Will American League MVP Aaron Judge return to the New York Yankees or return home to California with the San Francisco Giants? Former New York Mets Player Jacob de Grom Heading to Texas? Where will each of the Big Four short stops land?

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The 2022-23 Major League Baseball free agent period is upon us, and some of the biggest names in the game are about to move (or stay put).

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We asked seven Sportzshala MLB experts — Bradford Doolittle, Alden Gonzalez, Jun Lee, Keely McDaniel, Buster Olney, Jesse Rogers and David Schonfield — to predict where the most coveted players will sign this winter — and for how much.

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Aaron Judge | Jacob deGrom | Big Four Shorts | Justin Verlander | Carlos Rodon | Brandon Nimmo | More


Aaron Judge

McDaniel: Yankees, nine years, $325 million. If you made me guess (and you did), I don’t think we’re going to have a wild bidding war, and the Yankees need him more than any other team. I think in that amount they match what they have and they will lean towards adding a year to get a lower luxury tax/AAV number.

Doolittle: Yankees, nine years, $340 million. My guess is that the Yankees will outperform any market return for Judge, which is why I got a little more years and annual value of the consensus forecasts.

Shenfield: Giants, nine years, $332 million. I join Farhan Zaidi’s comment at GM meetings: “I think that from a financial point of view, there is no one who would not be able to fulfill what we expect from the requirements of the contract.” The Giants have tremendous wage flexibility, with liabilities of just $18.5 million after 2023.

Rogers: Yankees, 10 years, $370 million. Pretty simple. He would surpass Mike Trout’s contract by $10 million, becoming the highest paid player in the game by annual salary. How can the best player of the most legendary team leave? He will not. And the Yankees will pay to see it.

Lee: Yankees, 10 years, $360 million. The Yankees fan base will riot if Judge doesn’t wear stripes next year, and Hal Steinbrenner has given every indication that he will devote every financial resource possible to ensure the return of the AL MVP. Even if there is a bidding war, I think the Yankees will take any decision very hard.

Olney: Yankees, nine years, $360 million. In their entire history, the Yankees have never had a player who currently has more leverage against them than Judge. In fact, in the history of the franchise, individual players have never really had the upper hand – not Babe Ruth (who was released), Joe DiMaggio (who resigned in danger of losing his status), or Mickey Mantle (who left retired in spring training), neither Reggie Jackson (who was allowed to leave as a free agent) nor Derek Jeter (who received less than half of what his camp was asking for in the negotiations). However, in this case, the Yankees need the player more than the player needs them.

Gonzalez: Giants, eight years, $352 million. Two things we can pretty much assume about the Giants and their alleged pursuit of Judge: They’d prefer a shorter deal given he’s heading into his 31-year season and they’ll have to outdo the Yankees. So what about an eight-year contract that would allow Judge to break the AAV record set by Max Scherzer with just a three-year contract? $44 million a year for eight years is a wild amount. But wild may be a must here.


Jacob de Grom

McDaniel: Texas Rangers, four years, $155 million. I was leaning towards him returning to the Mets and getting a Scherzer contract (3 years/$130 million) with a vesting option based on the pitching submitted in the third year, but now I’m more convinced that Texas is making a bold move for the pitcher . with the maximum guarantee, and I think it will be deGrom. Carlos Rodon would also make sense, but he will likely sign later in the winter to ensure he gets an unprecedented number or two on his deal.

Doolittle: Los Angeles Dodgers, three years, $120 million (with mutual waiver for final season). A deal similar in structure and value to the one Justin Verlander has played in this season makes sense. You could see how the Dodgers might view deGrom as the missing piece and how deGrom might be curious about why so many pitchers find another level in Los Angeles.

Shenfield: Rangers, four years, $160 million. The Rangers have already burned one year of the Corey Seeger-Marcus Semien era. They’ve hired a win-win manager in Bruce Bochi and they need some starting help. It’s a big roll of the dice given deGrom’s health history, but that’s the position the Rangers find themselves in.

Rogers: Atlanta Braves, three years, $125 million. The price will be worth double whammy when the Braves steal deGrom from their sworn rivals. Even though it’s a high year-to-date, it will end fairly quickly, giving Atlanta a few title shots with deGrom while still being flexible – as Alex Anthopoulos likes to do – with the core of the Braves still in place even when the contract is over. It also gives the team a bit of protection based on deGrom’s injury history.

Lee: Rangers, four years, $160 million. The Rangers will need to make another big push to justify the money they spent on Seeger and Semien last year, and this is one of the obvious places they can improve. Texas needs deGrom more than the Mets need him, and I think that’s where he ends up landing.

Olney: Rangers, four years, $150 million. Too much risk for the Mets to carry deGrom and Scherzer for $80 million a year. The Rangers are the team most interested in buying pitching this winter.

Gonzalez: St. Louis Cardinals, four years, $150 million. The Cardinals enter a new era with the departures of Albert Pujol and Yadier Molina, while Adam Wainwright heads into his final season. DeGrom and his disruptive stuff would be perfect for what last year was mostly contact personnel.


Big Four shortstops

McDaniel:

Trea Turner: Seattle Mariners, nine years, $280 million
Carlos Correa: Giants, eight years, $270 million
Dansby Swanson: Braves, six years, $150 million
Xander Bogarts: Boston Red Sox, six years, $168 million

The trick is that the next best option in free agency is Gene Segura or Elvis Andrus. As such, teams buying shorts that don’t get any of these four are likely to try to reverse the trade to improve that position: Willie Adams, Amed Rosario, Isaiah Keener-Falefa, Paul DeJong, Miguel Rojas, Javier Baez and Jorge. Mateo are the main options. In this scenario, I have the Dodgers and Cubs, but it’s more of a coin toss than a strong feeling.

Doolittle:

Turner: Giants, eight years, $260 million.
Correa: Baltimore Orioles, nine years, $300 million
Swanson: Braves, six years, $150 million
Bogarts: Chicago Cubs, six years, $180 million

If, as I expect, the Giants miss out on The Judge, they’ll be looking for something else to make a splash, and Turner could fit in a range of spots for them. Correa to the Orioles may be within reach, but there’s a lot of information out there about where the Orioles are as a franchise and how they fit into things that are perfect for Correa. Swanson’s return to the Braves makes too much sense to me for it not to happen. And it’s hard for me to imagine the Cubs coming out of this winter without one of their best shortstops – and the Bogarts are the ones left.

Shenfield:

Turner: Philadelphia Phillies, eight years, $280 million.
Correa: Giants, nine years, $285 million
Swanson: Dodgers, six years, $140 million
Bogarts: Los Angeles Angels, six years, $184 million

This could go in a million different directions with teams like the Cubs and Orioles possibly also counting into the equation. Few owners want to win like John Middleton of the Phillies and Dave Dombrowski is a master at making big deals with big stars, so Turner heads to Philadelphia to team up with his old teammate Bryce Harper (Bryson Stott has moved to second base) . ). Judge and Correa in the same off-season? The Giants even handled the arrival of shortstop Marco Luciano. I don’t believe the Dodgers are shortstopping Gavin Lux, and I don’t see the Braves giving Swanson that kind of money – more than Ronald Acuna Jr. or Michael Harris II – so I see the Dodgers come with good Swanson defense. replace Turner.

Rogers:

Turner: Phyllis, eight years, $270 million.
Correa: Minnesota Twins, seven years, $230 million.
Swanson: Braves, six years, $165 million
Bogarts: Giants (or Cubs), six years, $180 million.

Dave Dombrowski got carte blanche in Philadelphia after his team took his team to the World Series, and Bryce Harper and Turner have known each other since the Washington Nationals. There is no doubt that Turner’s speed and defense will match the powerful Phillies. And there is also little doubt that they will spend on somebody. The biggest shock will be Correa’s return to the Twins. He made such a good impression there that Minnesota would have no problem opening a checkbook. He and Bogaerts have short-term opt-out deals, so long-term homes are what they’re looking for. The Giants have already said they have money to spend. After the dust settles, can a team in need of a shortstop call the White Sox for Tim Anderson? It’s possible.

Lee:

Turner: Phyllis, 10 years old, $300 million.
Correa: Giants, nine years, $310 million
Swanson: Braves, five years, $150 million
Bogaerts: Red Sox, six years, $175 million

The Red Sox front office is under a lot of pressure to re-sign Bogarts and I think they’re going to have to step outside of their comfort zone to get the deal done. After the Mookie Betts deal, Boston fans are still unhappy with how negotiations with homegrown stars Raphael Devers and Bogarts went. Both have played big roles in championship teams, and given the difficulties of the 2022 season, fans will be furious if the Red Sox don’t re-sign Bogarts or replace him with someone with similar skills and then fail to make the playoffs. off. .