It’s been a busy week on the MLB transaction front. The stove is fired up burning hot as clubs head to Las Vegas for this year’s Winter Meetings, so let’s take a look at the moves that teams have made around the league.
The blockbuster trades
The Mariners sent 36-year-old second baseman Robinson Cano and 24-year-old closer Edwin Diaz to the Mets in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, and prospects Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista plus salary considerations. The Mets have clearly decided to make a run at the NL East, but this feels like a lot to give up for maybe one good year of Cano and a closer (admittedly a young, talented closer, but relievers are still fickle). You can read a good summary of reactions at Amazin’ Avenue.
It was a busy week in the NL East and soon after the Mets deal was finalized the Phillies announced that they’d acquired shortstop Jean Segura and relief pitchers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos from the Mariners in exchange for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana. This deal allowed the Phillies to upgrade their infield considerably at a relatively low cost and they seem pretty happy with it over at The Good Phight, Mariners fans are not quite so pleased:
The Mariners sent Jean Segura, James Pazos and Juan Nicasio to the Phillies in exchange for Carlos Santana and prospect JP Crawford. Some fans believed Seattle should have gotten more in return in a deal for Segura. https://t.co/drzpGPhij8— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) December 4, 2018
Closer to home the Cardinals improved considerably by trading Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly minor league prospect Andy Young to the Diamondbacks for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt will be a free agent after 2019, but this deal improves the Cardinals offense considerably. Matt Carpenter will likely move back to third base where he’ll be an offensive upgrade over Jedd Gyorko. The Cardinals were 7½ games back in the NL Central last year and while this move may not win them the division, they were only 2½ games out of the wild card. Cardinals fans were understandably happy with this trade, Cubs fans, not so much.
The big contracts
In terms of free agent signings the biggest deal of the week was Patrick Corbin signing a 6-year $140 million with the Nationals. Let’s be really clear, with this move the Nationals rotation is formidable. Their top three of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Corbin is among the best front three in the league. Additionally, late rumors indicated that the Phillies were the front runner Corbin so the Nationals both strengthened their rotation and prevented one of their rivals from improving.
Late this week Nathan Eovaldi signed a 4-year $68 million with the Red Sox. Eovaldi distinguished himself in Boston and had an otherworldly relief outing in Game 3 of the World Series, so even though this contract is a bit higher than I would have predicted for Eovaldi (particularly considering he’s had Tommy John surgery twice) it makes sense. It is worth noting that the Red Sox are over the cap at $242 million and Craig Kimbrel is also a free agent, so they probably still need to sign a closer while being cognizant of the second tax threshold.
Carlos Carrasco signed a very team friendly extension with the Indians as you can see below:
Carlos Carrasco's new contract, per source:— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) December 6, 2018
2023: $14M club option or a $3M buyout
Not a player signing, but it is worth noting that Dave Roberts signed a four-year extension with the Dodgers, if for no other reason than it inspired a lot of comparisons with Joe Maddon’s contract situation and the distinct lack of an extension. Including some particularly candid remarks from Maddon’s son.
Notable other moves
The Nationals have been quite busy. In addition to the Corbin signing they added two catchers this week. They signed Kurt Suzuki to a two-year, $10 million deal. They also acquired Indians catcher Yan Gomes for minor leaguers.
If the Cubs were hoping to resign Ronald Torreyes they’ve lost that chance, he also signed a one year deal with the Twins. The deal is worth $800K provided he makes the major league team.
Lastly, Yusei Kikuchi was posted by the Seibu Lions adding an intriguing lefthanded pitcher to the free agent market.