Stearns' poker playing for this winter

Last year was some interesting deals and non deals. JJ was offered a take it or leave it deal. He took it.

18:$1.7M, 19:$3.175M club option, 20:$4.3M club options

And there was a lot of press about how JJ was dudded (his agent wrote that, but the agent agreed JJ's best place was Milwaukee, so he advised JJ to take the deal)

You recall Jared Hughes was offered a similar deal and was offended (I agree with Jared). His performance at Cinnci was a 1.94 era and 1.02 whip over 72 innings. Jared signed for this with the Reds.

18:$2.125M, 19:$2.125M, 20:$3M club option

I think Stearns did not offer two years. He offered year plus Crew option(s). For a guy with such a stable track record, for some reason the Crew analysts did not like Jared.

Without recapping the past Albers and Villar and Scooter and Logan offers/deals/non deals/poker bets, Stearns will have a lot of poker to play this off season.

Gio Gonzalez will be offered some contract that is the one year plus options or maybe two years. The dollar amount will be enough for Crew to not look cheap, but Gio will get a nice deal somewhere else. So David will be putting in a small bet, then folding, when Gio raises.

Soria will not be offered the Crew side of the mutual option. It is 10 mill plus 1 mill buyout. If I am Joakim, I would accept the option. So Stearns will not offer. A lot may depend how Soria pitches in the playoffs. His stats over the last couple of years does not earn big money. If Soria is not lights out in the playoffs, then David will just pay his $1 mill. If Soria is lights out, I can see a 2 year / 5 mill a year offer.

Schoop last year of arbie. Man, what a tight rope. David will offer a two year deal.... like 8.5 mill a year. If Schoop turns it down, then Stearns will go to arbie with him. Remember, arbie guys can be cut in spring training for, I think it is this, 1/6th of the salary. Stearns will poker play with Schoop's agent that in the open market Schoop is worth somewhere between 5 and 7 mill, based on his declining performance. But they traded for Schoop for a reason. Unless Stearns really was tricked by Balt at the last minute

Moose, David offers Crew half of the mutual option; it is 15 mill, and if Moose turns it down, then the Crew have saved the $1 mill buyout; no offer costs the Crew $1 mill. Again this is an amazing line ball decision. And it may depend upon what Schoop does. You dont really need a $10 mill Schoop and a $15 mill Moose. Now the Crew have no problem paying a 30+ yr old Cain $16 mill a year. So David may offer Moose a few year deal, then eject Schoop and keep his new nifty footed 2nd baseman in Travis Shaw. Like Schoop, Moose's market is hard to judge! And those Moose memes are worth so much.

Miley is similar to Gio, but with less salary. That is, David will offer a 1 year plus option or a two year deal, but not high yearly salary. Less than Chacin. Chacin is a good barometer. 2 years about 7.5 mill year for a 'solid' pitcher with history. Miley is really hard to judge re the market. So Stearns will not overpay, but he will like to keep Wade on a very friendly deal.

Lyles has a club option for 3.5 mill. Well if you have JJ for 3 mill, you aint paying Jordan 3.5 mill. But again, the poker play comes in. Lyles will be offered a similar Jared Hughes contract. Likely 2 mill with a 2 mill club option.

Aside from these options and the Gio and Miley thoughts, there are other decisions and poker to play... Vogt, Cedeno, Jennings, Kratz, Saladino, Broxton, and even Nick Franklin.

I think a lot of decisions will affect each other. David will want to get 'one' of Gio and Miley. He will want to get 'one' of Cedeno and Jennings. He will want to get 'one' of Schoop and Moose.

What fun the off season will be. And when the Crew win the World Series, some fringe guys may WANT to hang around for less.