Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The non-tender deadline was a busy one with a slew of interesting players now becoming free agents
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- The biggest news of the day came with the free agent signing of Mike Moustakas. The Reds, to the surprise of basically everyone, locked up Moustakas with a four year, $64 million deal. Moustakas will play second base for the Reds as he finally got the deal he was looking for the previous couple of offseasons (thanks to a bit of an overpay by Cincinnati).
- The Padres continued to make noise this offseason yesterday when they traded for Jurickson Profar from the Athletics. Profar has just one year left on his deal, but is long on talent even if the production hasn’t always been there. It is still unclear how much these moves San Diego is making is helping their roster, but they are definitely keeping busy.
- The Cubs did what they probably should have done last offseason when they non-tendered Addison Russell yesterday. Given that he both was not very good last year AND has a domestic violence suspension on his record, it is unclear how much of a market he will have for his services.
- There were a ton of other non-tender decisions made yesterday and it is a lot of information to parse from the big names to the guys on the 40 man roster that never were going to see the light of day. To make things easier, we created a tracker with all of the tender and non-tender decisions made with links to either our articles on them and/or the relevant reporting on the moves.
- The Padres were able to lock up Pomeranz on a four year deal which is pretty funny since the reason Padres GM AJ Preller got suspended for a month was due to the handling of Pomeranz’s medical records when the Padres traded him AWAY from San Diego.
- All teams with bullpen woes, listen closely: the Brewers are open to offers on young starter Josh Hader, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The 25-year old currently has a career ERA of 2.42 and a 44.6% strikeout rate. While there have been no teams throwing down money yet, Rosenthal notes that the Mets may be the first one to jump at the chance to add the southpaw. The Brewers get to dump his salary, New York gets at least one person with a pulse in their bullpen, everybody wins.
- Speaking of teams swooping in, it looks like the Rangers are not being shy about how much they’d just *love* to acquire Miguel Andujar from the Yankees, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The 24-year old is coming off an abridged season after a torn labrum in April squashed his 2019 hopes. And with Gio Urshela stepping into the role as the Bronx’s favorite third baseman, dealing Andujar isn’t out of the Yankees line of sight.
- The Pirates added to last week’s news binge as they hired themselves a new manager in Derek Shelton. The former Twins’ bench coach has coached in the big leagues for a long time and has been widely praised for his work in Minnesota. With the hiring, that now leaves every MLB club with a manager as Pittsburgh was the last team to fill their vacancy.
- If you care about baseball at all in any capacity, then you need to read this: MLB’s plan to eliminate 42 minor league baseball teams, explained.
- 28-year-old right-hander Kendall Graveman, who was considered an intriguing major-league starter in the not-too-distant past (he was the Athletics’ Opening Day starter in 2018) signed a one-year deal with the Mariners in hopes of resurrecting his career. Graveman spent the 2019 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in the Cubs organization but had his option for 2020 earlier this month.
- Both of the catchers from the Astros’ 2019 AL pennant-winning club — Martín Maldonado and Robinson Chirinos — are free agents this offseason, so Houston secured a potential low-cost replacement on Tuesday, signing journeyman Dustin Garneau to a one-year major-league deal. It’s still possible that Houston could add as many as two major-league caliber catchers this offseason, as the new 26-man roster rule will make it much more feasible for teams to carry three catchers all season.
- The Rays found themselves in need of a catcher when Travis d’Arnaud inked a two-year deal with the Braves earlier this week. They decided to stay in house for the moment, avoiding arbitration with Mike Zunino by signing him to a one-year deal with a club option for 2021.
- Yesterday, Trey Mancini addressed reporters about his future in Baltimore. According to Rich Dubroff of Baltimore Baseball, the Orioles have yet to offer him an extension. In the 2019 season, the 27-year old slashed 291/.364/.535 with 35 home runs. Seems like an easy lock for someone who is about to make just under $6M this year. But here’s where things get complicated: Mancini is entering his first year of arbitration and won’t be eligible for free agency until 2022. So now the Orioles need to decide which value they want to gamble with most, Mancini’s worth on the free agent market currently or if/how he could bolster the team in the seasons to come.
- The White Sox showed interest in basically every big free agent last offseason. While they came up empty, that is not the case this offseason as they landed the best catcher on the market, Yasmani Grandal, on a four-year deal worth $73 million. The team has gone on to say that this is likely only the beginning of their moves as they look to become relevant again.
- Stop the presses. The Mariners are making some critical moves for their future, signing top prospect Evan White to a long-term deal. MLB Pipeline ranks the first baseman as the No. 58 prospect in baseball. He’ll receive $24M over the first six years, and his contract also includes three club options.
- This time of year is an important one for all teams from a roster management perspective as they have to plan for incoming free agents in addition to potentially having open roster spots to be able to pick players in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. The Yankees made the biggest waves thus far in that arena as they released Jacoby Ellsbury (leaving them on the hook for $26 million) and designated Greg Bird for assignment.
- The White Sox are ringing in this offseason with a significant extension. Jose Abreu will be sticking with Chicago for three more years to the tune of $50M. Abreu had previously been offered and accepted this year’s qualifying offer.
- The Phillies are a reborn team and ready for the world to know it. Philadelphia is reportedly aggressively pursuing Didi Gregorius and Madison Bumgarner this offseason. Sir Didi has no qualifying offer attached to him and would be an easy snag for the Phillies this winter. MadBum has some higher stakes to him, requiring draft compensation if signed.
- The Braves made another addition to a bullpen that will likely be significantly improved in 2020, re-signing reliever Chris Martin to a two-year deal after acquiring him from the Rangers in a deadline deal this past July.
- If you were one of those who bet that Will Smith, the top reliever on the free agent market who was widely expected to sign his qualifying offer, was going to be the first major free agent signing of the offseason… you are likely very rich. The Braves struck early as they signed Smith to a lucrative three-year deal and the team has, for the moment, a bullpen that should be a strength even if it is rather pricey.
- New manager, who dis? The Phillies are in the midst of negotiating an extension with catcher J.T. Realmuto, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. As of now, Realmuto is only under team control through the 2020 season. If he hits the free-agent market after that, he is set to have a big payday and be one of the biggest names of next winter‘s class. Currently, he is projected to earn $10.3M in his last year of arbitration eligibility. If the Phillies are smart to work something out with the young catcher now before they have to deal with negotiation talks next off-season, with said extension not taking effect until 2021.