Kansas City already lost outfielder Lorenzo Cain to Milwaukee in free agency, but how the team will perform in 2018 and go about its future still hangs in the balance here in mid-February as we wait for decisions on stalwart Royals infielders Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.
There are certainly signs of decline from Talib, who had a particularly rough game against Alshon Jeffery when the Broncos played the Eagles last season, but he’s still an above-average cornerback as he enters his age-32 campaign.
At two years and $19 million, the Rams aren’t paying an exorbitant amount for Talib at his current level of play, since the going rate for solid 1A cornerbacks in free agency these days is $10 million per season.
If Les Snead restructures Talib’s deal and adds guaranteed money after this season, I would be a little concerned, but this is a logical acquisition for the Rams.
The Dodgers aren’t sporting a roster that will leave a lot of room for anyone new to crack the depth chart, but Verdugo might be the guy to do it. The 21-year-old was good enough as a pitcher and hitter as an amateur to warrant questions about how he would be drafted, but thus far Verdugo has rewarded the Dodgers’ decision to select him as a batter.
The 2014 second rounder has mashed at every level, and if given the opportunity it’s reasonable to expect that he will do the same in the majors. Last season, Verdugo had only a handful of plate appearances, and he may not have impressed in that stretch, but his mature approach and above-average hit tool will make for a quality major league hitter.
His two-year, $10 million deal is essentially backup money, so assuming the Bills use their two first-round picks to trade up in the draft to grab a quarterback, McCarron’s contract won’t preclude Buffalo from keeping him on the roster as a backup in 2019.
Of course, the Bills might also be paying a premium for a passer who isn’t much better than replacement-level.