Free Agency

The news broke last night that MLB and Frank McCourt came to an agreement to sell the Dodgers...possibly at gun point. That's real good news for baseball and Dodger fans that truly couldn't stand the guy. That's bad news if you thought any bargains were going to be had in free agency for the big names. For let's remember the Cubs offseason of 2006 when they were ready to sell and Tribune racked up a giant bill that they didn't have to pay.

Rumors on XM radio and from Ned Colletti were that the Dodgers already had some money to spend this offseason, agent and former player Dave Stewart commented that they approached him about an extension for Matt Kemp and he took that as they're not as handcuffed as some want to believe. And they very much need a big bopper in that lineup and I wouldn't be too surprised if they made a run at Jose Reyes as well.  Anything can happen of course and they may go after Pujols instead, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least that McCourt makes one more fame grab and tries to load up the Dodgers this offseason and then take as much credit as he can if they're successful, even after he sells it.

The best thing MLB Trade Rumors ever did was buy the rights to Eddie Bajek's reverse-engineered Elias rankings. This year he nailed all but two free agents before the official list came out (Kelly Johnson and Joel Zumaya).

As for the Cubs, Ryan Dempster exercised his $14M option for next year, so his Type A status is a moot point. But the Cubs did exercise their $16M option on Aramis Ramirez last night and it seems to be a mere formality at this point that Ramirez will decline it to seek a multi-year deal. That saves the Cubs $2M on the buyout and the Cubs will likely get a supplemental draft pick if and when Ramirez signs somewhere else as he just missed Type A status and is a Type B free agent. Carlos Pena also qualified at Type B status and his situation is a bit trickier as he could potentially accept the Cubs arbitration offer.

Time for another shot at wonderful prizes with the TCR Free Agent Frenzy Contest. MLB.com actually runs it and we just piggyback off of them, but it's been great fun. The prize this year for first place is a brand new copy of Cait Murphy's Crazy '08, which I know Dr. Hecht strongly endorses.

We've upscaled it this year and you can enter your choices by filling in this survey. A few things to note, it's limited to 100 responses although we've never had more than that. Second, it won't double check your work so if you put the same confidence level on two players, your ballot will be thrown out. If you wish, feel free to put your choices in the comments as well for a backup and so we can all mock you.

Best of luck...

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