The Winter Meetings are off to a great start, and so is the offseason as a whole, really. Here are the 10 biggest free agent deals, so far, with some legitimate top-tier free agents already off the board. This is just SO MUCH better than the ice-out offseasons from 2017-2022.
- Trea Turner: Phillies (11-years, $300M)
- Jacob deGrom: Rangers (5 years, $185M)
- Edwin Diaz: Mets (5 years, $102M)
- Justin Verlander: Mets (2 years, $86M)
- Jose Abreu: Astros (3 years, $58.5M)
- Anthony Rizzo: Yankees (2 years, $40M)
- Tyler Anderson: Angels (3 years, $39M)
- Rafael Montero: Astros (3 years, $34.5M)
- Zach Eflin: Rays (3 years, $34M)
- Clayton Kershaw: Dodgers (1 year, $20M)
I think, when the winter is up, the top-8 free agent deals in terms of total dollars will be held by Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Jacob deGrom, Dansby Swanson, Carlos Rodon, and Brandon Nimmo. Beyond that, I think Edwin Diaz’s $102M may land 9th, ahead of Kodai Senga and Willson Contreras, neither of whom project to top the $100M mark.
Alright, here’s what’s up around the rest of baseball.
- Some general Trea Turner fallout tweets, in case you missed them:
- Brandon Nimmo’s market is “robust,” with the Mets, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Mariners all involved. According to SNY, the Mets are more likely to sign him after missing out on deGrom (though it’s not like they didn’t hand Justin Verlander a bag), and the Yankees are really only in on Nimmo if they whiff on Aaron Judge. Meanwhile, the Mariners and Blue Jays have been involved in the “left-handed outfielder” market all winter, so that tracks.
- Circling back to the Mets, if they don’t get Nimmo, they could turn their attention to reported Cubs targets Cody Bellinger and Kevin Kiermaier. Obviously that’s less than ideal, especially for Bellinger who could command a pretty significant salary as is.
- The Yankees are “very much” in on Carlos Rodon, who’s reportedly seeking a six-year deal, taking him through his age-36 season. I think *asking* for six years is reasonable, but I won’t be surprised if most of Rodon’s offers max out in the five-year range. There’s just too much injury history there. And for the Cubs, I wouldn’t be surprised if any interest, such that it exists at all, would be for far less than that. So basically, I wouldn’t expect them to get seriously involved.
- It’s always a tough task to translate Japanese articles, but it sure sounds like Kodai Senga is expected to make a decision sooner than later — possibly this week after receiving offers from teams at the Winter Meetings. The Cubs are theoretically very in on Senga, so let’s keep a close eye on this one. He is the highest quality pitcher to whom they’ve been attached. If they don’t get him, the external additions may be of the more mid-to-back-end variety. Still necessary, but far less sexy.
- I am very happy to see additional, national reporting connecting the Chicago Cubs to free agent catcher Christian Vázquez. The Cubs do have competition, namely the Cardinals, Padres, Guardians, and Twins, but I’d say Vázquez should be a priority for Chicago. Why? Because those other teams are more realistic suitors in the trade market for the trio of Blue Jays backstops or Sean Murphy. Not unlike Senga, if the Cubs whiff on Vázquez, the dropoff is steep.
- The Houston Astros “are eyeing three left-handed hitting outfielders — Andrew Benintendi, Michael Brantley and Michael Conforto.” The Cubs haven’t really been connected to any of those guys, despite needing a left-handed bat and outfielder
- Some facts on Aaron Judge’s market, according to Jon Morosi, Judge already has a nine-year, $300M+ offer in hand, the Giants will have to be the clear top bidder to win, and he’s generally expected to sign this week.