As the 2015 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings heat up in Tennessee, there will be many trades and free agent signings. Before 6:00 p.m. this evening, there had been a few free agents signings and a couple of lower tiered trades. The market has since exploded and it is expected that more deals will be reached soon.
The market on starting pitchers has been on fire as Zack Greinke, David Price, Jordan Zimmermann, Jeff Samardzija and John Lackey have all signed. Teams are stocking up on starting pitchers and relievers are also being acquired at a record pace. Francisco Rodriguez and Craig Kimbrel were acquired via trade. (So was Aroldis Chapman for a few minutes). Darren O’Day, Oliver Perez, Jason Motte and Chad Qualls have also signed any many more are sure to follow.
Of all the big names out there for everyday players, who will be the first to sign a contract? The market has been surprisingly quiet on the position players front and everyone is waiting for that shoe to drop. Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes are the big names out there right now. Of those four I would imagine that Cespedes would be the first to sign and give everyone an idea of value for each player.
Cespedes represents a lot of question marks. If not for his torrid last half season where he led the Mets to the playoffs offensively, he probably wouldn’t even be considered in this group. The flashy outfielder has a lot of tools but has failed to put them all together. Is what we saw in New York an example of who Cespedes will become?
The simple fact I believe Cespedes will sign before any of the other three outfielders is he has no compensation pick attached to him. The other three players rejected their qualifying offers and any team signing them will surrender a pick. That alone will be a great determining factor in signing the Cuban outfielder.
So will it be Cespedes that breaks the silence and signs first? Only time will tell. You can be assured that once the first big bat is signed, there will be a run on the rest. So get ready, teams, and get your check books out because to sign this foursome its gonna take well over $400 million dollars combined. You have to figure Heyward alone will get a contract around $200 million from someone.