The deals keep coming, and we’ll continue to cover the slightly-less-notable ones in catchup posts like this. In case you missed the one last night, you can click right here.
• For as much as the signing of backup catcher Yan Gomes made us uncomfortably (and perhaps incorrectly?) question the future of Willson Contreras in Chicago, the deal looks like a no-brainer in retrospect. There was such a huge drop off in the free agent catching market behind Gomes. Like, for example, Luke Maile, who appears to have gotten a split deal with the Guardians.
Luke Maile, catcher, agrees with Guardians. 900K if in Majors.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 13, 2022
• Speaking of backup catchers … one of the Cubs 2,000 backup catchers from last season, Robinson Chirinos, just reached a new deal with the Baltimore Orioles – $900K plus performance incentives and trade bonuses. Chirinos was a big help for the Cubs last season, coming in and helping stabilize a revolving door of backups. But at 37, Chirinos isn’t as much of a sure bet as Gomes.
• And another catcher, Kurt Suzuki, got a big league deal, as well:
Free-agent catcher Kurt Suzuki and the Los Angeles Angels are in agreement on a one-year, $1.75 million contract, pending physical, according to sources familiar with the situation.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) March 12, 2022
• The relievers haven’t flown off the board early as they were expected, but there has finally been some movement. For example, on Saturday night, the Phillies inked former closer Jeurys Familia. Familia, 32, is many years removed from those dominant seasons you remember with the Mets, but he did have a fine 2021 campaign: 3.94 ERA (3.73 FIP) over 59.1 IP. That’s a usable arm, especially after he cut down on the walks.
• And later that night, the Rockies signed former White Sox closer Alex Colome. Colome, 33, had his first bad season in 2021, including a fairly noticeable drop in his velocity. And if that drop holds, 2022 will be a very pivotal year for the rest of his career — will he adjust to lesser stuff or will that be the end of the line (or will he get his velocity back?!). Coors Field is not really the best place for that sort of experiment, but you take what you can get.
• Adam Ottavino is another reliever off the board, one-year, $4 million to the New York Mets. Ottavino has been intermittently excellent (2013-2014, 2018-2019), but he’s coming off a couple meh seasons with the Yankees and Red Sox. Still, not a bad pickup for the price. Speaking of which, Mets owner Steve Cohen isn’t stopping there, “Cohen Tax” be dammed.
Steve Cohen said this morning that he expects to exceed $290M new top tax threshold designed by fellow owners to try to harness him. Ottavino deal projects #Mets to $286M. Can move Davis/McNeil/Smith, but still likely to add LH relief, 4th OF, more depth.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 13, 2022
• The former top Brewers prospect, Lewis Brinson, who was a big part of the Christian Yelich trade, is making his way to Houston on a minor league deal. Clearly, it never worked out for him.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 13, 2022
• Keep ’em coming: shortstop Ehire Adrianaza has signed a one-year deal, $1.5 million big league deal with the Nationals.
• The White Sox have signed free agent starter Vince Velasquez, who’s coming off a brutal season in 2021 with the Phillies and Padres: 6.30 ERA (5.33 xERA).
Okay, I gotta cut it off somewhere, as the deals keep pouring in. We’ll have another roundup post later tonight, I suspect, with all the bigger deals covered individually in the meantime.