The St. Louis Cardinals have announced the signing of outfielder Dexter Fowler on Friday.
KSDK's Frank Cusumano first reported that Fowler was en route to St. Louis to take a physical. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Fowler has earned a five-year, $82.5 million deal.
Fowler's $16.5 million annual average value ranks as one of the 30 highest outfield contracts in MLB history.
It's been quite a year for Fowler, who took a one-year, $13 million deal with the Cubs in February after turning down a qualifying offer and not receiving lots of interest. Betting on himself obviously turned out well for Fowler, as he was not only able to win a World Series, but turn in a career year as well.
Fowler will fit well in St. Louis, who lost corner outfielder Matt Holliday to the Yankees in free agency this offseason. Now, he will play center alongside Randal Grichuk in left field and Stephen Piscotty in right right.
Prior to the offseason, MLBTradeRumors.com projected Fowler to earn a $64 million deal, so he obviously did very well in this contract.
Last season, Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs over 551 plate appearances in 125 games with the Cubs. He posted a 129 wrC+ and a 4.7 WAR, according to FanGraphs.
In addition to the Cardinals, the Giants and Blue Jays were connected to Fowler, and the Nationals also internally showed interest before acquiring Adam Eaton in a trade.
The New York Yankees have agreed to sign outfielder Matt Holliday on Sunday, as first reported by Sweeny Murti of WFAN Radio.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Holliday's deal is a one-year, $13 million contract.
Holliday, especially on a short-term contract, is a good fit for a Yankees team that really did not feature a power-hitting lineup. As a group, in 2016, Yankees hitters posted the fourth-worst slugging percentage and fifth-worst isolated power in the AL.
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 St. Louis Cardinals extended second baseman Kolten Wong on a five-year contract, the team announced Wednesday. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported the move.
Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported that Wong will make $25.5 million over the five years.
The contract, which begins in 2016, guarantees Wong $1.25 million this year, $2.5 million in 2017, $4 million in 2018, $6.5 million in 2019, and $10.25 million in 2020, according to Cotillo.
The deal also includes a $12.5 million option for 2021 with a $1 million buyout.
Wong was not projected to hit arbitration until 2017 and was not scheduled to become a free agent until after the 2019 season. Now, St. Louis gains control over a cornerstone for two more seasons.
The 25-year-old was the Cardinals' 1st round pick (No. 22 overall) in the 2011 MLB Draft.
He had his first full season in the Major Leagues in 2014 and finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. A defensive-first player, Wong was worth 1.9 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR).
In 2015, Wong hit .262/.321/.386 with 11 home runs and 61 RBIs in 613 plate appearances. Wong's overall play was better this past season, as he was worth 2.3 fWAR.
The 2015-2016 offseason was fairly quiet on the extension front, with Dee Gordon, Brandon Crawford, and Salvador Perez representing the only three players to receive extensions from their respective teams as of this writing.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced the signing of Korean right-handed relief pitcher Seung-Hwan Oh to a one-year deal with a club option for 2017.
According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, Oh will make $5 million in 2016 and a possible $6 million on the club option if picked up. If all maxed out, Oh will be with St. Louis for two seasons at an $11 million total guarantee.
Daniel Kim of KBSn first reported that the sides were close to an agreement and Robert Murray of Baseball Essential reported the finalization of the deal, noting that the announcement of the contract would come today.
The Cardinals will not have to pay a posting fee for the signing of Oh, as he was named a free agent by Major League Baseball.
The 33-year-old Oh comes from from the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league, but has spent most of his career in Korea, where he is originally from.
In 2015, his second season in Japan, Oh went 2-3 with a 2.73 ERA and a 66 to 16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 69 1/3 innings pitched, tallying 41 saves. Over his entire international career, Oh boasts a minuscule 1.81 ERA and fantastic 10.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 ratios in 646 1/3 innings. Oh was considered to be one of the greatest closers in Korean professional baseball.
According to a scouting report from Global Sporting Integration in 2013, Oh's repertoire on the mound includes the likes of a fastball that ranges from 92-94 mph, topping out at 97. It is known as the "stone fastball" due to alleged rising movement. He also has a slider and occasionally a slow curveball.
Oh, known as "The Final Boss," in Korea, will head to the back end of the Cardinals' bullpen that was a weakness for them in terms of depth in 2015, with four relievers making over 70 appearances. Oh will set up to closer Trevor Rosenthal.