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
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.