The world has been waiting….
Waiting for the dominoes to start falling in Major League Baseball. Who knew that first domino would be a fake report?! Wednesday morning, multiple sources reported Gerrit Cole had been traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros. By Wednesday afternoon, we had learned this report was as make believe as the Easter Bunny. Sorry parents. Apparently, some journalists prefer being 1st and wrong over being 2nd and right.
See, this is a fun time for MLB; the offseason. The time when rumors fly, money gets tossed around, and players potentially relocate. Until Wednesday, this offseason had been notoriously slow. Just 30 of the 160 potential free agents had signed with their respective teams. Over the past 2 days, free agency has built up speed. It turns out, all it needed was a little nudge from a fake report.
These new deals are 1-year contracts in order to avoid arbitration:
- Cody Allen – $10.575 Million (Indians)
- Khris Davis – $10.5 Million (Athletics)
- Patrick Corbin – $7.5 Million (Diamondbacks)
- Miguel Gonzalez – $4.75 Million (White Sox)
- Mike Zunino – $2.975 Million (Mariners)
- Randal Grichuk – $2.6 Million (Cardinals)
- Zach McAllister – $2.45 Million (Indians)
- Jake Marisnick – $1.9 Million (Astros)
- Tommy Kahnle – $1.3125 Million (Yankees)
Arbitration is a legal process used when a player (prior to becoming an unrestricted free agent) and team can’t come to terms on a 1-year contract. Both the player and team submit their proposed salary contracts to a 3rd-party, neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator then determines a fair salary based on the player’s statistics. Despite retaining the rights to said player, arbitration isn’t generally the 1st step in a long-term, healthy relationship.
While everyone’s attention turned to 1-year contracts, and a fake report, the New York Mets swooped in and ACTUALLY signed a contract paying out more than $12 per year. On Wednesday, the Mets came to terms with Jay Bruce on a 3-year, $39 million contract. While Bruce isn’t a hop on my back and ride to the playoffs type of guy, he’s a solid offensive outfielder. On a team (as cheap as the Mets) lacking offense, I like this deal for the Mets.
Only 2 bigger contracts have been signed, so far; Carlos Santana and Wade Davis. Santana signed a 3-year, $60 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on December 20th. This makes the Bruce deal look even better. As for Davis, his 3-year, $52 million contract with the Colorado Rockies makes him the highest paid relief pitcher (per year) of all-time. We’ll see how he enjoys the “comfort” of pitching in Coors Field.
With just over a month until pitchers and catchers report, expect an avalanche of dominoes to fall in the near future. Here are the biggest, unsigned names:
J.D. Martinez, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Yu Darvish.
MLB Free Agency, a time when wildly overpaying players has become America’s new pastime.
What do you think of Jay Bruce’s contract?? Does Wade Davis deserve to be the highest paid reliever of all-time?? Post your thoughts in the comment section below.