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Kiley McDaniel, ESPN MLB Insider 17d

MLB free agency: Why to avoid Blake Snell, invest in Tim Anderson


I recently shared thoughts on each player when I dove into my top 50 projected free agent contracts, but I didn't fully tip my hand on what players would be the best investments. Now I'll pick the three players from this free agent market in whom I'd be most comfortable investing from a team's perspective -- and the three I'd stay away from, given what I think their contracts will look like.

There are broad ideas that generally apply to free agents for "smart" teams that chase a solid return on investment (ROI) -- avoid long-term and/or nine-figure deals, especially on pitchers and particularly relievers -- but there are counterexamples to all of them. So I'll focus more on specific players and their characteristics rather than basing my analysis on broad demographics.

To keep the invest/avoid lists diverse, each group of three needs to have at least one position player and one pitcher, one player projected for at least $50 million guaranteed and one player projected for a one-year deal.

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