The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to re-sign outfielder Jose Bautista on Tuesday, according to media reports.
Bautista and the Blue Jays came to terms on a one-year, $18 million contract with a mutual option for 2018 and a vesting option for 2019. If all incentives and options are reached and vest, the total guarantee for the contract is expected to be $60 million.
This deal wraps up what has been a long offseason for Bautista, whose market never truly picked up. A reunion with Toronto makes sense for both sides, especially with fellow slugger Edwin Encarnacion leaving for Cleveland a month prior.
The Cleveland Indians agreed to sign designated hitter and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion on Thursday.
Encarnacion and Cleveland reach have reached a three-year, $55 million contract with an option for 2020 valued at $25 million with a $5 million buyout. In theory, Encarnacion is guaranteed at least $60 million with the opportunity to earn $80 million.
It has been a long offseason for Encarnacion, who allegedly wanted to return to the Toronto Blue Jays but rejected a four-year, $80 million deal from them in November. Then, his suitors continued to dwindle as time went on, but the Indians recognzied the need and ponied up the money on an apparently reduced price tag in order to make the splash.
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed left-handed relief pitcher Brett Cecil, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported Saturday.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Cecil has agreed to a four-year, $30.5 million pact with St. Louis. His contract includes a full no-trade clause, per Rosenthal.
Cecil had been drawing lots of interest early in the free agent market, with the Blue Jays emerging as perhaps the biggest suitor for him in an attempt to re-sign him.
One report indicated that the Blue Jays offered Cecil a three-year deal. Passan echoed those statements, noting that Cecil agreed to the deal with the Cardinals because they were willing to guarantee him an extra fourth year.
The Cardinals bullpen, in 2016, was in the middle of the pack among Major League franchises. They ranked 13th in WAR, per FanGraphs. Their ERA as a group ranked 12th, at 3.62.
Cecil will not be the closer in this new deal. That job belongs to Korean righty Seung-hwan Oh, who posted a 1.92 ERA and a ridiculous 103-18 K/BB ratio over 79.2 IP last year. Regardless, Cecil represents an important addition to the Cardinals' bullpen to work the middle to late innings.
For Cecil's sake, the contract he earned is excellent. MLBTradeRumors.com projected him to earn a three-year, $18 million deal. A contract like this could prove to set the market for relief pitching this offseason, which is expected to be in high demand.
In 2016, the 30-year-old went 1-7 with a 3.93 ERA and a 45-8 K/BB ratio over 36.2 innings (3.64 FIP). According to FanGraphs, he was worth 0.4 WAR. He battled lat and triceps injuries throughout the year.
Since becoming a reliever full-time in 2013, Cecil has a 2.90 ERA in addition to 11.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 ratios (2.73 FIP).
The Toronto Blue Jays have signed designated hitter Kendrys Morales on Friday, as Christopher Meola first reported.
Morales' deal is over three years and is worth $33 million, according to the report.
The Blue Jays likely made a play for Morales knowing that Edwin Encarnacion may not return to the team in free agency this offseason. Still, though, they could have room for him at first base, making a deal for Morales a win-win.
This offseason could prove to be crucial for the future of the organization, as, in addition to Encarnacion, outfielder Jose Bautista became a free agent. Those two represented the heart of the Jays' batting order and very well may end up elsewhere next year.
That resulted in the team looking for offense early in the free agent market, leading them to the power bat they signed today in Morales. Over the past three seasons, no team has scored more runs than the Blue Jays. They have--at least recently--always focused their team around their offense.
The 33-year-old Morales has had something resembling a revival since joining the Kansas City Royals in 2015.
Last year, the Cuban native hit for a .263/.327/.468 slash line with 30 home runs and 93 RBI over 618 plate appearances (110 wRC+). According to FanGraphs, he was worth 0.7 Wins Above Replacement.
For his career, Morales has hit .273/.331/.465 with 162 home runs and 586 RBI over 4,077 plate appearances spanning 10 seasons.
The Atlanta Braves signed right-handed starter R.A. Dickey to a one-year deal with a club option for the 2018 season, they announced Thursday morning.
FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reported that Dickey earned $8 million in the agreement. He makes $7.5 million in base salary for 2017, while potentially earning an $8 million team option for 2018 that comes with a $500,000 buyout.
Atlanta had been looking for starting pitching on the free agent market. General manager John Coppolella told SB Nation's Chris Cotillo that the team may not be done looking for starters.
"We will be looking for more rotation help," Coppolella said. "At least one and maybe two [starters]."
Dickey's choice of Atlanta was due to its proximity to his Nashville home, agent Bo McKinnis told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Atlanta's new park that opens in 2017, in particular, is 30 minutes closer to Dickey's home than their old one.
This past season, Braves' starters posted the second-worst Wins Above Replacement (per FanGraphs) among all Major League staffs. In terms of run prevention, Atlanta ranked third-worst in team ERA from their starters with a 4.87 mark.
Dickey, by no means, was a big splash for the Braves, but he should be able to provide some quality innings going forward.
The 42-year-old Dickey spent 2016 with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 30 games (29 starts), the knuckleballer went 10-15 with a 4.46 ERA and a 126-63 strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.03 FIP; 4.76 xFIP) in 169 2/3 innings pitched.
In parts of 14 Major League seasons, Dickey has a 4.01 ERA and a 2.25 K/BB ratio over 1,883 2/3 Major League innings. He won the 2012 National League Cy Young award while with the Mets but has spent the last four seasons with the Blue Jays.