bautista in Toronto.  That likely was never going to happen, with the threat of him moving simply driving up the price.  Ortiz is a Boston lifer.

C.J. Wilson

Prediction: Los Angeles Angels

Actual: Los Angeles Angels

Nailed another one.  If anybody was going to overpay for C.J. I guessed it would be the Angels, for two reasons: 1 – they needed to make a splash after missing the playoffs, and 2 – signing Wilson would directly hurt division rival Texas.  I was bang on (for a change).

The “I Have Absolutely No Idea” Division

Aramis Ramirez

Prediction: Miami Marlins

Actual: Milwaukee Brewers

Question: if Ryan Braun wouldn’t have been hit with a (potential) 50-game suspension, would the Brewers have made this move?  We knew they had to do something to replace Prince, but losing Braun might have pushed them harder.  Who knows.  I envisioned him jumping on board with the Marlins, who needed a third baseman at the time.  With a cantankerous Hanley Ramirez waffling on whether or not he wants to play 3B, maybe they still do…

Jose Reyes

Prediction: Washington Nationals

Actual: Miami Marlins

Washington seemed ready to make a splash in free agency, and I thought Reyes was the guy.  I was wrong.  However, I did predict that somebody would overpay him to stay in the NL East.  I was right about that.  Thank you Marlins.

Prince Fielder

Prediction: Chicago Cubs

Actual: Detroit Tigers

I think it’s fair to say that nobody expected Detroit to be in the mix for Prince.  And to be fair, if Victor Martinez wouldn’t have injured himself, I don’t think they would have been.  But things happen, and credit the Tigers for reacting fast and filling a huge hole.  Unfortunately for them, I have a good feeling that the 9-year $214-million deal won’t look nearly this good a few years down the road.

 

How did I do? 

2 for 10. 

Hang your head 500 Level Fan…

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