Players are constantly moving in the game of baseball, some of them for large sums of money. Bookmark this page as we will be updating it as more and more players find their new homes for 2022 and beyond.
Javier Baez is a Tiger after agreeing to a 6-year, $140 million deal, less than half the money that Corey Seager got from the Rangers. Baez does get an opt-out after two years of the deal which sweetens the pot substantially for him. He has two killer years, he opts out for more money. He stinks, he stays in Detroit. I get teams do what they have to in order to sign players, but handing opt-outs to players seems like a horrible idea. Baez turns 29 in December, and is coming off a bounce back season of .265-31-87-80-18. He also struck out a career worst 184 times with a 0.15 BB/K ratio, so there will continue to be peaks and valleys with his weekly performance as patience simply isn’t a word in his vocabulary.
Socrates Brito is taking his game to the KBO. He’s now 29 years old and years removed from the hope he would be something. That said, as recent as 2018 he went .318-17-69-85-15 with a .923 OPS in 114 games at Triple-A. So much for that.
Byron Buxton is a rich mar after agreeing to a 7-year, $100 million deal with the Twins, a full $20 million more than previous reports suggested. Further, his contact has some amazing details. (1) It is only the second contract the Twins have ever given of nine figures (Joe Mauer got $184 million back in 2010). (2) In addition to a no-trade clause, he has some crazy MVP bonus potential build in to every year of the deal.
Its not about talent, it’s all about health. IF he stays healthy over the course of this deal, he’s a relative bargain. If he doesn’t, as I saw on Twitter, he would basically become the Twins version of Aaron Hicks.
Kole Calhoun signed with the Rangers on a one year, $5.2 million deal with a $5.5 million club option. Coming off a wrecked season of 2021 with a .670 OPS in 51 games. Still, the last two years over 105 games he’s gong .230-21-57-52. Apparently, that’s worth five million.
Phillies signed INF Johan Camargo to a one-year contract. He will provide boring, real world depth.
Mark Canha signed a 2-year, $26.5 million deal to join the Mets. He’s not a star, but he is a damn good ballplayer who owns a .816 OPS the last three year with an even more impressive .377 OBP. He and Brandon Nimmo are OBP gold.
Matt Davidson was signed by the D’backs to a minor league contact. He will turn 31 before the start of next season, and he has only 47 plate appearances the last three years in the bigs. He did sock 46 homers in 2017-18, with insane levels of strikeouts, and he can play first and third. Last season in just 84 games at Triple-A he was impressive going .294-28-81 with a .995 OPS. He has pitched a bit in the past as well, so perhaps the D’backs are considering using him on both sides as the last guy on their bench?
Eduardo Escobar signed a 2-year, $20 million deal to join the Mets. The Metropolitans are trying to sign everyone, so it’s unclear if (A) Escobar will end up as a daily player or a super sub and (B) where he will play defensively. Has gone 28-90 his last two full seasons, but he’s also hit .242 with a .302 OBP his last 200 games.
Derek Fisher signed a minor league deal with the Twins. The 28 year old outfielder, reportedly, has a power/speed combination that could theoretically lead to fantasy success. Per 440 plate appearances as a big leaguer he’s averaged 16 homers and six steals, but he’s also posted a terrible .663 OPS with an atrocious .195 batting average thanks to a hideous 35 percent K-rate. He went 20/20 twice in the minors, back in 2015-16, but he’s such a flawed hitter that it just doesn’t matter.
Maikel Franco signed a minor league deal with the Nationals. From 2016-18 he went 22-68 each season while striking out at a low rate (15.3 percent K-rate). Alas, he hit only .250 with a .299 OBP those three seasons, and things have gotten worse the last three years at .235/.286/.399. At this point of his career, he’s nothing more than a bench guy who starts when the guy ahead of him is down.
We heard that Freddy Galvis was headed to Japan but we’re now getting confirmation that it’s on a 2-year deal. He will be missed as a solid professional who always finds his way to at-bats.
Clint Frazier agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Cubs. Now 27 years of age, the former elite level power prospect hopes to finally get on track in Chicago. Was supposed to hit 30 homers a year but has only 29 homers in 707 career at-bats. Missed a ton of time with issues relating to diziness last year.
Avisail Garcia signed a 4-year, $53 million deal to join the Marlins. Coming off his best season, Garcia went .262-29-86-68-8. His last season with 500 at-bats was 2017, and he has one season with 21 homers and he’s hit just .260 the last four years. Solid but not more.
Yan Gomes agreed to a 2-year, $13 million deal with the Cubs. At the time of the deal, he was set to share work with Willson Contreras. There have been rumors that the Cubs could deal Contreras though. Gomes continues to be a decent second catching option in mixed leagues as he went .252-14-52 in just 375 plate appearances last season. He has 12 homers and 43 RBI in each of the last four full seasons.
Diamondbacks signed INF Jeison Guzman to a minor league contract.
Cesar Hernandez agreed to a 1-year, $4 million deal with the Nationals. Coming off his best power season of 21 homers, it would be wise for him to return to his previous get on base ways cause he hit a mere .232 with a .308 OBP last season and that, well, stinks when you also steal only one base.
Ender Inciarte is now a Yankee after agreeing to a minor league deal. He’s a nice little player, though his career is about 30 years too late given the evolution of the game. A three-time Gold Glove winner, he brings solid defense and the ability to steal a base (he has three season of 20-steals, and from 2014-18 he stole at least 16 bags each year). However, he’s only hit three homers with 12 steals his last 163 games, and that covers three seasons. Might be able to carve out a role in an AL-only league, but that only happens if injuries occur opening up playing time.
Reds signed Andrew Knapp to a minor-league contract. Ostensibly signed to replace Barnhart, Knapp is a solid spot starter in the real world but not an option in fantasy except in NL-only formats.
Guardians signed C Sandy León to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Will be 33 years old on Opening Day and he’s hit .179 with a .521 OPS over the last four years. Wow that’s awful.
Starling Marte signed a 4-year, $78 million deal to join the Mets. Went nuts hitting .310 with 89 runs scored and 47 steals in a mere 120 games. Just turned 33, but he can still wreck an opponent with his bat and wheels.
Nomar Mazara signed a minor league deal with the Padres. I called it years ago. Everyone, and I mean nearly everyone in the known universe, argued with me. We sit here years later and not only has Mazara failed to become a star, he’s barely holding on to a roster spot in the Majors, barely as the last two seasons he’s hit .219 with four homers in 301 at-bats with a .594 OPS. He’s basically been pretty much a free out. He will try to regain some semblance of productivity, he doesn’t turn 27 until April next year if you can believe it, in San Diego. The obvious problem with that landing site is that he has zero change to break camp as a starting barring multiple injuries. He could certainly grab a bench spot, but there is nothing to see here until further notice.
Rougned Odor agreed to a 1-year deal with the Orioles for the MLB minimum. He can sock the long ball despite being one of the worst overall hitters in the game and is, AMAZINGLY, just 27 years of age (he turns 28 before the season begins). This is a great landing spot for him to have a strong first half only to be dealt into a backup role with a playoff contending team in 2022.
Robert Perez agreed to a 1-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates. With Jacob Stallings dealt to the Marlins, Perez could open the year as the primary backstop in Pittsburgh. Randomly hit 24 homers in 2019. Has eight homers while batting .155 the last 76 games over two messy years.
The Rangers spent more than a half a billion dollars in 36 hours.
Corey Seager signed a 10-year, $325 million deal with the Rangers. He will play shortstop while Semien will play second base. Per 162 games he’s averaging .297-26-93-100 with an .870 OPS. He’s a fantastic player that merely needs to remain healthy. Could slot his bat in the lineup at DH here and there to keep him active but keep his bat in the lineup.
Marcus Semien bet on himself, signed a one year deal with the Blue Jays, went out and was third in the AL MVP vote and was ultimately rewarded with a massive 7-year, $175 million deal to play for the Rangers. Just look at the number his last two full seasons of 2019 (.285-33-92-123-10) and 2021 (.265-42-102-115-15).
Pedro Severino, recently let go by the Orioles and signed with the Brewes for $1.9 million, ostensibly to relace Manny Pina who went to the Braves. Pedro will sock the odd homer playing in support of Omar Narvaez.
Dee Strange-Gordon signed a minor league deal with the Nationals. The 33 year old former speedster stole at least 20 bases each year from 2011-2019 in which he played 75 games. In 2019 he hit .275 with 22 steals in barely 400 plate appearances, but he stopped hitting in 2020 with a .200 mark over 33 games, and without base hits he brings nothing to an offense (no homers, one double and three RBI in 82 PAs). He only hit .248 with six steals at Triple-A last season, so his hope would seem to be to latch on as the final player on the roster.
Mike Tauchman signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO. He sprang on the scene in 2019 hitting .277 with 13 homers, 47 RBI and 46 runs scored over 87 games for the Yankees, but predictably regressed since to the point that he hit .203-4-29 over his last 302 plate appearances. Already 31 years of age, his shot at being an impact big-leaguer appears to be over.
Chris Taylor agreed to a 4-year, $60 million deal with the Dodgers. He plays infield and outfield, starred in the playoffs and had an impressive regular season (.250-20-73-92-13). An ideal signing for any club who always seems to play more than we think in February and he remains with the team that he has been a part of since 2016.
Tyler White signed a minor league deal with the Brewers after being a part of the Blue Jays organization in 2021. He has hit .236 with 26 homers over 859 big league at-bats spread over four seasons. The now 31 year old did tear it up last season in Triple-A for the Blue Jays going .292-13-65 with a .900 OPS and 1.10 BB/K ratio over 105 games.
Dylan Bundy agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract with the Twins. Was really good in 2020 but was flat-out horrible last season with an ERA over six with a 1.36 WHIP and 2.47 K/BB mark. ONly 29 years of age.
Royals signed RHP Taylor Clarke to a one-year, $975,000 contract.
Alex Cobb has agreed to a 2-year deal with the Giants, according to multiple reports for $20 million with a club option of $10 million. Cobb will slot in with Webb-Wood-DeSclafani in the Giants’ rotation. Had more than a K per inning last season, a 1.26 WHIP, and xFIP of 3.38 and a SIERA of 3.83. His ground ball game continued (53 percent), and his velocity was high than ever before. A worthwhile gamble for the Giants with the proviso that Cobb is seemingly hurt every other month.
Anthony DeSclafani agreed to a 3-year, $36 million deal with the Giants. AD is coming off his most complete season last year as he went 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 3.62 K/BB and a career high tying 31 starts (167.2 innings). That season also included a .266 wOBA in San Francisco as he clearly had success pitching here as well. Odds are that the ratios move upward, and he’s never thrown 125 big-league innings in back-to-back seasons, so the contract seems like a solid compromise by the team and the player after the Giants passed on extended him a Qualifying Offer after the season.
Twins signed RHP Jake Faria to a minor-league contract.
Luis Garcia signed a 2-year, $7 million deal with the Padres. With the loss of Melancon, Garcia could even end up seeing some save chance this season. Posted a 0.99 WHIP with more than a K per inning last season for the Cardinals.
Yimi Garcia signed a 2-year, $11 million deal with the Blue Jays. An ideal setup man who was dynamite with the Marlins and pretty poor with the Astros. The last three years he has a 1.00 WHIP.
Kevin Gausman signed a 5-year, $110 million deal with the Blue Jays. He dominated in two years with the Giants posting a 3.00 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, a 4.64 K/BB ratio and 306 strikeouts in 251.2 innings. Not elite, but he’s been knocking at the door the last two years.
Jon Gray signed a 4-year, $56 million deal with the Rangers. As I’ve stated for years, his numbers at Coors and on the road are virtually identical, so the hope that he improves shouldn’t be placed on “he’s leaving Coors.” We’re more than 150 starts in to his career. Is there more to give?
Rich Hill will return to the Red Sox on a 1-year, $5 million deal. For all the crap I’ve given him over the year, and I’ve been right, he sure looked good last season going for 158.2 innings, his highest mark since 2007… at the age of 41. Yeah, that makes sense. A surefire breakdown candidate in 2022, with health… he still gets outs though without punchouts the danger is real.
Daniel Hudson agreed to a 1-year, $7 million deal with the Dodgers. Hudson punched out 75 batters in just 51.2 innings, and his 7.6 percent walk rate was his best mark since 2012. He was dynamite on his way to a 1.08 WHIP. Can close in a pinch with 18 saves the last three seasons.
Raisel Iglesias has agreed to return to the Angels on a 4-year, $58 million deal. Had a remarkable 103 strikeouts and 12 walks last season with 34 saves, a third straight full season of at least 30. One of the better closers in baseball at the moment is now paid like it as well.
Corey Kluber signed a 1-year, $8 million deal to join the Rays. It’s just going to look wrong seeing him pitch for the Rays. Made 16 starts last year with a 3.83 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and a 2.48 K/BB ratio. The last three seasons he’s thrown a total of 116.2 innings.
Michael Lorenzen signed a 1-year, $6.75 million deal to join the Angels. Seems like a huge deal for a guy who didn’t thrown 30 innings last season with a 1.38 WHIP and 17 percent K-rate. But then, you think that he can hit/field and pitch, and you wonder about how much fun Joe Maddon is going to have with Ohtani and Lorenzen on his team. Seems like that isn’t the plan at the moment though.
Angels signed LHP Aaron Loup two a 2-year, $17 million deal. The soon to be 34 year old reliever allowed six earned runs last season leading to a 0.95 ERA over 56.2 innings. Over his last 93 outings, covering 85 innings, he’s gone 9-2 with 21 holds, a 1.38 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP while allowing 0.42 homers per nine. He’s a strong setup option for the Angels, though that price seems really high given that he’s merely a setup man who doesn’t truly dominant with no shot at closing either.
Jordan Lyles somehow convinced the Orioles to give him $7 million one a one-year deal. At best he’s league average. At worse, he’s a pitching machine. The Orioles spend no money on anyone, so this is a complete head scratcher. Might it signify that they the believe there will be a salary floor in the new CBA?
There were reports that Nick Martinez signed, but that appears to not be true.
Mark Melancon is the new closer for the D’backs after agreeing to a 2-year, $14 million contract (the deal could go up to three years and $19 million). Crushed it last season with 39 saves and he’s 62-of-70 in save conversions the last three years. Doesn’t miss bats, but he gets the final out.
Hector Neris got a 2-year, $17 million deal to join the Astros. Can dominate for two months, but then there is the two week stretch where he is wretched. Still, he has a 1.18 WHIP the last three years and has a K/9 rate of at least 11.2 in each of the last four years.
James Paxton agreed to a 1-year, $10 million deal with the Red Sox. The deal contains two club options that could move the contract to 3-years and $35 million. A dominant pitcher when right, he’s suffered a litany of injuries over the years and is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery last April. Obviously, he will not be ready for the start of the 2022 season.
Jose Quintana has reached an agreement of about $2 million for one year of service with the Pirates. At one time “one of my guys,” for his consistent yet often undervalued production, Quintana is just hoping to be league average at this point after a dreadful 2021 campaign that saw him released at one point. Shifted to the bullpen of late, the Pirates will certainly give him a chance to reclaim a spot in their rotation if he shows well in spring. He’s merely worth a league only look at this point.
Robbie Ray parlayed his breakout season into a 5-year, $115 million deal with the Mariners. For more on Ray, check out this podcast.
Max Scherzer is reportedly signing a 3-year, $130 million deal with the Mets. This will give the Mets, arguably, the top 1-2 punch of the 20th century with Jacob deGrom if both are healthy. This deal is for his 38, 39 and 40 year old seasons so it carries substantial risk with the largest annual value of any contract ever at $43.3 million a season.
Marcus Stroman agreed to a three year deal with the Cubs for $71 million. The righty has made 65 starts thhe last two full seasons, and he has thrown at least 179 innings in four of five years. Has a 3.12 ERA the last two seasons with a 1.23 WHIP, but he’s never missed bats with a career best K-rate last seasson odf 21.6 percent. Note an ace, but a very depenedable arm.
Padres signed RHP Robert Suarez to a one-year contract. He posted a 58/8 K/BB mark last year in Japan with a whopping 42 saves to give the Padres some end of the game oomph.
Justin Verlander still isn’t signed?
Michael Wacha signed a 1-year, $7 million deal to join the Red Sox. He last threw 130-innings in 2017 and the last two season she has a 5.39 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. He’s the new Martin Perez in Boston.
Reds signed RHP Trey Wingenter to a minor-league contract.
Alex Wood signed a 2-year deal with the Giants for $25 million. He was injured in 2019 and never found his footing in 2020, but he bounced back last season for the Giants going 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with more than a strikeout per inning and a 3.90 K/BB ratio over 26 starts (138.2 innings). He and his funky delivery was also damn hard to square up las season. The success wasn’t a surprise either as the lefty has a career 3.50 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 8.5 Ks per nine and a 3.30 K/BB ratio with a 1.69 GB/FB ratio (that mark was 1.90 last season, the highest is has been since 2017). The results were eerily similar to those career numbers and the only real concern at this point would seem to be health.
Kirby Yates signed a 2-year, $8.25 million deal with the Braves (there is a $5.75M option and a $1.25M buyout). Yates led baseball in saves in 2019 with 41, but his elbow started barking in 2020 and he ultimately had surgery and miss the 2021 season. Figures to backup Will Smith to start the year, but he could easily ascend to some 9th inning work with health.
STILL A FREE AGENT
Here is a report of those men who are still free agents with the lockout freeze.
RULE 5 DRAFT
Held each December, the Rule 5 Draft allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select certain non-40-man roster players from other clubs. Clubs draft in reverse order of the standings from the previous season. Players signed at age 18 or younger need to be added to their club’s 40-Man roster within five seasons or they become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Players who signed at age 19 or older need to be protected within four seasons.
Not every club will make a selection, but those that do pick a player must pay $100,000 to the club from which said player was selected. Rule 5 Draft picks are assigned directly to the drafting club’s 26-man roster and must be placed on outright waivers in order to be removed from the 26-man roster in the subsequent season. Should the player clear waivers, he must be offered back to his previous team for $50,000 and can be outrighted to the Minors only if his original club does not wish to reacquire him. A Rule 5 Draft pick can be placed on the Major League injured list, but he must be active for a minimum of 90 days to avoid being subject to the aforementioned roster restrictions in the next campaign.
Clubs may trade a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft, but the same restrictions apply to the player’s new organization. However, a club may also work out a trade with the Rule 5 pick’s original club to acquire his full rights, thereby allowing him to be optioned to the Minors under traditional circumstances.
Typically, the Rule 5 Draft consists of Major League and Minor League phases, but since all Major League transactions are frozen until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place, only the Minor League phase took place during this year’s Winter Meetings. The Major League phase may be rescheduled once a new CBA is in place.
Here is a link to the results.