Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

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Looking back at my free-agent predictions

By my parameters, a Hot Stove League hasn't officially concluded until the future of every Type A free agent has been resolved.

This year, the last man standing was Roy Oswalt, and his resolution was to leave things unresolved. He's going the Roger Clemens/Pedro Martinez route and market himself as an in-season acquisition. If he's willing to go somewhere besides St. Louis or Texas, then he should find work quite easily. Or maybe the Cardinals or Rangers will wind up needing him.

In any case, we're not gonna wait for Oswalt to land somewhere. It's time to move forward by looking back. Today, we'll examine my free agent predictions from the winter, and tomorrow and Thursday we'll determine the offseason winners and losers.

Our pal NaOH put together this user-friendly chart, comparing my predictions to the actual results:

 



2011–12 Free-Agent Predictions



Player

Prediction

Actual Contract

Albert Pujols

Cardinals

8 years, $208MM

Angels

10 years, $240MM

 

CC Sabathia

Yankees

6 years, $150MM

Yankees

5 years, $122MM

C.J. Wilson

Angels

5 years, $85MM

Angels

5 years, $77.5MM

 

Jose Reyes

Marlins

6 years, $108MM
 

Marlins

6 years, $106MM

Prince Fielder

Blue Jays

7 years, $161MM

Tigers

9 years, $214MM

 

Mark Buehrle

White Sox

3 years, $40MM

Marlins

4 years, $58MM

Roy Oswalt

Tigers

1 year, $9MM

— — —

 

David Ortiz

Red Sox

2 years, $22MM

Red Sox

1 year, $14.575M

 

Kelly Johnson

Dodgers

2 years, $16MM

Blue Jays

1 year, $6.375MM

Edwin Jackson

Nationals

4 years, $48MM

Nationals

1 year, $11MM

Hiroki Kuroda

Dodgers

1 year, $13MM

Yankees

1 year, $10MM

Jimmy Rollins

Phillies

4 years, $56MM

Phillies

3 years, $33MM

Carlos Beltran

Giants

3 years, $40MM

Cardinals

2 years, $26MM

Rafael Furcal

Cardinals

2 years, $20MM

Cardinals

2 years, $14MM

Alex Gonzalez

Braves

1 year, $7MM

Brewers

1 year, $4.25MM

Freddy Garcia

Yankees

1 year, $5MM

Yankees

1 year, $4MM

Mark Ellis

Rockies

1 year, $4MM

Dodgers

2 years, $8.75MM

Josh Willingham

Braves

2 years, $16MM

Twins

3 years, $21MM

David DeJesus

Yankees

1 year, $7MM

Cubs

2 years, $10MM

Ramon Hernandez

Reds

2 years, $12MM

Rockies

2 years, $6.4MM

Michael Cuddyer

Twins

3 years, $30MM

Rockies

3 years, $31.5MM

Clint Barmes

Brewers

2 years, $10MM

Pirates

2 years, $10.5MM

Bruce Chen

Royals

2 years, $12MM

Royals

2 years, $9MM

Francisco Rodriguez

Reds

3 years, $38MM

Brewers

1 year, $8MM

Carlos Pena

Brewers

2 years, $20MM

Rays

1 year, $7.25MM

Heath Bell

Padres

2 years, $18MM

Marlins

3 years, $27MM

Pat Burrell

Orioles

1 year, $6MM

Retired

Aramis Ramirez

Cubs

2 years, $22MM

Brewers

3 years, $36MM

Jonathan Papelbon

Phillies

3 years, $36MM

Phillies

4 years, $50MM

Ryan Madson

Twins

3 years, $27MM

Reds

1 year, $8.5MM

Totals

85 Years

$1,246,000,000

81 Years

$1,174,600,000

 

I wound up over-predicting by four years and $71.4 million, and that's with Oswalt not signing and Pat Burrell retiring. My biggest financial whiff? I had Edwin Jackson signing with the right team, Washington, but for three more years and $37 million more than he actually received.

Actually, I got crushed by Scott Boras, who represents Jackson as well as Ryan Madson and Francisco Rodriguez, both of whom I saw doing considerably better. And then Boras client Prince Fielder outshot my prediction by two years and $53 million.

Lessons to be learned? Just a reminder of how fluid the free-agent market can be. No one could have seen the Tigers signing Fielder, not unless that person envisioned Victor Martinez suffering a serious injury. The Angels blew us all away by signing Albert Pujols in addition to C.J. Wilson. And man, those closer jobs dried up quickly once Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell signed with Philadelphia and Miami.

--Here's my column for today's Newsday, in which I wonder how much longer the Wilpons' and Saul Katz's unstable ownership of the team can be tolerated.

--I'll check in later.

Tags: Albert Pujols , Prince Fielder , Saul Katz

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