There was a furious number of reports of free agents and teams coming to an agreement last night. There’s not a lot of analysis of most of those deals yet, but I’m going to try to let you know all the free agents that came off the market. There were also rumors that Max Scherzer is close to a deal with the Mets, although it’s not a done deal. He may be signed somewhere by the time you read this.
Why the crazy rush of deals this weekend? Multiple executives believe that if deals aren’t agreed to by tomorrow night, it’s unlikely they can get completed with physicals, language, etc, by Wednesday night when the CBA is set to expire. Could be a crazy 24 hours.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 29, 2021
So keep watching here and on social media to see what happens over the next probably 12 hours by the time you read this. There were several articles published on Friday and Saturday that were obsolete by the time I wrote this up on Sunday night.
- The Rangers made the biggest deal yesterday when they agreed to a seven-year, $175 million deal with infielder Marcus Semien. They also agreed to a deal with free agent outfielder Kole Calhoun.
- Bradford Doolittle grades the Semien signing. (ESPN+ sub. req.) He has some questions about the deal, but he can’t deny that it makes the Rangers better.
- Dan Szymborski also evaluates the Semien signing. He calls it “the right deal but the wrong team.”
- But the Rangers weren’t done. Texas also agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with right-handed pitcher Jon Gray.
- The Mets went nuts on Black Friday, picking up three free-agent hitters: outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha along with infielder Eduardo Escobar. Marte got four years and $78 million, Canha got two years and $26.5 million (plus some options) and Escobar got two years and $20 million.
- Bradford Doolittle likes the three signings for the Mets. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Keith Law looks at what the Mets are getting from their three new signings. (The Athletic sub. req.) Law also looks at what the Cardinals can expect from pitcher Steven Matz.
- Mike Axisa looks at what’s next for the Mets. If it isn’t already obsolete by the time this story runs.
- Another big signing last night was right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman, who agreed to a five-year, $110 million deal with the Blue Jays.
- Free agent outfielder Avisail Garcia agreed to a four-year, $53 million deal with the Marlins.
- The Rays agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with right-hander Corey Kluber, with incentives that could bring it up to $13 million.
- Right-handed reliever Hector Neris agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal with the Astros.
- Right-hander Michael Wacha agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Red Sox. Wacha is confident his career can rebound in Boston.
- Twins outfielder Byron Buxton isn’t a free agent, and he won’t be for a long time after he signed a seven-year, $100 million extension with Minnesota. There are also some bonuses in the deal.
- David Schoenfield thinks the Buxton extension is a good deal for both Buxton and the Twins. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- There was an actual trade as the Padres dealt infielder Adam Frazier to the Mariners for minor league pitcher Ray Kerr and minors outfielder Corey Rosier.
- Mark Feinsand has the remaining free agents ranked into tiers.
- Will Leitch ranks the suitors for free agent shortstop Corey Seager by the likelihood that he’ll sign with them.
- Nick Selbe has a list of five “Black Friday discount” free agents available. So far, only one (Kluber) is no longer on the market.
- Mike Axisa has a list of the Dodgers needs this winter.
- Adam Berry looks at the Rays’ big $223 million extension with rookie infielder Wander Franco and what it says about the Rays.
- R.J. Anderson lists some other young stars who could be the next to sign a big, long-term extension with their current team.
- Of course, we’re getting this flurry of these signings because of the impending labor lockout. Bobby Nightengale has a primer on what this means and what to expect.
- Evan Drellich has an important profile of Bruce Meyer, (The Athletic sub. req.) who is the Players Association’s lead negotiator. Meyer has vowed to be a tough negotiator and there’s no reason at this point to think otherwise. Meyer worked for the NHLPA before coming to baseball and has experience with the NFL and NBA players unions as well.
- One thing expected in the new collective bargaining agreement is the designated hitter in the National League. Rob Maines examines DH strategies for the NL teams. (free registration req.)
- Anthony Castrovince has an All-Star team of players who didn’t win any awards in 2021.
- Twins outfielder Max Kepler and minor league pitcher Markus Solbach are back home in Germany trying to increase the popularity of baseball there. They also got to hang around the soccer training grounds of Hertha Berlin.
- And finally, if there is a lockout, Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could have a career as a softball player. Just check out this monster home run Guerrero hit in slow-pitch softball.
And hey, enjoy today. There may not be another OTC filled with this much actual news in a long, long time. And tomorrow will be a better day than today.