If dealt, what could he fetch and who could be in the market?
You mean, which potential contenders need a shortstop who peaked three years ago? If the Diamondbacks, Pirates, Marlins and/or Yankees have designs on contending, an upgrade at short is all but necessary. But none of those teams are breaking the bank for Alcides Escobar.
What might it cost to hang on to him?
So let’s make a comparison with some other good-glove, little-stick guys…
Andrelton Simmons – Seven years, $58 million (signed in 2014)
Zack Cozart – One year, $5.3 million (signed in 2017)
Asdrubal Cabrera – Two years, $18.5 million (signed in 2016)
Well. One of those things is not like the others, and even those who hold defense sacrosanct would not dare to compare Esky to Andrelton Simmons, who is on his way to becoming Ozzie Smith 2.0. Frankly, Asdrubal Cabrera money is a little more than I want to put into Esky.
How’s the new CBA factor into all this?
For Esky, practically not at all. He’ll receive no qualifying offer, so that’s not troublesome and if he’s the difference between being over the $195 million (or $197 in 2017 or $206 in 2019) luxury tax threshold or sneaking under it, all but the most fiscally irresponsible squads will replace 90 percent of Esky’s production with someone who costs 50 percent as much.