With lockout whispers and a collective agreement expiring at midnight on December 2, Major League Baseball has had a busy holiday weekend on the independent agency front.
New York Mets accepted the conditions with three players on a “Black Friday” shopping spree, and other teams stepped in from there. Earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Rays assured a future with the phenomenal shortstop Wander Franco, 20, with a recording contract that guaranteed him $ 185 million.
The news continued to arrive on Sunday: a veteran starting pitcher signed a big deal and a veteran infielder was paid, plus a notable overtime. Here is Sunday’s news:
Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers ended the 2021 MLB season with a team on base 0.670, the worst in the league, plus stroke percentage. The Toronto Blue Jays led the MLB in this category (0.797), and the one-year acquisition of Marcus Semien certainly helped.
Now Rangers have Semien to anchor the shortstop, as the 31-year-old signed a seven-year, $ 175 million contract on Sunday, according to ESPN.
Semien had a one-year career in Toronto. He’s played in all 162 games, finished third in the MVP vote, and set career highs in RBI (102) and homers (45). He also won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger, turning it all into a salary that Texas was happy to provide.
Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays go all-in to win the Eastern American League, spending a lot of money on a big arm. Jeff Passan from ESPN and MLB.com reports that pitcher Kevin Gausman and Toronto have agreed to a five-year, $ 110 million contract.
The right-hander has just had an exceptional season in San Francisco, where he made 33 starts and a 14-6 record with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts for just 50 walks. The 30-year-old, entering his 10th season, is now returning to the AL East after spending his first five big-league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. He joins a staff in Toronto who had a 3.91 ERA in 2021 and already have a fairly stacked turnover.
Byron Buxton, Minnesota twins
It’s a bet on both sides, as injury-prone Buxton has played over 92 games in a single season. But he’s a rare five-tool player, so the Twins signed him to a seven-year, $ 100 million contract, according to ESPN.
The deal pays Buxton $ 9 million next season and $ 15 million until 2028. Buxton will be 28 next month.
The deal is loaded with incentives, according to The Athletic, with escalators included for MVP rewards. The breakdown is:
Avisail Garcia, Miami Marlins
Garcia, 30, was a 2017 All-Star with the White Sox and played for Tampa Bay (2019) before spending the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2021, he hit career highs in home runs (29), RBI (86) and base hitting percentage plus (0.820).
In need of bats, the Marlins signed a $ 53 million contract with the outfielder over four years, according to ESPN.
Corey Kluber, Tampa Bay Rays
Two-time American League winner Cy Young, Kluber suffered a third season of injury, this time after a season with the New York Yankees. He missed about three months with a shoulder injury after throwing a hit on May 19 and finished with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts (80 innings). He has appeared in eight games in the previous two years.
Another AL East team will give the 35-year-old another chance: the Rays. Kluber’s contract is one year and $ 8 million, by several reports. The incentives could increase the deal to $ 13 million, depending on the number of startup thresholds.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.