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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 1/4/19

Willians Astudillo’s MVP season; Harper and Machado as generational free agents; remaining needs for playoff teams

MLB: AUG 25 Orioles at Nationals Photograph by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: Our favorite contact-hitting Willians Astudillo is an MVP candidate... in the Venezuelan Winter League. That’s not the big leagues, of course, but he did face some decent competition, getting struck out twice in the same game for the first time. He also generated a decent amount of power that could bode well for his sophomore season with the Twins.

Baseball Prospectus | Gerald Schifman ($): Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are generational talents as free agents, and their agents are marketing them as such. How have free agents similarly performed in the past? They’re usually a fair bet, as the free agent deals for Alex Rodriguez (and even the second one), Barry Bonds, Carlos Beltran, Manny Ramirez, and Vladimir Guerrero were still worth their weight in gold.

The Ringer | Zach Kram: Even successful teams from last year’s postseason have needs going into next year: the Red Sox need a better bullpen without Craig Kimbrel; the Yankees need Manny Machado; the Indians could use an outfielder; the Astros could use a starter without Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton; the Brewers could use a second baseman.