MLB Trade Rumors and News: World Series legend Don Larsen passed away at the age of 90
Baseball lost a giant yesterday.
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- Baseball is a game where some players transcend the teams they play for and become legends in their own right. Don Larsen, the only pitcher to ever throw a perfect game in the World Series, was one of those players. Famous for his time with the Yankees but who also played for six other teams in his career, Larsen sadly passed away at the age of 90 yesterday.
- While it is unclear that it will actually work, the Reds have made some real efforts to be competitive in 2020. After signing Wade Miley and Mike Moustakas (among other moves), the Reds further bolstered their lineup with the signing of Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama. Akiyama was an All-Star and Gold Glover for the Seibu Lions and while one should be suspicious of stats from overseas leagues, most think he will end up as a very useful player in MLB.
- The White Sox may not ultimately be successful, but no one is going to say that they didn’t try to make a run at the AL Central division title as they have been one of the more active teams this offseason. On Christmas Day, they locked up slugger Edwin Encarnacion on a one year deal worth $12 million with a club option for 2021 as well.
- The Marlins have signed Corey Dickerson to a two-year, $17.5 million deal. The veteran heads to Miami slashing a career .286/.328/.504 and only two years removed from an All-Star appearance. Dickerson is the latest piece of the puzzle on the Marlins’ bigger picture of being relevant and actually contend this upcoming season. He’ll join other offseason signings Jesús Aguilar and Jonathan Villar on that valiant quest.
- Julio Teheran had spent his entire career up until this offseason with the Atlanta Braves. While there had been an outside chance that he would still end up back in Atlanta, that chance is now gone as he signed a one year deal with the Angels where he seems like a really good fit.
- The White Sox have signed Dallas Keuchel to a three-year deal with a vesting option for 2023, per report. The southpaw will be making $55.5M over the course of those three years, with that extra vesting year potentially bringing him up to $74M. Not a bad pay raise, if you ask me. the 2015 Cy Young winner will sure to give a very lack luster AL Central a jolt of energy. Hopefully that same energy can be found in the White Sox lineup. While the start is admirable and exciting, Chicago has much more work ahead of them if they want to even breathe in the direction of a pennant race.
- The Brewers are in a weird spot as a team, but at the very least they have replaced Eric Thames on the roster. Justin Smoak, another guy with a questionable hit tool but real power, inked a deal with the team that guaranteed to be at least one year and worth $5 million with a club option for 2021.
- Former Phillies’ third baseman Maikel Franco has gone from a promising young player to, well, not in the span of about five seasons. After decent seasons in 2015 and 2016, Franco has fallen off in a pretty significant way and the Phillies finally parted ways with him this offseason. He now has a new team as the Royals signed him to a one year, $3 million deal.
- The Twins have signed Tyler Clippard to one-year deal, per the team’s statement. While the move is less than groundbreaking by any means, Clippard provides a high reward at a very little cost for Minnesota. He’ll also bring the trademarked “veteran bullpen presence” to the team, while tossing lefty batters to the club like he did last season. And lets be real, all one-year deals are pretty decent deals, right?
- The Cardinals have experienced quite a bit of success finding players in East Asia since the turn of the century, with So Taguchi, Seung-hwan Oh, and Miles Mikolas among the players they’ve brought stateside. They’ll hope to find similar success with their latest move, as they’ve signed 31-year-old lefty Kwang-hyun Kim to a two-year, $8 million deal. Kim posted a 3.27 career ERA over 12 seasons with SK Wyverns of the KBO.
- Avisail Garcia had himself quite the year with Rays last season as he posted a near .800 OPS. He is now betting on himself again to get an even bigger deal down the line, signing a two-year deal with the Brewers worth around $20 million. It sounds like the plan is that he wanted a shorter deal so that he can hit the market sooner rather than later and land an even bigger deal. One has to appreciate the confidence here.
- Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to five year, $85M deal. Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic notes that the Giants’ new and controversial manager, coconut oil-loving Gabe Kapler, hadn’t even spoken to MadBum as of the Winter Meetings, a telltale sign that the World Series champion wouldn’t be back in San Francisco. Now this opens up a whole new marketing for the Diamondbacks, who are incredibly self serving. They could very well deal Robbie Ray at a higher cost than before do to the sheer amount of pitchers who’ve gone off the market in the past week. Genius? Perhaps. Oh, and did I mention that $15M of that is in deferred payments? Evil genius.
- Rather than go for the splashy moves that they did last offseason, the Mets have been far more measured this offseason. Case in point: to help shore up their rotation, the team signed Rick Porcello, known innings eater, to a one-year, $10 million deal. Again, not earth shattering, but his addition does soften the loss of Zack Wheeler to free agency a little bit.
- Yoenis Cespedes has agreed to a heavily restructured contract with Mets. This comes after the Mets attempted to withhold salary from him and potentially void his contract as a whole. Cespedes missed most of the 2019 season after fracturing his ankle on his farm...a few months after having a double ankle surgery that made him miss the latter half of 2018. It seems the negotiations ended without too much carnage, as the Mets have toned down their “I’ll turn this contract around” drama and Cespedes has agreed that maybe he shouldn’t have been taking his horse down Cespedes Ranch Road while two of his vital joints were still vulnerable. He’ll be getting a contract makeover that includes a serious pay cut. Moral of the story? Don’t fall into holes.
- Anthony Rendon was the best position player among the free agent class this offseason. The “was” is an important word there as the Angels were able to close a deal with him worth $245 million over the next seven seasons. If the Angels get a bit more pitching, they could make a lot of noise next season and beyond.
- Josh Lindblom has twice taken his talents overseas to play baseball. Over the last couple of seasons, he had fashioned himself into one of the best pitchers in Korea and now, he can now enjoy the fruit of that labor in the majors. The Brewers inked Lindblom to a three-year deal worth at least $9.125 million with incentives that could net him significantly more cash. Never give up on your dreams, kids.
- Our Andersen Pickard is examining the players selected in this year’s Rule 5 draft. Don’t think the Rule 5 draft is important? (Or don’t know what it is?) Consider this: Johan Santana, Dan Uggla, and Shane Victorino were all Rule 5 draft picks, so yes, it does matter.
- Not much about Tanner Roark’s last couple of seasons really jumps off the page and makes you think that he is a guy that should be making eight figures a year. However, that is exactly what he got as he signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Blue Jays.
- This offseason’s biggest free agent found a new home during the Winter Meetings, as Gerrit Cole agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees. Cole’s contract is the largest ever for a pitcher — breaking the record that Stephen Strasburg set just over a day earlier — and the second-largest overall in MLB history, trailing only the $330 million deal Bryce Harper signed last offseason.
- Didi Gregorius decided to bet on himself (albeit in a rather lucrative fashion), agreeing to a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies. Sir Didi will look to re-establish himself as one of the better shortstops in the majors after a down 2019 season that was partially wiped out by his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and he’ll reunite with his former manager Joe Girardi.
- Some pretty big news here regarding how MLB’s drug policy will be changing: MLB will now provide treatment for opioids and other drugs instead of punishment. Minor leaguers, God willing there are still any left, will also no longer be tested for marijuana. One small step for man, one giant leap for keeping baseball players safe and sticking to what matters: helping someone get through a potential drug problem rather than blindly harming them.