As has become commonplace here on 500 Level Fan, it’s once again time to embarrass myself.
I am a lousy baseball prognosticator. My regular season predictions stink. My postseason predictions stink. My mid-year predictions stink. My Blue Jay specific predictions stink.
And as we will re-confirm today, my free agency predictions stink too. Only this year, they are worse than ever. Coming into this off-season I was batting .273 – 6 correct free agent predictions out of 22 over the past two winters.
That number is going way, way down. Take a look:
The “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” Division
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels
Actual: Los Angeles Dodgers
I got the city right! That should count for something! In hindsight, this was pretty obvious. Everybody knew Greinke woudl be chasing a top dollar contract, and both LA teams are flush with cash. But with his preference to remain in the National League, the choice should have been the Dodgers all the way. This was a miss.
Prediction: San Francisco Giants
Actual: San Francisco Giants
Nailed it – though this was pretty much a gimme. After winning the World Series with a gritty team that was full of fan favourites, there was no way the Giants were going to let Pagan go. Was a 4-year / $40-million deal with a $5-million signing bonus a bit excessive for a 31-year old outfielder with a career .757 OPS? Probably, but that’s another argument.
The “I Guess I’ll Stay” Division
Predicted: Texas Rangers
Actual: Boston Red Sox
I didn’t have confidence in this pick when I made it, and I was obviously not even close. Maybe the hip problem factored into Texas’ decision not to re-sign Napoli, but they appeared to have little or no interest in bringing him back. A 1-year deal with Boston could work out well for both sides.
The Logical Train of Thought Division
Predicted: Cincinnati Reds
Actual: Cleveland Indians
At least I got the state right – I knew he would go to Ohio! Actually, Cincinnati kind of played a part with this signing. They acquired Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians in a trade early in the offseason, solving their CF and leadoff issue, but opening the same void in Cleveland. Still – I don’t think anybody expected this one.
Predicted: Los Angeles Dodgers
With a 16-3, 2.86 ERA 2012 season, Lohse was expected to be a big player on the free agent market. Naturally, I thought he’d go to the Dodgers. Though he still remains unsigned, I’m confident he won’t end up in Tinsel Town. With a SP depth chart consisting of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Aaron Harang, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, and Chad
Billingsley, things look pretty crowded on the mound already for the Dodgers.
The “I Have Absolutely No Idea” Division
Predicted: Boston Red Sox
Actual: Los Angeles Angels
A year after coming out of nowhere to sign Albert Pujols, the Angels did it again to steal Hamilton away from their division rivals in Texas. Boston was mentioned in a few rumours as a potential landing spot for Hamilton, but never really came close to signing him.
Predicted: Chicago Cubs
Actual: Cleveland Indians
I had no reason for choosing the Cubs. It was just a wild guess. I deserved to get this one wrong.
Predicted: Philadelphia Phillies
Actual: Atlanta Braves
Though there was never any reports actually linking Upton to the Phillies, the fact that one week after Atlanta inked him to a big contract, Philly made a deal with Minnesota for CF Ben Revere means they were at least contemplating adding Upton, right? Doesn’t it? Please?
Predicted: Houston Astros
Actual: Philadelphia Phillies
After I guaranteed he’d stay in the AL because he can’t field, the Phillies go and snap him up. Crazy. But I guess there’s no better place for an old, over-the-hill player than in Philadelphia, right? The old, decrepit Young joins veterans like Halladay, Lee, and Utley in try—wait, what? Young is only 27? He looks like he could be 40…
There you have it. Nine predictions, one right, a batting average of .111. Add that to the last two years, and my career average is now at .226. Still better than Adam Dunn!!