The real end-of-season awards have been announced, reflecting what happened during the season. Now, it’s time to check out which players receive our fictitious awards for being worthy recipients of notable feats this offseason.
Most Likely To Be Traded: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks First Baseman
There’s always a boatload of trades in the offseason. Many are unpredictable, but a few are expected. By now, it’s clear that the Arizona Diamondbacks are highly considering trading their first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. First basemen are valuable assets, and great ones are hard to come by. That’s why, with plenty of teams searching for a first baseman this offseason, it shouldn’t be hard for Arizona to find a suitor in a trade involving Goldy.
Honorable mentions: Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, New York Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray, Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu
Most Likely To Get The Largest Contract: Bryce Harper, free agent outfielder
This one is pretty simple. Free agent outfielder Bryce Harper enters this year’s free agency knowing that teams want him, and he’ll get a massive contract that could bring his career earnings up to half-a-billion dollars. Another reason he can get a massive contract is simply that he has Scott Boras as his agent. Arguably the best player agent of all time, Boras is known for structuring contracts so his players get boatloads of money, and also so they can earn extra incentives for meeting benchmarks, as well as getting opt-out clauses for his clients so they can forego their contract. It’s going to be a record-breaking offseason, and it’s headlined by Bryce Harper.
Honorable mention: Free agent infielder Manny Machado
Most Likely To Get Their Salary Dumped (aka, the Matt Kemp award): Alex Cobb, Baltimore Orioles pitcher
Alex Cobb waited until the end of Spring Training last year to join a team, when he signed a four-year, $57 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Cobb went 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA last season, and he’s certainly not worth his massive contract, especially for the Orioles, who aren’t in a win-now situation, but rather a massive rebuild. Cobb has the potential to put together a decent, .500 season with a team, but if he were to be traded, Baltimore would need to find an organization with extra money to spend. Cobb would likely be traded along with a prospect, in exchange for a player to be named later or a weaker-level minor-leaguer. This is basically Baltimore saying, “Hey, take this pitcher and take his massive salary. You’ll give us next to nothing, and as a ‘thank you’ we’ll throw in a low-level prospect.”
Honorable mentions: New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and outfielder Mark Trumbo
Most Likely To Retire: Peter Moylan, free agent pitcher
Adrian Beltre would be on this list, but he has already retired, so let’s pick someone else. How about Peter Moylan? He spent nearly all of 2018 in the majors, appearing in 39 games. Throughout those games, he threw just 28.1 innings, recording a 4.45 ERA. It wasn’t a terrible season for Moylan, but he enters free agency this offseason, and he turns 40 years old on December 2nd. It seems like Moylan is preparing to hang ‘em up.
Honorable mentions: Blue Jays designated hitter Kendrys Morales, free agent first baseman Mike Napoli
Oldest Player Not To Retire: Bartolo Colon, free agent pitcher
Oh, yes. Bartolo Colon! Everyone’s favorite pitcher, of course. The 285-pound righty is the oldest player in the majors at over 45 years old. The former Cy Young winner and four-time all-star is coming off his 21st season in the majors, and doesn’t appear ready to retire from baseball. Through 28 games with the Texas Rangers last season, Bartolo went 7-12 with a 5.78 ERA over 146.1 innings. Despite these stats, Colon stayed in the majors all season, only leaving the 25-man roster when he suffered a back injury that landed him on the 10-day disabled list. It seems like Colon will get a couple of offers to join a team for their major league Spring Training camp on a minor league deal with the chance of a promotion to the majors.
Honorable mentions: Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin
Last Big-Name Free Agent To Sign: J.A. Happ, free agent pitcher
Normally, a Scott Boras client is the last big player to sign. This year, the last big-name free agent to sign seems like it might be Rogers Sports’ client J.A. Happ. Happ is 36 years old, but is coming off a strong season split between the Toronto Blue Jays. Happ could possibly do what Alex Cobb did last season: wait until the end of spring training to sign. It’s always a possibility that Manny Machado or Bryce Harper are the last ones, but Harper will likely get lots of attention at the December MLB Winter Meetings, and could be signed before New Year’s Day. Once Harper goes, Machado should get signed within a week.
Honorable mentions: Free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel, infielder Manny Machado, and outfielder Bryce Harper
It’s Hot Stove season, folks. The 2018-19 MLB offseason is underway. Things could get crazy.