Every year at the start of free agency, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes an article with predictions on free agent prices, citing an unbiased GM, scout, and his own prediction for each of the top 50 free agents. It’s a fun article that gives us an idea of what the industry expects each player to receive. This year’s version of the article is significant, as it looks at what guys like Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano can expect to receive, along with the expected prices of some potential Pirates’ additions.
Martin’s price was split between five years and $70 M (agent, Heyman) and four years, $60 M. We heard earlier today that he was seeking five years and $75-80 M. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets five years, although the $70 M figure sounds more realistic in that scenario.
The Liriano prediction is interesting. The agent predicts one year and $15.3 M, meaning he would accept the qualifying offer. Heyman and the GM predict three years, with the GM going $40 M and Heyman going $36 M. Liriano is still deciding whether to accept that offer.
The interesting thing is Edinson Volquez. His predicted price is much higher than any other prediction I’ve seen. Heyman has him at three years and $33 M. The GM has $30 M over three years. The agent has four years and $48 M. I think Volquez would be a good signing on a two-year deal that pays $8-10 M per year, but I’m not sure if he’d be worth the price at these rates.
If you’re on the “Adam LaRoche for first base” bandwagon, then the estimated price $24-26 M over two years. For reclamation starters, Brett Anderson is projected to receive $5-7 M on a one year deal. Brandon Morrow is projected for $4 M (agent), $8 M (GM), and $6 M (Heyman). Gavin Floyd is at $2-5 M, and Josh Johnson, who has health concerns, is at $3.25-4 M. If they can re-sign Martin, the Pirates would be better off going with a few of these reclamation projects, rather than trying to bring in Liriano and another starter. That would allow them to also pursue an upgrade at first base.