Each week SBR discusses the latest signings and free agent murmurings that will allow us to get a jump on our MLB picks when the Boys of Summer return in the spring. Let’s see how these wheelings and dealings could impact the MLB odds going forward.
The $200 Million Man
Any time super-agent Scott Boras gets his hooks into a premier free agent you can bet that the process will be long and financially painful for the winning bidder. The free agent in question is two-time All-Star and former Cy Young winner pitcher Max Scherzer. Boras will be intent on eclipsing Jon Lester’s $150 million dollar deal and posturing his client as the greatest ace since – well –Cy Young! Yeah, that’s the ticket. Nevertheless Scherzer will no doubt be making plans for all that loot that is sure to come his way sometime in January because Boras understands that the longer he dangles his prized carrot the more suitors will be bidding and the larger the price tag.
ESPN analyst Jim Bowden has not only identified the teams vying for Scherzer’s services but has actually quantified the MLB odds on their chances of success in landing the 6’3” right-handed hurler. All the teams in question will come as no surprise except perhaps the team he feels has the greatest chance of inking Scherzer to a mega-deal. That’s right; the seemingly disinterested Detroit Tigers have suddenly changed their tune and are now committed to wooing their former ace back to Motown according to Bowden. So with that, here are Bowden’s own MLB odds on where Scherzer will sign:
Detroit Tigers 2-1
San Francisco Giants 5-1
New York Yankees 10-1
Washington Nationals 15-1
St. Louis Cardinals 20-1
Los Angeles Dodgers 25-1
Los Angeles Angels 30-1
While I am not sure any of these lesser lights will make you want to target the teams of their 2015 destination and include them in your MLB picks, they could add betting value if you consider their roles and the voids these players will fill.
First on the hit parade is reliever Sergio Romo who lost his closer’s role to Santiago Casilla during the regular season after blowing three saves in five chances but rebounded with a stellar performance in the World Series and contributed to the Giants title victory. San Francisco wanted him back in the fold and reportedly put together a two-year pact worth $15 million to make it happen.
The Florida Marlins continue to build around the cornerstone of their franchise Giancarlo Stanton by adding veteran outfielder Michael Morse who plied his trade with the World Series champion San Francisco Giants last season. Morse hauled in $16 million over two years and is expected to be a platoon player who has excelled in postseason play…if the Marlins get that far.
The Houston Astros have retained shortstop Jed Lowrie courtesy of a three-year $23 million pact. Lowrie indicated the Astros were his first choice and is happy to be returning to the woebegone franchise. In addition, Houston also signed relievers Pat Neshak and Luke Gregerson. Certainly not household names but pitchers that add depth to a bullpen that needs it.
Kemp to Padres in Jeopardy?
It appeared the ink was dry and former All-Star Matt Kemp would become a San Diego Padre leaving his Dodger Blue behind. However, the completion of this deal appears to be in peril as the teams have fallen eerily silent after Kemp’s physical with the Padres. As any MLB fan knows Kemp has gone from perennial All-Star to DL resident. If Kemp does fail his physical and the Padres renege then this could also complicate the deal LA made with Philadelphia last week for Jimmy Rollins which has yet to be finalized.
As always, SBR will keep you updated on the MLB odds and which teams add value to your MLB picks for the 2015 season.