2022 MLB Free Agency Thread
Stay up to date on everything happening in MLB free agency post-lockout.
UPDATE: 12:00 p.m. March 19th
Michael Conforto now stands alone atop the free agent market, as Trevor Story has found himself a new home with the Boston Red Sox.
Story lands an identical contract to the one Javier Baez signed with the Detroit Tigers earlier in the offseason, except Story’s deal includes an opt-out after year four whereas Baez got his opt-out after year two.
Regardless, this is a great move by the Red Sox, who have been awfully quiet since the lockout ended. They now will pair two of the best shortstops in baseball up the middle with Xander Bogaerts and Story.
We will have an article coming out soon breaking down what this means for Story and the Red Sox.
UPDATE: 9:45 p.m. March 19th
Free agency is winding down, as there are not many big moves left to be made around MLB. Most of the players who have yet to sign are beginning to grab minor league deals to get their seasons started one way or another. Still, we have two more MLB signings to update you on.
We will began with the more significant of the two in Jorge Soler, who is joining the Miami Marlins on a three-year deal.
Soler’s three-year deal with the Marlins includes opt-outs after each of the first two seasons, giving him the ability to hit free agency again next year at 31 years old. Soler is one of the most powerful sluggers in baseball, but consistency has eluded him his entire career.
In 2019, Soler led the American League with 48 home runs, which is made even more impressive when you consider the fact that he played his home games at the cavernous Kaufman Stadium for the Kansas City Royals. This bodes well for the Marlins who play in a pitcher-friendly park, as no ballpark can contain Soler when he gets a hold of one.
Soler struggled mightily with the Royals last season, producing just a .658 OPS and 79 wRC+. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves at the deadline and just a few months later, Soler would go on to be named the World Series MVP after he hit three home runs in the series to help lead the Braves to the title.
Another MLB signing that was announced on Saturday was Drew Smyly landing a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.
Smyly spent last season with the Atlanta Braves where he pitched to a 4.48 ERA across 126 2/3 innings.
UPDATE: 9:30 a.m. March 19th
If you are just waking up now and taking a look at this thread to see what you might’ve missed last night, there is certainly a lot to catch up on.
Three massive signings took place in one night, leaving Trevor Story and Michael Conforto as the last remaining prizes available in free agency. Carlos Correa, Nick Castellanos and Kenley Jansen all have new homes as teams gear up to contend in 2022.
Castellanos joins Kyle Schwarber as the latest additions to bolster a Phillies lineup that is only concerned with scoring runs and not concerned at all with playing good defense. Still, that lineup is now so good it might not matter. Check our latest article for a full breakdown of Castellanos’ fit in Philly.
In other NL East news, the Atlanta Braves continued their strong offseason by acquiring one of the best closers in baseball on a one-year deal.
Sixteen million dollars a year is a lot for a reliever, but that is exactly what Kenley Jansen has been getting paid for the last five years. Now he continues to make the same amount, but pitching for the Atlanta Braves instead of the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he spent his whole career.
Jansen has been the best closer in baseball over the past decade. He has 350 career saves and has pitched to a 2.37 ERA. Last season, Jansen still pitched to a 2.22 ERA in his age-33 season. The fact that Atlanta lands him on a one-year deal makes this an A+ of a signing.
Last but certainly not least, the top free agent of the offseason finally has made his decision and it was one nobody saw coming.
Correa ended up going with the high AAV short-term deal, where he will make $35.1 million a year for the next three seasons. More importantly, the 27-year-old received opt-outs after each of the first two seasons, allowing him to test the market again soon to land a long-term deal.
Minnesota has now put themselves in a great position to contend this year, as they are looking like one of the most formidable teams in the AL Central. We will will have full article up soon to break down all the layers to this signing.
UPDATE: 6:45 p.m. March 18th
The Los Angeles Dodgers have added some more depth in their starting rotation, signing Tyler Anderson on a one-year deal.
Anderson is coming off a solid season, where he pitched to a 4.53 ERA across 31 starts. The left-hander began the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was traded to the Seattle Mariners at the deadline. For his career, the 32-year-old has a 4.62 ERA.
UPDATE: 1:00 p.m. March 18th
The San Diego Padres have added a big bat into the middle of their lineup, making a trade with the New York Yankees to land first baseman Luke Voit.
In exchange for Voit, the Yankees receive 20-year-old pitching prospect Justin Lange from the Padres. Lange with the 34th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, but struggled in Rookie Ball, pitching to a 6.95 ERA in nine starts.
For the Padres, Voit will go a long way in replacing some of the power they are losing at the beginning of the season with Fernando Tatis Jr. out with a fractured wrist. Voit was great across his four-year tenure with the Yankees, hitting .271/.363/.520, with 68 home runs in 281 games.
Last season, the 31-year-old was limited to 68 games due to injury. When on the field, Voit hit just .239/.328/.437, with 11 home runs and a 111 wRC+.
UPDATE: 8:55 a.m. March 18th
Since the last time we updated this thread a few more veteran pitchers have signed new MLB deals. First off, the Los Angeles Dodgers are bringing Danny Duffy back into the fold after they acquired him at the deadline last season.
While Duffy was traded to the Dodgers for a PTBNL, he never actually pitched for them due to injury. Now the 33-year-old returns to give the Dodgers more depth for their starting rotation. The left-hander pitched to a 2.51 ERA across 61 innings pitched for the Kansas City Royals last season and has a 3.95 ERA in over 200 career starts.
Another pitcher that has signed is Garrett Richards, who now lands with the Texas Rangers on a one-year deal after a down season with the Boston Red Sox. The 33-year-old pitched to a 4.87 ERA across 136 2/3 innings pitched in 2021.
UPDATE: 8:45 p.m. March 17th
We are now getting to the stage of free agency where most of the deal that we are seeing signed are minor league deals with invites to spring training. Still, there has been a few more signing that have trickled in, primarily on the relief pitcher front.
The most notable signing is Ryan Tepera, who inked a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
Tepera coming off the board leaves Kenley Jansen as the final reliever left from our top five list of free agent relievers. Tepera is coming off a very strong season, in which he spent time with both Chicago teams.
First he was with the Cubs, then finished the year with the White Sox after a trade at the deadline. Altogether, the 34-year-old pitched to a 2.79 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings pitched.
Speaking of the Cubs, they have added an arm to their bullpen through free agency, signing Mychal Givens to a one-year deal.
Givens has a career 3.41 ERA, which he essentially pitched to again last season, finishing the year with a 3.35 ERA in 51 innings.
Lastly, on the relief pitcher front, the Los Angeles Dodgers have brought back Jimmy Nelson.
Nelson was excellent for the Dodgers last year, pitching to a 1.86 ERA with 44 strikeouts in just 29 innings pitched.
Finally, Colin Moran has a new MLB deal, signing a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
Moran was non-tendered by the Pirates this offseason, after hitting .258/.334/.390, in 99 games last season.
UPDATE: 3:20 p.m. March 17th
Turns out the Texas Rangers are not done adding to their revamped lineup just yet. They have now brought a left-handed bat into the fold, signing utility man Brad Miller to a two-year deal.
Miller played everywhere but centerfield, shortstop and catcher for the Phillies last year, so he bring versatility to the Rangers, although he’s not really a plus defender at any position. Where Miller really brings value is with his pop, as he hit 20 home runs last season.
UPDATE: 1:40 p.m. March 17th
We have another wave of signings across Major League Baseball, as the first bit of spring training action gets underway.
First off, the St. Louis Cardinals are adding an affordable left-handed bat into their righty-heavy lineup.
Corey Dickerson began last season with the Miami Marlins and was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays midseason. The 32-year-old ended up hitting .271/.326/.408, with a 100 wRC+ in 109 games played between both stops.
After having previously signed Andrelton Simmons to sure up their infield defensively, the Chicago Cubs have added a bat that can now help them offensively.
Jonathan Villar cashed in on a strong 2021 season with the New York Mets by signing with Chicago on what Jon Heyman is reporting to be a $6 million one-year deal.
Villar ended up getting more playing time than anyone expected for the Mets due to injures and finished third on the team with 18 home runs and also led the team with 14 stolen bases. His 107 wRC+ was slightly above league average and he provides versatility to be able to play every position in the infield, although not necessarily at the highest of levels.
Finally, the Los Angles Angels have signed Archie Bradley to a one-year deal, adding another veteran arm to their bullpen.
The 29-year-old right-hander spent last season in the Phillies bullpen and had a 3.71 ERA across 51 innings pitched. For his career, Bradley has pitched to a 3.89 ERA.
UPDATE: 9:35 a.m. March 17th
The big news from last night is that the Los Angles Dodgers have once again added to their stockpile of superstars by signing Freddie Freeman to a six-year, $162 million deal. For a full breakdown of this signing, check out our latest article.
In other MLB news, the Chicago Cubs have signed left-handed pitcher Daniel Norris to a Major League deal.
Norris struggled mightily last season, pitching for both the Detroit Tigers and the Milwaukee Brewers. He finished the year with a 6.16 ERA across 57 innings pitched.
The San Francisco Giants have added another left-handed pitcher as well, signing starter Matt Boyd to a one-year deal.
Boyd spent most of the last seven seasons with the Detroit Tigers, making 145 starts (149 games) during that span. The 31-year-old has a career 4.96 ERA, but is coming off a strong season where he pitched to a 3.89 ERA in 15 starts.
UPDATE: 1:20 a.m. March 17th
So this happened.
Despite all the rumors about the Rays, Blue Jays and Red Sox being in the mix, Freddie Freeman ends up signing with the Dodgers after all. We will discuss this tomorrow Just Baseball fans. Good night.
UPDATE: 7:35 p.m. March 16th
The San Francisco Giants won’t have Kris Bryant back in their outfield next season, but they will feature one of his former teammates instead.
Joc Pederson and Bryant both began last season as members of the Chicago Cubs and were each traded during the season. Bryant went to San Francisco and Pederson went to Atlanta, where he won a World Series with the Braves.
Across his time spent with both the Cubs and the Braves, Pederson hit .238/.310/.422, with 18 home runs and a 94 wRC+. Still, Pederson is capable of more as he had three seasons in 2016, 2018 and 2019 where he hit at least 25 home runs and posted a wRC+ of 126 or better.
UPDATE: 6:35 p.m. March 16th
The Kris Bryant sweepstakes have come to an end, but considering who he is signing with, it is fair to wonder if they ever actually started to begin with.
It was just over a year ago that the Colorado Rockies decided to trade Nolan Arenado to get out of his last six years of the eight-year, $260 million contract they signed him to back in 2019. Now they have signed Bryant to a deal that is only $17 million less than what they would have owed Arenado had they just kept him in the fist place.
Bryant is still a very good player who instantly becomes the face of the franchise in Denver. Still, it just leaves us once again wondering what’s going on with the Colorado Rockies?
We will have a full article breaking down this signing soon.
UPDATE: 4:55 p.m. March 16th
When it is all said and done, this may turn into the busiest day of free agency yet, with guys signing all over the place on minor league deals in hopes of earning jobs by Opening Day. On the Major League front, there have been some more signings of note starting with Zack Greinke returning to the Kansas City Royals on a one-year, $13 million deal.
Along with the $13 million base salary, the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman has reported that Greinke has $2 million available in innings bonuses. The Royals cleared money in their rotation today to make a signing like this possible, sending $8.5 million of salary to the Reds in the Mike Minor trade.
While Greinke is past his prime, he is still a better rotation option than Minor, especially considering the ties Greinke has to the organization.
Speaking of the Reds, they have made a free agent signing, adding infielder Donovan Solano on a one-year deal.
The 34-year-old is coming off three productive seasons with the San Francisco Giants where he hit .308/.354/.435, across 236 games played. Solano has primarily been a second baseman over the last few seasons, but with Jonathan India already in place, it would make sense if we saw him get a lot of playing time over at third base this season.
Finally, the Chicago Cubs have signed reliever David Robertson to be a part of their bullpen.
Robertson will make $3.5 million in guaranteed money this season. The 36-year-old worked his way back from Tommy John surgery last season and pitched 12 innings for the Tampa Bay Rays down the stretch, in which he allowed six runs. He did however pitch four scoreless frames in the playoffs.
UPDATE: 2:50 p.m. March 16th
The Cincinnati Reds have made another trade, but this deal is much different than their other moves this offseason. In the other trades Cincy has made, they have been the team cutting salary, whereas in this latest trade they are the ones taking salary off the books for the Kansas City Royals.
The Reds have acquired left-handed starting pitcher Mike Minor in exchange for left-handed reliever Amir Garrett.
This is an interesting trade for the Royals, as they have cleared up some salary and take a flier on a very talented reliever in Garrett, who is coming off a down season. Garrett pitched to a 6.04 ERA last year, but over the two previous seasons he had a 3.03 ERA with 104 strikeouts over 74 1/3 innings pitched.
Now after clearing Minor’s salary and spot in the rotation, Kansas City is looking to add some starting pitching on the trade market, with Oakland’s Frankie Montas being a clear target for them.
Meanwhile the Reds add a starting pitcher in Minor who pitched to a 5.05 ERA across 28 starts last season. This move to add a left-handed starter would be more understandable for the Reds if they hadn’t given up a far better one for nothing when they put Wade Miley on waivers earlier this offseason.
UPDATE: 12:15 p.m. March 16th
The Atlanta Braves lead the league in breaking their own news. They were the first to report that Eddie Rosario is back in the fold after helping the Braves win the World Series last season.
Prior to last season, Rosario had spent the first six seasons of his career with the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota non-tendered Rosario after the 2020 season and he later signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Cleveland.
Rosario struggled in 78 games played with Cleveland, hitting just .254/.296/.389 with seven home runs and a 86 wRC+. The Braves acquired Rosario at the deadline for Pablo Sandoval and cash considerations and that trade ended up being a big reason why they won the World Series.
The 30-year-old hit .271/.330./573, with seven home runs in 33 regular season games with Atlanta. Rosario then carried the Braves in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .560/.607/1.040, with three home runs and nine RBIs. He was named the NLCS MVP.
Now Rosario signs a two-year, $18 million deal to remain with the Braves.
We also now know the financial details of Kyle Schwarber’s deal with the Phillies.
UPDATE: 11:05 a.m. March 16th
The Tigers are in an agreement with the top left-handed reliever on the market, as Andrew Chafin is heading to Detroit.
Last season, Chafin pitched to a 1.83 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings pitched. The 31-year-old started the season with the Chicago Cubs and was traded to the Oakland Athletics midseason.
With this signing, only Kenley Jansen and Ryan Tepera remain from our list of the top five relievers left in free agency.
UPDATE: 10:50 a.m. March 16th
After it was previously reported that Seiya Suzuki was set to sign a five-year, $70 million deal, it turns out the Japanese star has received even more money in his deal with the Chicago Cubs.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal is also reporting that Suzuki landed a full no-trade clause as part of this deal. Suzuki’s $85 million deal is largest ever given to a Japanese position player coming to MLB.
UPDATE: 10:15 a.m. March 16th
The package for Matt Chapman has been announced, as four prospects are heading back to Oakland in this deal.
UPDATE: 9:45 a.m. March 16th
The Philadelphia Phillies have finally added a big bat to slot into the middle of the their lineup in free agency. Reports indicate that Kyle Schwarber is heading back to the NL East after signing a deal to join Bryce Hayper in Philly.
Schwarber is coming off a career-year, where he made his first All-Star appearance. The 29-year-old hit .266/.374/.554, with 32 home runs in just 113 games played in 2021. He began the year with the Washington Nationals and was then traded mid-season to the Boston Red Sox.
The financial details of Schwarber’s new contract have yet to be reported.
UPDATE: 9:40 a.m. March 16th
It has been a very active morning in Major League Baseball, as we have another major trade AND a major signing in place. We will start with the free agent signing, with the news that Japanese star Seiya Suzuki has finally agreed on his first MLB contract.
Suzuki ends up getting more money than many had projected for him in free agency, inking a five-year deal that is worth a $14 million AAV. The 27-year-old is coming off a season where he hit .317/.433/.639 with 38 home runs in the NPB. He has hit at least 25 home runs in each of the last six seasons.
The Cubs get a much-needed bat to slot into the middle of their lineup with Suzuki, who comes more affordable than some of the other top free agents on the market.
In other news, the Oakland Athletics fire-sale has continued, with three-time Gold Glover Matt Chapman now heading to the Toronto Blue Jays in a trade.
The exact details of the trade have yet to be reported, but Chapman is set to join Toronto, where he will add another bat to an already deep lineup. He also improves their team defense significantly.
This isn’t the first time the Blue Jays have traded for an Athletics star third baseman. Back in November of 2014, the Blue Jays made a deal to acquire Josh Donaldson from Oakland. Donaldson would go on to win the AL MVP in 2015.
UPDATE: 11:50 p.m. March 15th
The New York Yankees have made another big addition to their starting lineup, re-signing first baseman Anthony Rizzo on a two-year, $32 million deal.
Rizzo’s new contract includes an opt-out after the first season, which will allow him to test free agency again next year if he has a strong 2022 campaign. Last year, the 32-year-old was traded the Yankees midseason after spending a decade with the Chicago Cubs.
Altogether Rizzo hit .248/.344/.440, with 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and a 112 wRC+ between his time spent with the Cubs and the Yankees in 2021.
UPDATE: 6:55 p.m. March 15th
The Atlanta Braves continue to make strong moves, as they have now made a signing to bolster their bullpen.
Collin McHugh is coming off a career year with the Tampa Bay Rays, which had him included in our list of the top five remaining relievers in free agency. The 34-year-old had a 1.55 ERA, while striking out 30% of the batters he faced in 64 innings pitched last season.
Formerly a starting pitcher, McHugh converted into a reliever back in 2018 and has pitched to a 2.49 ERA with 201 strikeouts across 166 innings pitched out of the pen.
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m. March 15th
It is never easy to transition away from a franchise icon, but the Atlanta Braves have done a remarkable job of it over the last 24 hours.
After trading for Matt Olson yesterday, the Braves have announced that they have signed their new first baseman to an eight-year extension.
Olson is Georgia native, who rooted for the Atlanta Braves growing up. Now he gets to spend the next eight seasons with his hometown team, having signed a deal that will take him through his age-35 season.
The Braves had Olson under team control for his final two years of arbitration, but now lock up their Freddie Freeman replacement for an average annual value of $21 million per season.
UPDATE: 10:20 a.m. March 15th
The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a few MLB signings, bringing some veterans onto a team that is clearly in the middle of a rebuild.
The Pirates have now signed a relief pitcher that will handle some of the late-inning duties for them this season, as Heath Hembree has been signed on a one-year deal. Hembree has a career 4.19 ERA, but is coming off a down season in 2021 where he pitched to a 5.59 ERA. The 33-year-old did have a strong finish to the season with the New York Mets though, pitching 3.45 ERA in 15 appearances.
Along with Hembree, the Pirates have added a veteran bat to their lineup, signing Daniel Vogelbach to a one-year deal as well.
Vogelbach had a career-year back in 2019, when he hit 30 home runs for the Seattle Mariners. Over the last two seasons, the 29-year-old has hit 15 home runs across 132 games played.
UPDATE: 8:50 p.m. March 14th
Andrew McCutchen has found a new home and can report to spring training, as he has reached an agreement to play with the Milwaukee Brewers this season.
McCutchen has spent the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, who he signed a three-year, $50 million deal with back in 2019. The Phillies had a $15 million team option on McCutchen for the 2022 season, but they chose to pay him a $3 million buyout instead.
Last year, the 35-year-old hit .222/.334/.444, with a 107 wRC+ in 144 games played. McCutchen does still have some pop though, hitting 27 home runs last season. He will replace fellow free agent Avisail Garcia in the Brewers outfield, as Garcia signed the Marlins earlier this offseason.
UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. March 14th
We have another big trade in MLB, as the Cincinnati Reds continue their fire sale by trading outfielder Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners.
Along with Winker, veteran slugger Eugenio Suarez is heading to Seattle in this deal. Check out our latest article for a full breakdown of the trade and who is heading back to Cincinnati in the deal.
UPDATE: 3:30 p.m. March 14th
The Atlanta Braves have made a blockbuster trade, acquiring All-Star first baseman Matt Olson in exchange for prospects.
The addition of Olson all but marks the end of Freddie Freeman’s time with the Braves, as the free agent is now expected to sign elsewhere. Check out our latest article for a full breakdown of this deal.
UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. March 14th
The reliever market is hottest part of the stove right now, as Ian Kennedy, Sean Doolittle and Brad Hand have all been signed to new contracts.
Kennedy was the first one off the board late last night, signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The 37-year-old is coming off a strong season altogether in 2021, where he pitched to a 3.20 ERA and saved 26 games. Kennedy did fare much better in the first half of the season though, pitching to a 2.51 ERA with the Texas Rangers before being traded to the Phillies at the deadline. The right-hander pitched to a 4.13 ERA down the stretch for the Phillies.
Speaking of Philadelphia, they have built out their bullpen over the last 24 hours. First they signed Jeurys Familia to a one-year, $6 million contract yesterday, then today they signed left-handed reliever Brad Hand to the same deal.
By signing Familia and Hand, the Phillies have poached two relievers that finished last season with the New York Mets. Familia pitched to a 3.94 ERA across 65 appearances, while Hand pitched to a 2.70 ERA in 16 appearances with the Mets.
In other NL East news, the Washington Nationals are trying to get the band back together, signing Gerardo Parda and Anibal Sanchez back on minor league deal yesterday, before landing former closer Sean Doolittle on a major league deal today.
While they aren’t winning the World Series this year, you have to give the Nationals credit for putting together a team that will at least be fun to watch for their fans. Adding Nelson Cruz to pair with Juan Soto is going to be must-watch television in of itself. But also accenting the roster with former fan-favorites from a championship team is the right way to make a rebuild tolerable.
UPDATE: 12:15 a.m. March 14th
We have some late-night movement in MLB, as the New York Yankees have made a trade to acquire Josh Donaldson in a deal that will send Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela to the Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees not only land Dondaldson to improve their infield, but they also get Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the deal, bringing a glove-first shortstop to the Bronx. IKF was actually just traded earlier this weekend, as one of the pieces that went back to the Minnesota in the deal that sent Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers.
The headline of this deal is obviously Donaldson going to New York, with the Yankees now inheriting the $42 million still owed to third baseman over the next two seasons, as well as a mutual option for $6 million in 2024.
While he is entering his age-36 season, Donaldson still has plenty of pop left in his bat. Last season, the former MVP hit .247/.352/.475, with 26 home runs and a 124 wRC+. He still ranks among the top hitters in the league in average exit velocity, Barrel% and HardHit%, while also walking at a great 13.6% clip. If he can stay healthy, Donaldson can still provide great value to the Yankees lineup this season.
Some of the other moves we saw take place late Sunday night include Nelson Cruz surprisingly signing a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals and longtime Cardinal Carlos Martinez signing a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants.
Cruz was one of the best sluggers left on the market and received widespread interest around baseball with the advent of the universal DH. Now he will provide great security hitting behind Juan Soto in the Nationals lineup.
UPDATE: 9:00 p.m. March 13th
Brad Boxberger will once again be pitching out of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen next season, as the 33-year-old is returning on a one-year deal.
Last season, Boxberger pitched to a 3.34 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings for Milwaukee. Boxberger is entering his 11th season in the majors and holds a career 3.52 ERA.
UPDATE: 5:00 p.m. March 13th
The New York Yankees have yet to make a big splash in free agency and it is hard to say that has changed after their latest signing.
Tim Locastro spent only a few weeks with the Yankees last season, where he hit .190/.217/.429, but in just 23 plate appearancs. The 29-year-old is a speedster that can play all three outfield spots off the bench.
The St. Louis Cardinals have made a MLB signing as well, inking relief pitcher Nick Wittgren to a one-year, $1.2 million deal. Wittgren is coming off a down-year, but has pitched to a 3.75 ERA across 271 1/3 career innings.
Finally, the Washington Nationals have re-united with a couple of veterans on minor league deals, who played key roles in their winning the World Series in 2019.
First, Washington brought back starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez, as the two sides have agreed to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. If Sanchez makes the roster, he’ll be paid $2 million, with $1.5 million in performance bonuses available.
They have also brought back Gerardo Parra, who has became a fan-favorite in Washington. The 34-year-old outfielder hit .237/.292/.351, and played in 53 games for the Nationals last season.
UPDATE: 2:10 p.m. March 13th
The Minnesota Twins have added a huge piece for their 2022 starting rotation, as they have acquired Sonny Gray in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds have been rumored to be sellers all offseason, so this could be just the first domino to fall for Cincinnati.
Gray spent the last three seasons in the Reds rotation and pitched to a 3.49 ERA across 366 2/3 innings pitched. The 32-year-old is under contract for $10.2 million this season and carries a $12 million club option for 2023.
The Twins are looking to contend this season and trading for Gray is going to go a long way to help them do that. Gray almost becomes the de facto ace for the Twins, as there is so much uncertainty for who will even crack their Opening Day rotation.
To acquire Gray the Twins had to give up their first-round pick from last year’s draft in pitcher Chase Petty. If you are looking for a full breakdown of the 18-year-old prospect, he was featured in our Minnesota Twins Top Prospects list, coming in at No. 9.
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m. March 13th
As players begin to report for spring training, MLB free agency remains in full swing with bullpen arms and bench bats now being scattered to new teams across the league. Here are some of the free agent signings that have taken place since the last time we updated the thread:
- The Philadelphia Phillies have signed RHP Jeurys Familia to a one-year, $6 million deal.
- The Boston Red Sox have signed LHP Matt Strahm to a one-year, $3 million deal. Boston also signed LHP Jake Diekman.
- The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a deal with RHP Jesse Chavez.
- The New York Mets have signed RHP Adam Ottavino to a one-year, $4 million deal.
- The Nationals have signed utility-man Ehire Adrianza to a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed utility-man Hanser Alberto to an MLB deal.
UPDATE: 8:10 p.m. March 12th
The New York Mets have made a blockbuster trade, acquiring All-Star starting pitcher Chris Bassitt in a deal with the Oakland Athletics. For a full breakdown of the trade, check out our latest article.
The Bassitt trade just so happened to be the first domino to fall before a bunch of other free agent signings were reported around the league.
Here is a quick rundown on the other deals that took place.
- Robinson Chirinos signed a one-year, $900,000 deal with the Baltimore Orioles.
- The Colorado Rockies signed shortstop Jose Iglesias to one-year deal.
- The Chicago White Sox signed relief pitcher Joe Kelly to a two-year deal. They also signed utility-man Josh Harrison to a one-year, $5.5 million deal.
- Veteran catcher Luke Maile is heading to the Cleveland Guardians on a one-year deal.
- The Houston Astros signed utility-man Niko Goodrum to a one-year, $2.1 million deal.
Of all of those signings, Joe Kelly may be the most significant as the Chicago White Sox added one of the top relief pitchers left in free agency. Kelly pitched to a 2.86 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.
UPDATE: 6:00 p.m. March 12th
The Los Angeles Angels are rolling out the same backstop as last season, as they have reportedly re-signed catcher Kurt Suzuki on a one-year, deal.
The 38-year-old catcher struggled in his first season with Los Angeles last season, hitting just .224/.294/.342, with a 76 wRC+. Still, the Angles have decided to bring back Suzuki to serve as a back-up to Max Stassi.
UPDATE: 2:15 p.m. March 12th
The Toronto Blue Jays have bolstered their starting rotation, as they have reportedly agreed to sign Yusei Kikuchi to a three-year deal.
After Carlos Rodon and Clayton Kershaw both signed yesterday, Kikuchi was likely the best starting pitcher left on the market. The left-hander is coming off a strong season where he pitched to a 4.41 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 157 innings pitched. Kikuchi was the Mariners All-Star in 2021.
Earlier this offseason, the Blue Jays signed Kevin Gausman to a five-year, $110 million deal, adding him to a rotation that already included Hyun-jin Ryu and Jose Berrios. Replacing Cy Young Robbie Ray was going to be difficult, but between Gausman and now Kikuchi, the Blue Jays are set with one of the best rotations in the American League.
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m. March 12th
We have a trade!
According to ESPN‘s Jeff Passan, the Minnesota Twins are sending catcher Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers in exchange for infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a pitching prospect.
This trade was an absolute no-brainer for the Rangers, as Kiner-Falefa was no longer needed after the addition of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien in free agency. They were able to move a Kiner-Falefa in this deal to address a real position of need with Garver now set to become their starting backstop.
There are few catchers in baseball that present as much offensive upside as Mitch Garver. The only problem is keeping him on the field. Through the first five seasons of his career, Garver has only eclipsed 100 games played once, in 2018.
Still, Garver provides great pop for a catcher, as he has hit 46 home runs over the last three seasons, the seventh-most of any catcher despite playing in just 184 games. Last season, Garver hit .256/.358/.517, with 13 home runs in 68 games played. Since 2018, Garver’s 135 wRC+ is tied with Will Smith as the best mark among all catchers in MLB. Garver is under control for two more years.
On the other hand, the Twins decide to move on from Garver to land Isiah Kiner Falefa, who will likely become their new starting shortstop. Kiner-Falefa is most known for his glove, as he was worth 10 DRS at shortstop last season. He’s also capable of playing second base and third base.
Offensively, Kiner-Falefa does not hit for much power, but he has hit over .270 in each of the last two seasons. Kiner-Falefa also brings some speed to the basepaths, where he swiped 20 bags last season.
Along with Kiner-Falefa, Minnesota landed pitching prospect Ronny Henriquez in the deal. Henriquez is a 21-year-old starting pitcher, who spent last season between High-A and Double-A. Across his minor league career, Henriquez has pitched to a 3.85 ERA.
UPDATE: 11 a.m. March 12th
The market for relief pitchers has started to heat up, as we have seen a few different names come off the board over the last 24 hours. Last night, left-handed reliever Andrew Vasquez received a one-year deal to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays. It was a bit surprising to see Vasquez land a deal that guaranteed him a spot on the Blue Jays 40-man roster, considering his lack of experience at the big league level.
Vasquez debuted with the Twins in 2018 and made nine appearances, allowing three earned runs in just five innings. In 2019, Vasquez only made one appearance and allowed three earned runs. The 28-year-old spent a majority of last season in Triple-A for Minnesota, where he pitched to a 3.61 ERA in 42 1/3 inning pitched. He struck out 37.4% of the batters he faced in Triple-A, eventually catching the eye of the Dodgers who acquired him in late August.
Vasquez made just two appearances with the Dodgers, striking out three batters in 1 2/3 innings. He did not allow a run. Vasquez relies on a sweeping curveball that the Blue Jays hope translates well coming out of their bullpen this season.
Another reliever who signed yesterday was Brandon Workman, who received a minor league deal with an invite to camp from the Texas Rangers. The 33-year-old is coming off a dreadful season, where he pitched to a 5.46 ERA splitting time between the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox.
Workman enjoyed a career-year not too long ago back in 2019, where he pitched to a 1.88 ERA across 71 2/3 innings and picked up 16 saves for the Red Sox. He will now look to earn a job in camp with the Rangers.
Finally, the most recent signing from the relief market was Steve Cishek signing a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals.
The side-armer spent last season with the Los Angeles Angels and pitched to a 3.42 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings pitched. Cishek is entering his 13th season in the majors and is 35 years old.
UPDATE: 6:15 p.m. March 11th
The Chicago Cubs have landed their shortstop for the 2022 season, but it is not the name that fans were likely hoping for. At least for the moment, Carlos Correa remains a free agent and the Cubs have decided to go in another direction by signing veteran Andrelton Simmons on a one-year deal.
MLB insider Jon Heyman reports that Simmons is signing a $4 million deal that will include incentives. The 32-year-old shortstop spent the first four years of his career with the Atlanta Braves, before getting traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2015.
Simmons spent five seasons with the Angels before signing with the Minnesota Twins on a one-year, $10.5 million deal for the 2021 season. The four-time Gold Glover struggled offensively last year, hitting just .223/.283/.274, with a 56 wRC+. Simmons is still a great defensive shortstop though, as he was worth 15 DRS last season.
UPDATE: 6:00 p.m. March 11th
Despite rumors that he could look to sign elsewhere this offseason, Clayton Kershaw will be back with the Los Angeles Dodgers as he has reportedly signed a one-year deal to return to the only franchise he has ever played for.
Kershaw will now continue his Hall of Fame career with the Dodgers, after posting another strong season last year in 2021. The soon-to-be 34-year-old pitched to a 3.55 ERA across 22 starts last season. He did deal with an arm injury down the stretch that kept him off the Dodgers postseason roster, so it is not surprising to see that he has only signed a one-year deal.
Hopefully Kershaw can stay on the mound this season, where he will slot atop the Dodgers rotation alongside Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.
MLB insider Jon Heyman has reported that Kershaw’s new deal is worth $17 million plus incentives.
UPDATE: 4:10 p.m. March 11th
The San Francisco Giants have made the first big splash of resumed free agency, signing Carlos Rodon to a two-year deal, $44 million deal.
Rodon is coming off the first All-Star season of his career, where he pitched to a sparkling 2.37 ERA with 185 strikeouts in just 132 2/3 innings pitched. The left-handed starter dealt with injuries down the stretch of the season which limited him and likely impacted his market in free agency.
The 29-year-old gets some security with the two-year deal, but the opt-out after the first season is clearly in place for him to be able to test free agency again next season if he can remain healthy and productive in 2022.
UPDATE: 2:50 p.m. March 11th
The Texas Rangers have bolstered their pitching staff in free agency, signing left-hander Martin Perez to a one-year, $4 million deal pending a physical.
Perez, 30, spent the last two seasons with the Boston Red Sox, making 34 starts during that span. Last season he pitched to a 4.74 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 114 innings pitched.
Signing with the Rangers brings Perez’s career full-circle, as he spent his first seven MLB seasons in Texas. During his first stint with the Rangers, Perez pitched to a 4.63 ERA and made 128 starts. Perez joins Jon Gray as another free agent signing that is meant to bolster a very thin Rangers rotation.
UPDATE: 11:57 a.m. March 11th
We have our first Major League signing of the resumed free agency post-lockout and it’s a name you may not have heard of in awhile. The St. Louis Cardinals have signed right-handed pitcher Drew VerHagen on a two-year deal, returning him to MLB after having spent the last two seasons playing in the NPB.
VerHagen was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft and made his debut back in 2014. Across six seasons with the Tigers, VerHagen pitched to a 5.11 ERA over 199 innings pitched.
At 29 years old, VerHagen signed with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in the NBP, where he spent the last two seasons. Across his time with the Ham Fightes, VerHagen pitched to a 3.51 ERA with 215 strikeouts in 207 2/3 innings pitched. Now 31 years old, VerHagen will look to rejuvenate his MLB career with St. Louis.
Major League Baseball is finally back, as the league has come to terms with the MLBPA on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. This means that free agency is about to resume once again, where we expect to see another rampant period of signings, similar to the frenzy we saw take place prior to the lockout in early December.
Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and Kris Bryant headline our list of the top 10 remaining free agents available, with other impact players still up for grabs like Trevor Story, Nick Castellanos and Michael Conforto.
As free agency begins, make sure you check into this thread often, where we will keep you updated on all of the latest transaction news ahead of Spring Training.