The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.
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- The Nationals have signed Starlin Castro to a two-year, $12 million deal. The All-Star will fill Washington’s vacant second base void after the World Champs opted on not resigning Brian Dozier or Asdrúbal Cabrera (at the time, plz scroll down before writing a dumb comment jeeeeez) this winter. The 10-year veteran brings some much needed infield depth and versatility to a team that still looks like a half finished puzzle with the season quickly approaching.
- The White Sox have remade themselves into a real contender in the AL Central this offseason primarily due to be extremely active on the free agent market. However, they are not forgetting their homegrown talent as they signed one of their best prospects, Luis Robert, to a contract extension that is worth at least $50 million with a chance for more if some lucrative team options are picked. It is worth mentioning that Robert has yet to have an at-bat in the majors.
- Speaking of our pal Asdrúbal Cabrera, looks like he hasn’t been left in the dust after all. The Nationals have signed Cabrera to one-year, $2.5 million deal. We know all you super fans out there were beginning to worry. The 34-year old is perhaps a safety net at third base for Washington, who is desperately trying to sign Josh Donaldson for their hot corner. Cabrera could even bounce between second and third, switching with newly National’d Castro, who also has playing time at third. While he was designated for assignment by the Rangers towards the end of last season, Cabrera became an important part of Washington’s World Series effort, starting five of the seven games and slashing .323/.404/.565 in his new uniform.
- The Nationals have gotten more press regarding their rumored interests when it comes to filling their void at third base than anything else this offseason. However, they did make another move yesterday when they signed reliever Will Harris to a three year, $24 million deal.
- The Red Sox have been eerily quiet this offseason with the exception of a lot of talk of which contracts they are trying to shed to ease their payroll burdens (David Price and Mookie Betts being the sexiest of those names thus far). They did actually sign someone, though, as catcher Kevin Plawecki signed a one year deal with the team.
- 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 last week.
- MLB teams want to trade away homegrown superstars, and that’s a huge problem for the whole, “make people love baseball again,” campaign and only solidified to never love anything ever.
- 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 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.
- Cleveland is currently in talks with the Angels about Mike Clevinger, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports. The teams have yet to come close to an agreement on logistics, and hopefully that’s from a mean New Year’s Eve bender and not because either party has lost any interest. While the rest of the details are murky, Morosi reports that Cleveland did ask for top prospect and 2017 tenth overall draft pick Jo Adell, as well as another unidentified player. Cleveland is not in a position to immediately move Clevinger if it doesn’t suit them to the hilt i.e. get the best prospects a lights out arm can buy. They’ve already cut some pitching salary by moving Corey Kluber this winter, and the ever-cost effective Clevinger is estimated to earn around $4.5M this season. If this move was made, what an exciting one for Los Angeles. It adds another strong arm to support Mike Trout defensively and with the addition of big names like Anthony Rendon and Julio Teheran this offseason, the Angels are coming into 2020 hot and might just stay that way. Two of California’s other teams, the Padres and the Dodgers, have also shown interest in the lefty this offseason.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Oscar Colas is the perfect MLB prospect to dream about.
- 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.
- 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.