With the 2020 Winter Meetings being moved virtual, the typical day-to-day communications between general managers, front office personnel, player agents, and college students looking for a shot have all been greatly hindered. How much action is going to occur? It’s nearly impossible to tell, but we have a day-by-day recap for you this week.
Angels Corner the “Iglesias” Market:
The Los Angeles Angels with new General Manager Perry Minasian made the first move of the 2020 Winter Meetings by acquiring RHP Reliver/Closer Raisel Iglesias (and cash considerations) from the Cincinnati Reds. With a 2.74 ERA and 8 saves over 22 games in 2020, Iglesias had a great season while dropping his BB9 (2.0) and increasing his K9 (12.1). His 2019 season was not great with his 4.16 ERA, but it seems like an oddity given his career numbers out of the bullpen. In a regular season, he can be expected for 30 saves and about 75 innings of work at about a 3.00 ERA and has a $9.125M contract for 2021.
The Reds in return received RHP Noe Ramirez who will be entering his first year of arbitration and provide a decent option out of the bullpen. With a 3.00 ERA in 2020 over 21 innings and 21 games, Ramirez had a problem with a 3.9 BB9 and a low K9 of 6.0, but these were far off his 2019 numbers of a 2.7 BB9 and a 10.5 K9. The Reds will be hoping he can repeat 2019 at a much cheaper rate. They will also get a PTBNL in the deal.
This comes the week after the Angels traded for INF Jose Iglesias from the Baltimore Orioles, and they have now acquired the two only MLB players in history with the last name “Iglesias” to play on the same team together.
Tomoyuki Sugano to Officially Be Posted on 8:00 AM, Tuesday December 8th:
I won’t harp much on Tomoyuki Sugano in this post, but if you are interested in reading about his career in the Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB), some projections for the MLB, and my feelings on him, you can check that out here.
Now that we have the official news that Sugano will be posted, teams will have a month to negotiate with him on a contract. The posting system to come to the MLB from the NPB got a revamp in 2017 for the 2018-2019 offseason wherein teams no longer had to win negotiation rights, but instead the player was allowed to negotiate with any MLB team that is willing to pay the new release fees. There are four different release fee tiers and one extra clause.
For contracts at or under $25,000,000 the MLB team will pay 20% of the guaranteed contract as the release fee to the NPB team.
For contracts between $50,000,000 and $25,000,001 the MLB team will pay 20% of the first $25M (which comes out to be $5M) and an additional 17.5% on the contract value above $25M.
For contracts above $50,000,001 the MLB team will pay 20% of the first $25M (the same $5M as above), a 17.5% rate on the next $25M (which comes out to be $4.375M), and then an additional 15% on the remaining value of the contract.
For contracts with bonuses, options (club, vesting, or player), or any additional salary benefits the MLB team may also owe the NPB team a supplemental release fee of 15% of that value from either and/or both of the options and/or bonuses a player may have earned under the initial deal.
If a player from the NPB signs a Minor League Contract, then the MLB team will be due to issue 25% of the signing bonus to the NPB team and an additional supplemental fee if they are to make the 26-man roster.
National League Franchises Told to Expect NO DH in 2021:
After the 2020 season had many major delays with the currently ongoing COVID 2019 pandemic, the MLB opted to allow the use of the Designated Hitter across both the American and National leagues for the shortened season. While this has been a long contested issues between National League “originalists” and those who would like to see the DH implemented league-wide, it appears this debate will have to wait another season.
In 2019, pitchers across the MLB hit to a .128/.160/.162 clip with a wRC+ of -18 (!), had a BB rate of 3.1% and a K rate of 43.5%. They hit just 24 HR’s across 5173 plate appearances, had an IOS of .034, and had a surprising BABIP of .244. To me, this isn’t a contest which side is more favorable for the game of baseball to implement.