Podcast: 2019 PECOTA Projections

Guest: Harry Pavlidis, Baseball Prospectus

The Rundown

  • Pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training used to mean the offseason was over. Not in 2019 as key free agents still haven’t signed. Josh and Jim discuss what is going on with Manny Machado, ideas to improve the offseason, and when these players may eventually sign.
  • Baseball Prospectus released a new metric, DRC+, and the 2019 PECOTA projections. Harry Pavlidis joins the show to share his thoughts on the 2019 White Sox with a preview at the catching position.
  • Speaking of catchers, we tackle that question in P.O. Sox

Presented by SeatGeek and Visit Arizona.

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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I don’t think I share Jim’s reservations about a deadline for Free Agents to sign (e.g. January 31st). According to Josh’s plan, FA could still hold out until Opening Day, so they aren’t forced to sign. Instead, it might help players by creating urgency.

The White Sox are a case study in how a deadline might help players. Currently, they can sit back with a lower offer knowing they will always have time to beat it. With a deadline, they’d have to pony up and possibly “bid against themselves” since they wouldn’t have time to beat another offer. They’d have to truly put their best offer forward. 

I think the problem could be with the tier-two free agents, like Keuchel or Marwin, whose markets are affected by the top guys. But in this case, I would guess teams would just put their best offer on the table earlier and give it an expiration date before the deadline. 


This is off the point of the deadline . . . but I’ve always found that “bidding against themselves” trope curious. Say the White Sox offered Machado 8/200 and he didn’t sign. So later they come back and say, how about 8/220. Did they just bid against themselves or did they make a reasonable response in negotiation? And how could anyone draw the conclusion that they were bidding against themselves, other than the agent listening to the offers and giving the official response?


Does it do the agent any good if his bluff gets called? Eventually the player signs and the terms are known. Remember when Jeff Samarzidja’s agent said he had at least one $100 million offer? He signed for 5/90. Either his agent was bluffing OR (more likely) the $100 million was max value but only, say 75 was guaranteed.


Sickels joins the athletic and releases his top 100, 5 White Sox make his list, no real surprises except he is pretty high on Cease.

lil jimmy

Great for John and the Athletic.