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for our four guys, but

for our four guys, but it also makes the second and third tier players wait just as long so they can compare their contracts to those top four players. Hence, the not-so hot stove. Next off season it is highly unlikely that players will hold off for this long. Not only are they eager for their massive payday, teams have been making room on their payroll for this for a long time and are in a hurry to acquire players who could possibly be the new face of the franchise. The downside to not being one of the top tier players at your position and signing before the Brandon Morrow, chicagonow.com best player at your position is that second or third tier player could end up with significantly less money. Brandon Morrow just signed a 2-year $21MM contract that guarantees him $9MM a year; which is great for him following a 6-0 year on the mound with a 2.06 earned run average as a relief pitcher. Now fast forward 18 days where closer Wade Davis signed the largest relief pitcher contract ever with the Colorado Rockies at 3-years $52MM, $17.3MM annually. $17.3MM annually sounds much better than $9MM huh? Davis finished 2017 with a 4-2 record with a 2.30 earned run average and 32 saves. Morrow might not have had 32 saves, but he may have been able to ask for more following Davis’ contract. Unlike Morrow, starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Cobb is working the system for his best interest. Cobb initially declined the Ray’s qualifying offer of $17.4MM, and has now declined the Chicago Cubs threeyear $42MM offer. Cobb finished 2017 with a record of 12-10 on the mound with a 3.66 earned run average in 29 starts. 12 wins marks the most in his career in a single season. Despite having a great year in 2017 there are still a lot of red flags around signing Cobb. His 2011 season was cut short due to a blood clot that had to be repaired through surgery and in 2015 Cobb’s season ended in May as he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his partially torn UCL. Cobb who is 30, understands that this may be the last major contract that he’ll ever receive. The three-year contract is what Cobb is looking for to supply some insurance on the length of his career, but he’s waiting to see what Darvish and Arrieta get on their contracts to try to amplify his the best he can. Following this contract Cobb will most likely only be given single year contracts with a couple million attached. It is in Cobbs best interest to wait it out and see how much he can really get. Not only is this the best plan for Cobb, this is the best plan for all the free agents. As dull as this off season has been for the fans there is still plenty of free agents out there to fill much needed positions around the league, so don’t lose faith just yet. KEY FREE AGENTS STILL ON THE MARKET Outfielders: J.D. Martinez, Carlos Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain, Curtis Granderson, Seth Smith, Rajai Davis, Chris Young, Jay Bruce, Austin Jackson, Cameron Maybin, Melky Cabrera, Matt Holliday, Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez, Jose Bautista, Michael Saunders, Jon Jay, Andre Ethier Infielders: Mark Reynolds, Neil Walker, Jose Reyes, Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Adam Lind, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Chase Utley, Eduardo Nunez, Alcides Escobar, Yunel Escobar, Brandon Phillips, Todd Frazier, Logan Morrison, Lucas Duda, Trevor Plouffe, Mike Napoli Catchers: Jonathan Lucroy, Alex Avila Pitchers: Trevor Rosenthal, Lance Lynn, Wade Miley, Jeremy Hellickson, Anibal Sanchez, Francisco Liriano, Jason Vargas, Bud Norris, Bartolo Colon, Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Greg Holland, Yu Darvish, Tony Watson, Matt Garza 42 42 www.EverythingElko.com \ February 2018

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