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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.

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