Projected dollars, best fits for top free agents

This free-agent class, known as the 2017 class, is one of the weakest in recent memory, but it does have a couple of impact middle-of-the-lineup bats (Edwin Encarnacion, Yoenis Cespedes), a couple of shutdown closers (Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman), strong defensive catchers (Matt Wieters, Wilson Ramos, Jason Castro) and outfielders with speed/power tools (Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond). As such, we should have plenty of bidding and negotiating to track this offseason.

This year’s free-agent class is light on top-tier talent and depth, but there’s plenty of power to go around, including a few 40-homer guys.

But because of the weak class, one common theme I think we’ll see compared with previous years is that teams will offer fewer years but slightly more AAV (average annual value). Contracts that normally would be 6-8 years will now be 4-5 years, but clubs will pay more per year. Also, as MLB revenue continues to grow, player salaries should rise as well.

To that end, Nationals pitching coach Mike Maddux mentioned that he thinks Strasburg might opt for a tweaked between-starts throwing program in 2017.

“We’re going to sit down with him and discuss it,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said, noting that Strasburg had been in town to meet with the team’s medical staff and strength and conditioning staff.
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“Through spring training,” Rizzo added, “we’ll devise a workout program to handle the forearm soreness.”

Youth Sidney Crosby Jersey Strasburg will start his offseason throwing, as usual, in late December or early January. Until then, strengthening his forearm is key.

“I did stuff like that in the past, but it wasn’t as much as I’m doing right now,” Strasburg said. “When you get older and you’ve had Tommy John, you’ve got to kind of tweak it a little bit, because the muscles in your arm are just going to maybe change a little bit. I’ve just got to make more of an emphasis on slowing everything down and just making the most of the exercises.”

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