Last week, Off The Bench opened up our MLB Free Agent Predictor contest to the public. Max and I had a great time guessing where last year’s stars would end up, so we imagined that other baseball nerds would have a similarly good time. We offered up a $20 reward to whoever turns out to be the most accurate prognosticator and we circulated our little form around. After the first day, we had 27 people signed up. I never even expected that many. Truthfully, I figured we would get about 5 of our friends to join us and prepared the infrastructure to support the competition as such. I realized that I hadn’t even set a goal; so I set 50 as a good goal.
Well, we ended up with 109 responses!
My poor coding ability was no match for the volume of responses we received. Take a look at the Top 30 Free Agent Standings page and you’ll see just how I did not properly prepare for this many interested parties. That thing is clunky.
The good part about getting 109 responses is that now we have data! Annually, Fangraphs does a contract crowdsourcing to try to use the power of the internet to determine where, for how long, and for how much free agents will sign. We have done the same thing, but we’ve given people a carrot to dream for: $20 and the sweet pleasure of victory.
Rather than hoard all of that data and build a shrine to the fact that I got 109 people on the internet to do something, I opted to share it here with a little note about each player. These are the bottom half of the top 30 rankings. The top half will run tomorrow.
16 WADE DAVIS AND 17 CLAY BUCHHOLZ
Both had their options picked up by their employers. The Royals decision was easy. The Red Sox decision to pick up Clay Buchholz’ $13.5M option was not so straightforward. I certainly didn’t think he was worth that kind of money.
18. DOUG FISTER (33)
If I had to do this over again, Fister would be lower in our rankings, but here he is. The 33 year old just turned in 180 innings of 4.60 ERA for Houston. He’s not going to be a coveted free agent since he doesn’t strike many guys out, but he’s a reliable 5th starter, who finished 8th in the Cy Young voting in 2014. He needs to pitch in front of a solid defense and The Internet has no idea where that might be.
To continue reading about this year’s MLB Free Agents, please visit OfftheBenchBaseball.com