The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to sign outfielder Colby Rasmus Monday, according to media reports.
Rasmus and the Rays agreed to a one-year contract worth around $5 million. Incentives in the contract could push the contract up to around $7 million.
Rasmus is coming off of a down season with the Houston Astros after he bet on himself last offseason by taking their one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer. Unfortuantely for him, it did not appear to pay off, as he has to rebuild value now in Tampa Bay.
The Houston Astros have agreed to sign designed hitter and outfielder Carlos Beltran, as first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Beltran has signed a one-year, $16 million deal wiht a full no-trade clause.
The Astros have had a busy offseason thus far, acquiring catcher Brian McCann, claiming Nori Aoki off of waivers and signing outfielder Josh Reddick and starting pitcher Charlie Morton.
Houston had a disappointing 2016 season, going 84-78 and missing the playoffs, despite the fact that they won an AL Wild Card the year prior. It appears that they are trying to make a run for the pennant for the first time since winning the World Series in 2005.
Beltran, even on the short-term contract, should certainly help, especially because he is coming off of back-to-back solid seasons even at an older age.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected Beltran to earn a one-year, $14 million contract, so his new deal falls very closely in line with their projection.
Last season, Beltran hit .295/.337/.513 with 29 home runs and 93 runs batted in over 593 plate appearances. He was worth 2.3 WAR, according to FanGraphs with the Yankees and Rangers.
Beltran has spent time with the Astros in the last, playing with them for half a season in 2004.
The Minnesota Twins have signed free-agent catcher Jason Castro, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported Tuesday.
According to Rosenthal, the sides have agreed to a three-year, $24.5 million contract.
Castro had been one of the hottest names on the catching market to open up the offseason and had reportedly received multiple three-year deal. The Astros, Braves, and Orioles had been mentioned as other possible suitors before his signing.
As for Minnesota, the deal gives them flexibility behind the plate. Castro, a left-handed hitter, could serve in a platoon to John Ryan Murphy. Both catchers, in particular, are good defenders.
Not known as an offensive force, the ability of Castro to secure a long-term deal demonstrates the increased importance of defensive prowess in a player's game, something that has been specifically exploited at catcher with pitch framing.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected a two-year, $15 million deal for Castro, and in this deal, his actual earnings surpass the projection both in terms of annual average value (AAV) and total guarantee.
According to Baseball Prospectus, Castro saved 17 runs due to his pitching framing abilities alone in 2016, making him the 3rd best catcher in the Majors in framing (as per this metric).
Offensively, though, Castro leaves a lot to be desired. In 2016, he hit .210/.307/.377 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI over 376 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 1.1 Wins Above Replacement.
The Houston Astros have signed outfielder Josh Reddick to a long-term contract on Thursday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports.
According to Passan, the deal is over four years and is worth $52 million.
Like the acquisition of Brian McCann earlier this evening, the Astros' deal with Josh Reddick represents another opportunity for them to get a left-handed hitter in their lineup, something they struggled to do throughout the 2016 campaign.
On the whole, Houston has been busy gearing up for a postseason run next year, already adding the likes of McCann, Charlie Morton, and Nori Aoki. Aoki, by the way, has reverse splits (meaning he hits lefties better than righties as a left-handed hitter) and could work his way into the starting lineup for Reddick.
As for the 29-year-old, a poor second half with the Dodgers likely kept Reddick from really cashing in on the free agent market. It is also possible, though, that if he was not traded from the Oakland Athletics midway through the year, he would have received a qualifying offer and not a long-term deal.
Despite all the hypotheticals, Reddick should still be a good all-around bat in the Astros' lineup with some decent defense in a corner outfield spot.
On the whole last year, Reddick hit .281/.345/.405 with 10 home runs and 53 RBI over 439 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 1.2 Wins Above Replacement and posted a 106 wRC+.
The Houston Astros have acquired veteran catcher Brian McCann from the New York Yankees, they announced Thursday.
The Yankees received two minor league right-handed pitchers in exchange--Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman--per the announcement.
For Houston, the acquisition of McCann provides a left-handed bat in a lineup that was relatively right-handed heavy in 2016. The Astros will not have to play McCann every day at catcher, either, with Evan Gattis in the fold.
The Astros essentially came down to two options: keep Jason Castro, an impending free agent, or try and trade for a left-handed hitting catcher like McCann. They ultimately chose the latter.
For New York, the trade is a continuation of what the team has decided to do recently: rebuild for the future.
McCann is yet another veteran player who has left the Big Apple during 2016, along with Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. A youth movement is happening in New York, and with the mid-season emergence of Gary Sanchez behind the plate, Brian McCann became an odd man out going forward.
McCann hit .242/.335/.413 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI in 492 plate appearances this season. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 1.3 Wins Above Replacement.
Signed through 2018, the Yankees will pay $5.5 million of his $17 million salary for each of the next two seasons, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
As for the Yankees' portion of the deal, the 21-year-old Abreu was the Astros 7th-best prospect, per MLB.com. He pitched in High Single-A this year. As for Guzman, he was unranked on the Astros' list, and the 20-year-old pitched in Rookie ball this year.