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From The Press Box

Amaury Pi-González

The $500 Million man?

Nobody so far has signed a $500 million contract in Major League Baseball, yet,  but hold under your hat, because LA Angels Japanese mega-star  Shohei Ohtani will be a Free Agent after the 2023 season and he might be the first ever to sign such a contract, However, Othani’s teammate and good friend in Anaheim Mike Trout did sign a $400 million deal a few years ago (below). Ohtani, a superstar pitcher, and hitter is going to get an out-of-this-world offer. Rumors have been circulating that Steve Cohen, owner of the NY Mets wants Othani to be wearing a Mets uniform in 2024 for at least a decade. The Mets will pay a luxury tax larger than the actual total payrolls of team like the A’S and Pirates.

The Past: The $400 million man:

During Spring Training in March of 2019,m Mike Trout signed a 12-year, $426,500.000 contract with the LA Angels including a $20 million signing bonus. $426,500,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $35,541,667. In 2023, Trout will earn a base salary of $35,450,000, while carrying a total salary of $37,116,666. The LA Angels are currently for sale.

Big Winter Free Agent Signings after 2022.

Right after the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego in December. The biggest signings were made by teams in the east;  Yankees, Mets and Phillies, followed by some other teams closing their deals.

1-The biggest signing was by the New York Yankees as they kept slugger Aaron Judge the 2022 AL MVP in the American League and AP Male Athlete of the Year. and new home run champion with 62. Hal Steinbrenner owner of the Yankees gave Aaron Judge a 9-year $360 million contract and also make him the 16th Captain team’s history.  He will spend the rest of his baseball career with the Bronx Bombers. The Yankee deal was challenged by the San Francisco Giants, who went hard after the man born in Northern California and offered the 6’7″ outfielder also $360 million. However, it was learned later the San Diego Padres offered Judge $400 million, but at the end he chose to stay with the Yankees. Ex-Giants lefty Carlos Rodón also signed with the Yankees for 6-years and $162 million, Rpdón struck out 237 batters, third best in all of baseball.

2-The New York Mets  Owner Steve Cohen dealing with Carlos Correa’s super agent Scott Boras offered Correa a 12 year deal with the Mets estimated to be $315 million, but that deal (at the time of this article) is on hold for medical reason. Days before, the Giants were just a couple of hours away from announcing Correa’s signing in a Press Conference at Oracle Park, which never took place because a physical examination of Correa showed a “medical situation”. There was a disagreement between Correa and the Giants, who then withdrew the offer. The Giants who were looking for a superstar to please their fans struck out twice, with Judge and Correa. Not what the Giants had in mind this off-season. More on the Giants below. The NY also Mets signed to an 8-year extension outfielder Brandon Nimmo of $162 million, and extended their closer Edwin Díaz to 5-years for $102 million, the largest contract extension for a relief pitcher in history. Mets signed Japanese import rookie right handed pitcher Kodai Senga for 5-years and $75 million.

3-Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent shortstop Trea Turner, who was a Free Agent after playing the last two seasons in LA for the Dodgers. The National League Champions Phillies gave Turner 11 years and $300 million.

4-San Diego Padres signed free agent shortstop Xander Boagerts for 11-years and $280 million.

5-Texas Rangers. Signed free agent pitcher Jacob d’Grom to a 5-year $185 million and also starter Nathan Eovaldi for 2-years and $34 million

6-Chicago Cubs signed free agent shortstop Dansby Swanson for 7-years and $177 million.

7Boston Red Sox signed outfielder Masataka Yoshida for 5-years and $90 million.

8-Atlanta Braves, two weeks after trading for A’s regular catcher Sean Murphy extended his contract for 6 years and $73 million

9-World Champion Houston Astros signed José Abreu ex-first baseman of the Chicago White Sox for 3-years and $58.5 million.

By the Bay:

San Francisco  Giants looking to improve their defense (overall Giants were 23rd among all 30 teams) signed ex-Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger for 2 years and $43.5 million. He has been often injured, with his best season of his previous six years in Seattle in 2021 when he hit .253 with 39 home runs and 100 runs batted in. The Giants also signed ex-Mets Michael Conforto on a 2-year deal worth $36 million (with an opt-out option after 2023) why the opt-out option? Conforto did not play last season and in April underwent right shoulder surgery. Giants also signed ex As and Padres left-handed starter Sean Manaea as well as Ross Strippling a right-handed pitcher for 2 years with Toronto, giving the Giants more depth on their starting rotation since they lost lefty Carlos Rodón to the Yankees during December. Giants also acquired reliever Taylor Rodgers to a 3-year $33 million contract who now joins his twin-brother Tyler in San Francisco’s bullpen.

Oakland A’s signed Jace Peterson, a veteran who played for 9 years with teams in both leagues to a 2-year contract for $9,5 million, he can play infield and outfield. Free Agent Aledmys Díaz, previous with Houston signed a two year $14.5 million; just like Peterson he is a utility player. Traded catcher Sean Murphy to Atlanta in a three-team swap in which they acquired catcher Manny Piña and pitching prospects Kyle Muller, Freddy Tanok and Royber Salinas from Atlanta and outfield prospect Esteury Ruíz from Milwaukee. As of this article, the versatile Chad Pinder still a free agent.

The Crums left:  The LA Dodgers signed veteran DH JD.Martínez to a 1-year $10 million contract…Corey Kluber, who won two Cy Young Awards for Cleveland signed a 1-year $10 million with the Boston Red Sox…After playing 5 years with the Giants, the team opted out to pay him the $5 million buyout, instead of picking up his $13 million club option, Longoria signed a 1-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $4 million.  Yankee utility player Marwin González signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal to play in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball.

As we begin the New Year there are still players available, not the super star kind of players but some good players with experience like Giants first baseman Brandon Belt who still a Free Agent; however Belt who has been with the Giants for the past 12 years is in a difficult situation after he underwent another right knee surgery (number 3 for him) in early September which ended his season.

Happy New Year!

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