2022-12-21 · 8 min read · MLB/Baseball
Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Correa

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A third edition of Gus’ Offseason Update is here, and man there’s been a ton of signings to talk about. Think of this as Edition 3, Part 1…or don’t, it don’t matter to me! Anyways, let’s take a look at the fifty-five players who signed MLB contracts since December 5th…
  • Chris Bassitt, SP, Toronto Blue Jays - Three-years, $63 Million:
    • In Bassitt, the Jays get an ultra-interesting, consistent arm who replaces the role of Ross Stripling on the staff. A late-bloomer who opened eyes when he broke out with Oakland, Bassitt was a part of a strong Mets staff in ‘22 and inks a deal that sends him north of the border for at least the next three seasons.
  • Tommy Kahnle, RP, New York Yankees - Two-years, $11.5 Million:
    • Yankees fans know Kahnle well, as the righty reliever spent parts of four seasons in New York with varying levels of success. Staying healthy has been a problem in recent years for him, throwing just 13 ⅔ MLB regular season innings the last three years. It’s a cheap deal, and if Kahnle can continue his short success he had with the Dodgers last year, it’ll be a good deal.
  • Carlos Rodon, SP, New York Yankees - Six-years, $162 Million:
    • Following a dominating 2022, Rodon leaves the Giants to pitch in the Bronx - he returns to the American League after just one year in the NL West. Back-t0-back outstanding, All-Star years get him a big payday as the best remaining arm is locked up. It took a while for the ex-First Rounder to find his groove in the Majors, being mediocre-at-best with the White Sox from ‘15-’20, but he projects as a reliable arm in a good Yankees rotation.
  • Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees - Nine-years, $360 Million:
    • Once again proving that sports journalists are a hyperactive breed, Aaron Judge will not be heading to the west coast - but staying in New York, inking a massive contract following an otherworldly season. The AL MVP, Judge dominated across the board - he led the MLB in Runs (133), HRs (62), RBIs (131), OBP (.425), SLG (.686), OPS (1.111), OPS+ (211) and TB (391). The deal will take him to his age-39 season, as he hopes to be part of Brian Cashman’s solution to a lack of playoff success.
  • Kenley Jansen, RP, Boston Red Sox - Two-years, $32 Million:
    • Once a heralded name in Los Angeles, Jansen isn’t the closer he used to be - though, he’s still good. He led the NL in Saves for only the second time ever in ‘22 with the Braves, and posted a 3.38 ERA over 64 innings. Boston has had serious concerns about their ‘pen for years now, and hopefully Jansen can ease the revolving door of poor performances in late situations.
  • Masataka Yoshida, OF, Boston Red Sox - Five-years, $90 Million:
    • Kodai Senga wasn’t the only Japanese star to sign a Major League contract this offseason, as Yoshida hooks on with the Red Sox. Through seven years in Japan, Yoshida has asserted himself as a dominant offensive force amassing 135 HRs, 474 RBIs, and a .326 lifetime average with the Orix Buffaloes. In 2022 he helped lead Orix to a Japan Series Championship over Tokyo alongside ex-Jays arm Jacob Waguespack.
  • Justin Turner, 1B/DH, Boston Red Sox - Two-years, $22 Million:
    • After a couple years of wondering when his time would be up in Los Angeles, Turner finally heads east to Boston - where he’ll convert to a 1B/DH role, given Rafael Devers’ existence at 3B. He’ll be 40 when his contract expires, and this could very well be his final two years in the Majors. Turner is still an offensive threat, hitting .278 in both ‘21 and ‘22, smacking a combined 40 HRs and 168 RBIs over his previous 279 games.
  • Adam Frazier, IF, Baltimore Orioles - One-year, $8 Million:
    • Frazier is a perfect fit in Baltimore, a veteran who has had multiple years of success with the Pirates (and then the Padres). It’s a cheap deal, and Frazier is a perfectly pesky hitter for Baltimore’s style of play. I would not be shocked if Frazier returns to his All-Star form in ‘23.
  • Mychal Givens, RP, Baltimore Orioles - One-year, $5 Million:
    • Formerly a dominant late-inning man for Baltimore from 2015-2020, Givens has bounced around the NL since - Colorado, Cincinnati, Chicago and New York - before returning to the Orioles. ‘15-’17 he was particularly good, and if Baltimore can bring back the old Givens then it’ll be a steal of a deal for Brandon Hyde’s staff.
  • Andrew Benintendi, OF, Chicago White Sox - Five-years, $75 Million:
    • Benintendi rebuilt his value with Kansas City last year, so much so that he was dealt to the Yankees at the deadline as a major pick-up. The former Red Sox top prospect now gets a long-term deal, joining Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert Jr., and Andrew Vaughn as a potentially exceptional outfield.
  • Josh Bell, 1B, Cleveland Guardians - Two-year, $33 Million:
    • Alongside Josh Naylor, Josh Bell brings an added boost of power to the area of 1B/DH in Cleveland’s lineup. He got off to a great start in ‘22 with the Nationals, but struggled mightily after being acquired by the Padres at the deadline. The former Pittsburgh top prospect has had sustained success before, and lineup consistency should help bring some of that back in ‘23.
  • Mike Zunino, C, Cleveland Guardians - One-year, $6 Million:
    • With the departures of Austin Hedges and Luke Maile, the Guardians bring in the powerful Mike Zunino to fill the gap. The ten-year veteran has never, ever hit for average but is one of a handful of catchers who can hit the longball. In 2021, Zunino was an All-Star for the Tampa Bay Rays as he launched 33 HRs for the club. Strikeouts have always plagued Zunino, but he’s good veteran experience and can help his younger counterpart Bo Naylor further grasp the ropes.
  • Ryan Yarbrough, SP, Kansas City Royals - One-year, $3 Million:
    • Yarbrough - known as MLB’s first opener - has fallen from his esteemed position with the Tampa Bay Rays the last few years, struggling to retain his success as a regular starter. Kansas City takes a flyer on him, and if he can regain his ability to effectively eat innings, it’s a worthwhile investment for the Royals.
  • Jordan Lyles, SP, Kansas City Royals - Two-years, $17 Million:
    • Lyles continues to be the league-known innings eater, never having much success other than with Milwaukee in 2019. It’s his eighth team, and will hope to continue to provide some back-end-of-the-rotation innings for a Kansas City staff that, to put it nicely, isn’t very hopeful.
  • Christian Vazquez, C, Minnesota Twins - Three-years, $30 Million:
    • One of a number of offensively gifted catchers to sign deals this offseason, Vazquez joins Ryan Jeffers in Minnesota. The 32-year-old has smacked 23 or more homers in three of the last four seasons (with 2020 being the odd one out) and hitting .271 over that stretch. He won a World Series with Houston this year, and will bring playoff experience to a shaky Minnesota squad.
  • Joey Gallo, OF, Minnesota Twins - One-year, $11 Million:
    • He who strikes out with the occasional bomb signs a short-term deal with Minnesota, as Gallo looks to bounce back after a terrible year with the Yankees in 2022. He’s a good defender, and with the shift being banned it could result in a few more base-knocks through the right side.
  • Michael Lorenzen, SP, Detroit Tigers - One-year, $8.5 Million:
    • Lorenzen, so long as he’s healthy, is effectively guaranteed a permanent starting role if he wants it with a beleaguered Tigers pitching staff. No, he won’t turn into Detroit’s Shohei Ohtani - although he may very well be a better hitter than a few who are currently rostered.
  • Aledmys Diaz, IF, Oakland Athletics - Two-years, $14 Million:
    • The first ‘real’ signing Oakland has made this offseason, Diaz adds a veteran presence all around the infield - predominantly on the left side - and, should he put up decent numbers, will be an easily tradable piece for built-to-lose A’s.
  • Jace Peterson, IF, Oakland Athletics - Two-years, $9.5 Million:
    • Peterson is a very solid defender, one of a handful of superutility players left in the league. He won’t hit much, but similarly to Diaz could be a cost-effective deadline pickup for a contending squad looking to improve defensively.
  • Trevor May, RP, Oakland Athletics - One-year, $7 Million:
    • Although coming off a down season in 2022 in which he struggled with the New York Mets, May has a significant track record (‘18-’21) of being an incredibly consistent, reliable reliever. On a team plagued by inexperience, May should provide some stability in the back-end of the bullpen.
  • Drew Rucinski, RHP, Oakland Athletics - One-year, $3 Million:
    • Rucinski rejoins the MLB circuit after four years in Korea with the NC Dinos, and has turned himself into a nice starter across the pond. In 2022, Rucinski posted a 2.97 ERA over 193 ⅔ innings for the Dinos and will throw his first MLB pitch since 2018. Oakland will likely test him out as a starter in Spring Training, though a move to the ‘pen would not be shocking.
  • Brandon Drury, UTL, Los Angeles Angels - Two-years, $17 Million:
    • A once-promising Arizona prospect, Drury has had quite the career thus far. Three seasons of intrigue with the Diamondbacks led to him being traded to the Yankees, which began his fall from grace. From 2018-20, Drury battled health concerns before having a nice, albeit short, year with the Mets in ‘21 before a career year in ‘22 in which he slugged 28 homers with 87 RBIs while winning a Silver Slugger.
  • Michael Brantley, OF, Houston Astros - One-year, $12 Million:
    • Brantley returns to Houston on a one-year deal, after an injury-plagued 2022. It’s relatively cheap given he is only a year removed from a dominant, All-Star 2021 season - perhaps a sign that Houston is planning on being more cautious with the veteran outfielder.
  • Andrew Heaney, SP, Texas Rangers - Two-years, $25 Million:
    • Although being offered more money by the Blue Jays, Heaney opts to head to Texas with Jacob deGrom in hopes of revamping their rotation. The long-standing debate of “is Andrew Heaney any good?” hit a climax last year, when the lefty posted a 3.10 ERA with the Dodgers - a career best. His strikeout rate also reached a new personal best, with a K’s/9 of 13.6. Alongside deGrom, Texas also has Jon Gray as their presumable third starter resulting in a high-floor top-3.
  • Kodai Senga, SP, New York Mets - Five-years, $75 Million:
    • One of five - so far - moves since Steve Cohen’s last round of splurging, Senga easily fills the hole left by Chris Bassitt in the rotation. Amassing boatloads of success in the NPB, Senga joins an already strong staff headlined by Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
  • David Robertson, RP, New York Mets - One-year, $10 Million:
    • Although 37, Robertson has maintained his ability to be a solid high-leverage reliever, pitching very well for both the Cubs and Phillies just last year. He sticks in the NL, and will be a nice addition to a Mets’ pen who has also retained righty Adam Ottavino.
  • Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets - Eight-years, $162 Million:
    • It didn’t matter that Toronto was the favourite to sign him, Mets fans get their happy-go-lucky outfielder back on a long-term deal. 2022 was his career-best year, notching 16 bombs with 64 RBIs over 151 games.
  • Jose Quintana, SP, New York Mets - Two-years, $26 Million:
    • Quintana should be penciled in as New York’s fifth starter at the moment, behind Verlander, Scherzer, Senga, and Carrasco. He too is getting up there in age, but the veteran lefty posted great numbers with St. Louis last year - numbers that convinced Steven Cohen to fork over some cash.
  • Omar Narvaez, C, New York Mets - Two-years, $15 Million:
    • In signing Narvaez, it reinforces the belief that New York will do anything possible to move James McCann. Francisco Alvarez - their hotshot, rookie catcher - will need playing time, and Narvaez is a terrific framer with some offensive pop too. When McCann is dealt, this move will be even better.
  • Adam Ottavino, RP, New York Mets - Two-years, $14.5 Million:
    • Entering his age-37 season, Ottavino has been a dominant force out of the ‘pen for quite a while. He established a name for himself with an otherworldly slider during his years in Colorado, then went to the Yankees and had mixed results over two years in the Bronx. An unimpressive 2021 in Boston led to a one-year deal with the Mets in which he impressed, and now the twelve-year vet gets at least two more years - he’ll finish his contract at 39.
  • Carlos Correa, SS/3B, New York Mets - Twelve-years, $315 Million:
    • Oh boy, Giants fans don't deserve the pain they've gone through this offseason. First Aaron Judge, and now Correa with a botched physical...pure insanity. Anyhow, this is one of a handful of absolutely massive contracts dished out this offseason, as the ex-Houston superstar FINALLY finds a new home. One of the largest deals in MLB history, Correa is an all-world defender at shortstop and a very solid bat. He came fifth in MVP voting in 2021, while winning a Gold Glove and notching his second All-Star selection. Recent reports were that San Fran had opted to postpone Correa’s press conference amid medical concerns, originally a confusing yet not concerning thing to occur, however results from the physical were evidently serious enough to scrap the Giants’ massive commitment. Correa will likely shift over to 3B beside Francisco Lindor, creating one of the best left-side duos in the MLB.
  • Trevor Williams, SP, Washington Nationals - Two-years, $13 Million:
    • Looking for serviceable arms, the Nats land Williams - a middle-of-the-rotation man, who has also boasted success with the New York Mets over the previous two seasons. Potentially a valuable trade chip, Washington will have no issues with running Williams out every fifth day in hopes to bump up his value.
  • Erasmo Ramirez, RP, Washington Nationals - One-year, $2 Million:
    • After having one of the better seasons out of anyone in the Nationals’ bullpen last year, the veteran righty gets another prove-it, cheap deal. Ramirez acts as another respectable Major League piece on a team that will not be very good in 2023.
  • Jordan Luplow, OF, Atlanta Braves - One-year, $1.4 Million:
    • In one of the more “minor” Major League signings, Luplow will serve as nothing more than corner-outfield depth in Atlanta. He struggled with Arizona in 2022 and was DFA’d at the end of the season. His best year came in 2019 with Cleveland, notching 15 bombs and 38 RBIs, although he hasn’t been able to maintain success.
  • Matt Strahm, RP, Philadelphia Phillies - Two-years, $15 Million:
    • Strahm’s an interesting piece, who’s had an up-and-down Major League career to this point. A starter-turned-reliever, he’ll try and help sure up a Phillies ‘pen that has lost a few arms. Starting in 2016, Strahm’s had quality seasons every other year - coincidence? Probably, though he did post his best strikeout rate since his rookie year with Boston in 2022.
  • Taijuan Walker, SP, Philadelphia Phillies - Four-years, $71 Million:
    • Philly gets a good starting pitcher in Walker, who’s been very consistent throughout his Major League career. Not always the best, but a solid middle of the rotation arm. Injuries have been a bit of a concern of his throughout the years, but he should act as a good three-four man behind Nola and Wheeler.
  • Jarlin Garcia, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates - One-year, $2.5 Million:
    • Garcia’s actually enjoyed a nice run of bullpen success since 2019 between Miami and San Francisco, and Pittsburgh hopes he can join David Bednar in becoming a reliable one-two punch at the back-end of the Pirates’ bullpen. He’s logged a 2.89 ERA over the last four years in 202 ⅔ innings, nothing to scoff at.
  • Vince Velasquez, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates - One-year, $3.15 Million:
    • Similarly to Garcia, Velasquez will act as a filler amidst Pittsburgh’s continued slide into darkness. Never anything more than an innings-eater, Velasquez is an experienced arm that maybe - just maybe - can be twisted into a prospect at the deadline.
  • Austin Hedges, C, Pittsburgh Pirates - One-year, $5 Million:
    • In the case of Hedges, regular playing time and the opportunity to rebuild his value are at the forefront of his signings with Pittsburgh. He won’t have to worry about being benched, and - like Garcia and Velasquez - is serviceable.
  • Willson Contreras, C, St. Louis Cardinals - Five-years, $87.5 Million:
    • In Contreras, St. Louis has officially found their Yadier Molina replacement. The ex-Cubs backstop was originally expected to be moved at the deadline, though he wasn’t and completed his seventh year in Chicago. A three-time All-Star, he’s one of the best offensive catchers in the game - similar to Yadi his entire career. Last season was his second-highest HR total with 22, and was one of his three All-Star game appearances.
  • Guillermo Zuniga, RP, St. Louis Cardinals - One-year, N/A:
    • Zuniga’s an interesting one, having never pitched above AA with the Dodgers. He has options and the Cardinals clearly like him enough to give him an MLB deal, though the likelihood he starts the season in the Majors is slim-to-none.
  • Jameson Taillon, SP, Chicago Cubs - Four-years, $68 Million:
    • Taillon joins an underwhelming Cubs staff highlighted by Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks, with young arms making up the rest of the rotation. He can eat innings, and certainly has his moments - though, he did benefit from a high-octane New York offense that gave him run support…a question for this Cubs team.
  • Cody Bellinger, OF, Chicago Cubs - One-year, $17.5 Million:
    • If Bellinger is anything like his MVP-self from years ago, then the Cubs might have gotten the steal of the offseason so far. That said, a wonky swing and zero plate confidence may prove that Bellinger is what he is - a fluke who strikes out a lot.
  • Brad Boxberger, RP, Chicago Cubs - One-year, $2.8 Million:
    • Boxberger has bounced around the National League, pitching with Milwaukee, Miami, and Arizona as three out of his last four teams, posting consistent numbers wherever he goes. Chicago doesn’t have too many notable relief arms, though Boxberger will help solidify some late-inning work for them.
  • Dansby Swanson, SS, Chicago Cubs - Seven-years, $177 Million:
    • As Chicago continues to refuel, Swanson leaves Atlanta and now solidifies himself as the Cubs’ starting shortstop for years to come. Swanson, the infamous first overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, made his first All-Star game last year as he smacked 25 bombs with 96 RBIs over a whopping 162 games. He’s been a solid offensive shortstop for years, and the move will bump Nico Hoerner to 2B and Nick Madrigal, well, just about anywhere else.
  • Sean Manaea, SP, San Francisco Giants - Two-years, $25 Million:
    • Once a very promising Oakland A’s lefty, Manaea has fizzled out the last few seasons - with his ‘22 year in San Diego being his worst year yet. A good bounce-back candidate, the Giants hope to bring out the 2019, pre-injury version of Manaea alongside the likes of Alex Cobb, Ross Stripling, Logan Webb and Alex Wood.
  • Mitch Haniger, OF, San Francisco Giants - Three-years, $43.5 Million:
    • Amidst a slew of signings by the Giants, Haniger joins their outfield after spending his entire career in Seattle until this point. He had an excellent 2021 followed by an oft-injured, disappointing 2022 and now looks to rebound. In ‘21, he hit 39 HRs with 100 RBIs, even getting an MVP vote.
  • Ross Stripling, SP, San Francisco Giants - Two-years, $25 Million:
    • The Toronto fan-favourite is headed to the west coast after a dominant 2022 year north of the border, as the righty posted his best MLB season thus far with the Blue Jays. He went 10-4 with a 3.01 ERA, and acted as one of the Jays’ best arms down the stretch. It’s a short-term, cheap deal that benefits the Giants even when - not if - Stripling regresses.
  • Xander Bogaerts, SS, San Diego Padres - Eleven-years, $280 Million:
    • Likewise with Correa, Bogaerts hit it big in this year’s market as he leaves Boston to head to the NL West. Four All-Star selections, five Silver Sluggers, and MVP votes in each of the last five seasons will have him in San Diego until his age-41 season making big money. Alongside Manny Machado (and Fernando Tatis Jr.), Bogaerts creates one of the best - if not THE best - left sides of the diamond in baseball.
  • Matt Carpenter, INF, San Diego Padres - One-year, $12 Million:
    • For the first eight years of his career, Carpenter was fantastic in St. Louis - three All-Star appearances, a Rookie of the Year Award, a Silver Slugger, and a fourth-place MVP finish in 2013. The next three seasons, though, were abysmal. He lost his starting job with the Cardinals, after hitting just .203 from ‘19-’21. In 2022, Carpenter bounced back with the Yankees at an unprecedented rate, hitting 15 HRs in just 47 games. Injuries limited his time, but San Diego now hopes they can keep that success going with the veteran.
  • Seth Lugo, RP, San Diego Padres - Two-years, $15 Million:
    • Lugo was a relatively late bloomer to the MLB when he debuted for the Mets at 26, but quickly found himself as a consistent arm in their ‘pen. Over seven years in New York, Lugo posted a 3.48 ERA over 494 ⅔ innings. San Diego’s already-strong bullpen gets that much better with Lugo, who’ll have the chance to grab some important innings sooner or later.
  • J.D. Martinez, OF/DH, Los Angeles Dodgers - One-year, $10 Million:
    • After spending five years in Boston - four of which were All-Star years - Martinez now heads west on a one-year deal. He’s always been known as an offensive weapon, though his numbers are not where they used to be. Last year, he hit 16 HRs with 62 RBIs while batting .274 - not bad numbers, but a steady decline from his ‘14-’19 dominance.
  • Noah Syndergaard, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers - One-year, $13 Million:
    • A once-hated Mets’ stud, Syndergaard will now act as a high-floor, back-end of the rotation arm that could very well make Los Angeles’ staff be the best in the Major Leagues. He had some success with the Phillies last season after being dealt from the Angels, and is quite the deal at just $13 million bucks.
  • Pierce Johnson, RP, Colorado Rockies - One-year, $5 Million:
    • Johnson broke out with the San Diego Padres in 2020, posting a 2.70 ERA over 24 games after pitching a year in Japan prior. 2021 was equally as good, though he could not maintain his success last season. Colorado looks to strike gold on a cheap deal, as the Rockies maintain their mediocre-at-best mentality for the time being.
  • Scott McGough, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks - Two-years, $6.25 Million:
    • McGough, who hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2015 with the Marlins, returns to the MLB after becoming a dominant closer in Japan. He joins the likes of Joe Mantiply, Mark Melancon, and Miguel Castro as a back-end of the ‘pen arm. It’s also noteworthy, since this isn’t the first time Arizona has dipped into the overseas talent pool. Merrill Kelly, who’s turned out to be a fantastic pickup, came from Korea’s KBO years ago.
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By: Gus Cousins


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