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 shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.
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- The Rangers are close to signing Jon Gray to four-year deal. The 30-year old showcased some amazing breaking pitches before his success trailed off at the end of the 2021 season. But for the Rangers right now, any kind of pitching is good pitching.
- Kevin Gausman has agreed to a five-year, $110 million deal with Blue Jays. While Gausman struggled in the second half of last season, pitching a concerning 4.42 ERA after the All-Star Break, he still finished sixth in Cy Young voted and was undoubtably the Giants ace at one point. We all go through rough patches, right?
- The Marlins have extend Sandy Alcántara, giving him a 5-year, $56 million extra long stay in Miami. The 26-year-old Alcántara dominated last season with his unforgiving slider, coming away with a 3.19 ERA.
- The Marlins aren’t slowing down now, and have signed Avisaíl García to four-year, $53 million deal. The 30-year old will bring some stability to a team that pretty much just traded off everyone before the 2021 deadline.
- Marcus Semien has signed a seven-year deal with Rangers, staying in Texas for the upcoming, err, checks notes ever. The star infielder put on quite the show last season, slashing slashing .265/.334/.538 with 45 home runs. Now, the Rangers have locked him down until 2028—the year he turns 38.
- The Twins sign Byron Buxton to a massive seven year, $100 million extension, because ‘tis the season for astronomical contracts. The Twins are rolling the dice on their homegrown talent—while Buxton is a powerhouse of a player, he is beyond injury prone. If Minnesota can keep him healthy for more than 90 games a season, their risk will be well worth it.
- The Rays have signed Corey Kluber to a one-year, $8 million deal. It’s a gamble for the Rays, taking on the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Kluber has’t been healthy since 2018, and seeing the IL is common place for him. If he can stay active for this, he’ll offer a solid veteran rotation spot to Tampa Bay.
- The Mets have agreed to a four-year, $78 million deal with Starling Marte. The veteran slashed an impressive .310/.383/.458 with 12 homers between the Marlins and Athletics this past season. He’ll (hopefully) take that consistency at the plate to Queens with him—they could use it.
- The Rays and Wander Franco both took major gambles on Tuesday, agreeing to an 11-year extension with a club option for a 12th year that will pay Franco a guaranteed $182 million. If all goes right for the Rays, they’ll control a generational superstar through his age-33 season. They’re betting big on a player who has played in just 70 major league games, though, while Franco is sacrificing the possibility of signing a deal that could be twice as big in exchange for more financial certainty now.
- The Cardinals added to an already strong rotation late Tuesday night, agreeing to a four-year, $44 million deal with veteran lefty Steven Matz. Matz, who had a 45.5% ground-ball rate in 2021, has a chance to thrive in front of a Cardinals infield that plays elite defense.
- The White Sox signed reliever Kendall Graveman to a three-year, $24 million deal on Tuesday. They could have a three-headed monster at the back of their bullpen in 2022 with Graveman, Liam Hendriks, and Craig Kimbrel, though GM Rick Hahn has said they’re open to trading Kimbrel this offseason after he struggled down the stretch as a setup man in 2021.
- The Giants had themselves a busy day on Monday as they, at least partially, sought to get the band back together for next season. They were successful on a couple fronts as they inked starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani to a three-year deal and shortly after that, his fellow member of the Giants’ 2021 rotation, Alex Wood, joined him on a two-year deal.
- The candidates for the Comeback Players of the Year were fairly clear this season, and that is exactly how the awards played out as Buster Posey, who battled injuries in 2019 and didn’t play in 2020, and Trey Mancini, famously coming back from colon cancer to play at a high level, took home the Comeback Player of the Year awards in each league.
- The Marlins seem to understand that for them to be competitive in the long term, they are going to need to identify their key pieces for the future and keep them cost-controlled. That is what they did Monday, as they seemed to be closing in on a five-year contract extension with Sandy Alcantara worth more than $55 million.
- Despite all of the drama surrounding the tenure of manager Alex Cora with regards to the sign stealing scandal that impacted both his time with the Astros and Red Sox, Boston seems very keen on keep the manager on that won them a World Series title AND helped them put together a surprising run this season deep into the playoffs as they went ahead and exercised their options on his deal for 2023 and 2024.
- The Pirates have agreed to a deal with veteran left-hander José Quintana, reports FanSided’s Robert Murray. Then the floodgate of details opened up: MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that Quintana’s contract is a one-year deal, while Jason Mackey of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Quintana will earn somewhere in the $2M ballpark. Once one of the most highly sought-after pitchers in baseball, a series of thumb injuries and lat inflammation took their told on the southpaw. He pitched a mere 10 innings for the Cubs in 2020, and had an arguably worse 2021 season with the Angels and Giants, pitching for a 6.43 ERA over 63 innings. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation for the Pirates if Quintana can return to the dominance he saw with his time in Chicago (mostly the White Sox era, but we can sprinkle those solid Cubs season in too for good measure).
- The Brewers have signed catcher Pedro Severino to a one-year, $1.9M deal, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. While the 28-year old has always floated around average when at the plate, he’s produced a very healthy career slash line of .262/.324/.441 against left-handed pitchers. That’s a massive silver lining that the Brewers will be focusing on, because his defensive skills are anemic; last season and in 2020 he allowed the most passed balls in the American League, on top of allowing the 5th highest number of stolen bases in 2019.
- The leagues’ Most Valuable Player awards came out last Thursday evening. In the end, the two betting favorites ended up taking home the trophies as Shohei Ohtani was a unanimous choice in the American League while Bryce Harper edged out Juan Soto for the NL award.
- Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes and Blue Jays lefty Robbie Ray are this year’s Cy Young Award winners. Burnes’ victory was particularly contentious on social media Wednesday night, as he edged out Phillies righty Zack Wheeler despite throwing 46 fewer innings and posting an ERA that was only 0.30 runs lower. Burnes and Wheeler each received 12 first-place votes from BBWAA voters, but Burnes received 151 total points compared to Wheeler’s 141. Ray, meanwhile, received 29 of 30 first-place votes.
- Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was the only player in the majors to accept the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer from his previous club, and he’ll return to a San Francisco team that he helped propel to 107 wins in 2020. 13 players rejected qualifying offers, so their previous clubs will receive compensation if they sign elsewhere.
- Justin Verlander was one of those players who rejected the qualifying offer, but he quickly re-upped with the Astros, agreeing to a one-year, $25 million deal with a $25 million player option for 2023. That’s an impressive commitment on the part of the Astros, who will bring back a future Hall of Fame but will gamble on an aging starter who has pitched in just one game over the past two seasons.
- The Mets tendered the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer to Noah Syndergaard, but instead of sticking with the club he’s spent his entire major league career with, the oft-injured starter opted to take on a new challenge and a slightly more lucrative deal, signing a one-year, $21 million deal with the Angels. After making just two appearances over the last two years, Syndergaard is gambling that he can stay healthy in 2022 and help turn around a franchise that has struggled badly at evaluating free agent pitchers in recent seasons.
- The Blue Jays turned some heads when they gave up highly-regarded prospects Simeon Woods-Richardson and Austin Martin to acquire starter José Berríos at the trade deadline this year, but now they’re in it for the long haul with the former Twins starter after signing him to a seven-year, $131 million extension. The Berríos deal stabilizes Toronto’s rotation moving forward and should serve as a reference point for teams looking to sign free agent starters like Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, and Marcus Stroman this winter.
- Giants skipper Gabe Kapler was named NL Manager of the Year after a season in which his team totally defied expectations and won 107 games. The Rays’ Kevin Cash was named AL Manager of the Year for a second straight season after Tampa won 100 games and the AL East, even though they traded starting pitcher Blake Snell and let Charlie Morton walk following their World Series appearance in 2020.
- The Mets have pretty famously struggled to find someone to take their general manager job. After getting turned down by a number of candidates, New York offered the position to former Angels’ GM Billy Eppler, and he accepted the job.
- The Tigers made an early splash in free agency, signing former Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez to a five-year, $77 million deal.
- The Giants have extended Gabe Kapler’s contract through 2024. It makes sense for the Giants to keep the party going with Kapler; he’s taken a team that was seemingly short on talent in 2020 and transformed them into the most winning team in 2021 (107, to be exact).
- Joakim Soria has long been a productive reliever for nine different organizations over the course of his 14 season career. While his heyday was with the Royals where he made a couple of All-Star teams, he remained a solid reliever throughout his career. Soria has decided to call it a career.
- Blue Jays first baseman/DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper were named the winners of the 2021 Hank Aaron Awards, earning the honors as the top offensive players in their respective leagues. Guerrero, the youngest Hank Aaron Award winner in MLB history, hit .311/.401/.601 with 48 homers and 111 RBI this season. Harper, who won in 2015 and is the 12th multi-time Hank Aaron Award winner in league history, hit .309/.429/.615 with 35 home runs, 84 RBI, and 13 steals.
- The Giants made history as they filled out their coaching staff for 2022. Longtime bullpen catcher Taira Uematsu was promoted to major league assistant coach, making him the first coach in league history who was born and raised in Japan and is a native Japanese speaker.
- The Dodgers are taking a gamble on a starter who struggled significantly in 2021, signing lefty Andrew Heaney to a one-year, $8.5 million deal. Heaney posted a 5.83 ERA between the Angels and Yankees this past season, but with his high strikeout rate and spin rate, the Dodgers evidently think they can turn his career around.
- The Cardinals were quick to bring back one of the key contributors to their late-season turnaround, signing lefty reliever T.J. McFarland to a new one-year, $2.5 million deal. The 32-year-old McFarland posted a 2.56 ERA and induced a 63.7% ground-ball rate after joining the Cardinals in July.
- J.D. Martinez has opted into his final year of his deal with the Red Sox. He’ll earn $19.35M in his last year of the $110M contract. After a turbulent 2020, the All-Star bounced back with a slash line of .286/.349/.518 and 28 home runs, shaking off any previous indication of his age.
- The Cleveland Guardians have exercised their option on José Ramírez, giving him a nice $12M paycheck for 2022 and the option of $14M for 2023. The three-time All-Star polished off this season with a .266/.355/.538 slash line, slamming 36 home runs, and stealing 27 bases. Talk about locking it down.
- The Cubs have claimed southpaw Wade Miley off of waivers from Reds. Cincinnati could have picked up the veteran’s option of $10M for 2022 and tried to trade him this winter, rather than sacrificing a quality player and not receiving any sort of return, but you do you.
- Charlie Blackmon has exercised his player option and will return to the Rockies in 2022,so praise be. The 35-year old will earn $21,333,333 next season with Colorado.
- Buster Posey had a bit of a career resurgence in 2021 as he was one of the surprising Giants’ best offensive performers all season long. However, it has been long suspected that Posey has been considering retirement, and Posey confirmed those suspicions. Our personal guess is that Cooperstown awaits Posey and he has definitely earned a nice long rest.
- We also had our first trade of the offseason. While the CBA negotiations are likely to freeze the free agent and trade markets when it comes to major deals, the Tigers and Reds did get together on a more minor deal that sends catcher Tucker Barnhart to Detroit in exchange for MiLB third baseman Nick Quintana.
- To the surprise of absolutely no one, Trevor Bauer, who ended the season on administrative leave in the wake of domestic violence allegations, did not opt out of his contract with the Dodgers. Hard to think that any team would want to sign for a deal he would have been happy with given his current situation.
- Meanwhile, the Phillies made some expected roster moves to trim their budget a bit as they declined the club options for both Odubel Herrera and Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen is just not the impact bat he once was and Herrera’s production was inconsistent. More importantly, they were both owed real money if their options were picked up and the Phillies may need that cash to upgrade their roster if they have any real aspirations of competing in the NL East.
- Jackie Bradley Jr., who is a fantastic defensive outfielder but had a pretty brutal year at the plate in 2021, exercised his player option to stay with the Brewers for 2021.
- Jorge Soler hit a three-run moonshot, Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman also homered, Max Fried threw six shutout innings, and the Atlanta Braves blew out the Astros 7-0 to win their first World Series since 1995. It’s an incredible story for a club that lost a generational superstar, Ronald Acuña Jr., and its ace, Mike Soroka, to season-ending injuries, used seven different catchers, totally rebuilt its outfield at the trade deadline, and finished with an 88-73 record in the regular season.
- While the beginning of the World Series is an incredibly exciting time for baseball, this week brought a cold dose of reality. In a less than surprising development, it was reported that a work stoppage in Major League Baseball is very likely to begin on December 2, 2021 as the CBA negotiations are expected to be contentious.
- Starting in the 2022 season, all 30 teams will now be required to provide housing to all minor league players, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports. Last month team owners held a vote on the subject that passed unanimously. The intricacies are still being worked out on if teams will be giving players stipends for housing or if they will provide it directly. Considering the conditions that an overwhelming amount of minor leaguers have been subject to, this is a welcome improvement to the quality of their lives.
- There were rumors swirling at the end of the season that the Padres were going to be making some pretty major changes to their coaching staff including at manager. Those rumors proved to be correct as the Padres relieved Jayce Tingler of his managerial duties, although it sounds like they would like to keep him in the organization in some capacity.
- New Rockies GM Bill Schmidt got down to business, signing first baseman C.J. Cron — whose 2021 campaign was the most productive by a Rockies first baseman since Todd Helton was in his prime — to a two-year, $14.5 million extension and right-handed starter Antonio Senzatela to a new five-year, $50.5 million deal with a $14 million club option for 2027. While these moves won’t necessarily make the Rockies better in 2022, they at least should help prevent them from taking a step backward this offseason like they’ve done over the last few years.
- The Nationals took on an interesting reclamation project back in July when they acquired infielder Alcides Escobar and gave him his first major league opportunity since 2018. They were impressed enough by the 34-year-old’s performance to bring him back into the fold for 2022.
- While we saw a unique situation with the All-Star Game moved out of Atlanta this season, generally the venue for the ASG is set well in advance and it stays that way. The league announced that Seattle will be be host of the 2023 All-Star Game.
- The Royals became the latest MLB organization to adopt a more modern front office structure, promoting longtime GM Dayton Moore to president of baseball operations while elevating assistant GM JJ Picollo to general manager. While Moore will still oversee day-to-day operations, this move will give Picollo, who has drawn interest from other clubs in recent offseasons, more authority and keeps him in Kansas City for the long term.