Baseball

2017-18 MLB Offseason Rundown: A look at all of baseball’s free agent signings and trades since the World Series

With the conclusion of the Winter Meetings Dec. 15, here’s a rundown of all the notable free agent signings in the MLB offseason so far. I’m going to try to update this list once a week as the offseason goes on, and will be adding in notable trades at as well.

At the moment, most of the players who have signed have been relief pitchers, which doesn’t make for the most fun transaction log but could really alter a team’s outlook and can point to future moves to come.

Carlos Santana -3 years, $60 million to the Phillies

Santana has been one of the most reliable batters in the business since his first full season in 2011. He might not be as exciting a player to watch or as young as Eric Hosmer, but I’m a sucker for guys who can draw walks and would prefer Santana right now if choosing a first baseman or DH for the next few seasons.

He’s an asset that any team would be lucky to have, except the fit here with the Phillies doesn’t seem exactly logical for the club. Rhys Hoskins, the team’s most exciting player last season, already mans first base, and without a DH in the NL, it looks like he’ll have to learn the outfield or be dealt, neither of which should make fans too happy.

Zack Cozart – 3 years, $38 million to the Angels
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FRESH OUT THE DELI PODCAST: Episode 4, Being A Beat Writer

Troy Provost-Heron (@Troy_Provost) talks about his job as a beat writer for MLB, the difference between covering the New York Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Mets’ struggles this season.

Fresh Out The Deli Podcast – Episode 2, Standout Statlines

On EPISODE 2 of the Fresh Out the Deli podcast, Nick Cicale (@nickcicale) and Nick “Freeman” Alberico (@JobSeekingNick) briefly touch on the WWE before talking about some of MLB’s most interesting stat lines from the season. They also discussed meatloaf, bad baseball concerts and Freeman gets a new twitter handle!
Intro music: Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind by Modern Baseball
Follow FreshOutTheDeli.com on twitter @FreshOutTheD for our most recent updates.

2016 MLB PREVIEW: NL West

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

Los Angeles Dodgers

91-71

Heading into this season, I can say a lot of the same things I said this time last year about the Dodgers, but they carry different sentiments now. I think the upside for the team is similar, but it’s a lot less certain to happen. (more…)

2016 MLB Preview: NL East

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

New York Mets

89-73 Projected Record

A dominant Mets rotation–made up of five young starters with the ability to strike out 200 guys a year and consistently post ERAs under 3.00 across the board–was something that had been forecast for the last three or four seasons, but with devastating injuries to Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler in consecutive seasons, it was beginning to feel like a prophesy that would go unanswered. However, after a preview last season helped the Mets grab the NL pennant, we’re finally here. The Mets rotations heading into the season looks like this: Jacob deGrom (27), Harvey (26), Noah Syndergaard (23), Steven Matz (24), and Grandfather Time (42-year-old Bartolo Colon), until Wheeler (25) comes back in June or July.  (more…)

2015-2016 MLB Free Agency Review

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

Cubs re-sign OF Dexter Fowler
1 year $8 million

The Cubs brought in Jason Heyward to replace Dexter Fowler earlier in the offseason, and the only question was wether or not the elite defender would be able to make the transition to center field. Well, with Fowler still on the market into the last week of February, the Cubs decided $8 million was worth the piece of mind. Fowler, who led off 150 games for the Cubs last season, should be able to man center as admirable as he did in 2015.

Fowler’s always struck out a little more than what’s considered healthy, but his walk-rate helps mitigate the damage. Also, the important thing is he should power and an ability to stay on the field last season, both of which had been lacking before he go to Chicago.

I don’t expect Fowler to play 150+ games again this year, but he’s a much safer every day player than Jorge Soler, who now looks like a fourth outfielder and the left side of a platoon with Kyle Schwarber And at only $8 million, if Soler explodes and forces his way into a regular role, Fowler would be excellent outfield depth at a reasonable cost.

Orioles sign RHP Yovani Gallardo
2 years $22 million

One of my least favorite signings in the offseason. Gallardo doesn’t really add much more than depth to the team’s rotation, and they gave up a first round pick for a two year contract. Entering his tenth season in the league, he’s started 30 games in his last seven, but has never posted an ERA under 3.42. His K/9 has dropped each of the last three seasons, from 9 in 2019 down to only 5.9 in 2015; his FIP has slowly crawled up to over 4 in that same timeframe. With a walk rate historically above 3 BB/9, the declining Gallardo offers little upside other than durability, and doesn’t particularly make me think Baltimore will be any better off now than they were before the addition. (more…)

2015-2016 Offseason MLB Trade Reviews

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

Athletics acquire OF Chris Coghlan
Cubs acquire RHP Aaron Brooks

With the Dexter Fowler signing imminent, the Cubs traded away Chris Coghlan, who was slotted to be a fifth outfielder at best. Aaron Brooks isn’t much of a return, but pitching depth is more valuable to them at the moment than in the field.

The A’s are now overflowing with outfield options. After adding Khris Davis a few weeks back, they also have Josh Reddick, the team’s leader in WAR last season, and speedster Billy Burns, with veteran Coco Crisp and Superman Sam Fuld likely on the bench with Coghlan. Coghlan also have some (not much) experience in the infield, so seeing him as a flexible utility guy with a little work isn’t too hard to comprehend. (more…)

2016 MLB Free Agency Preview: Position Players

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

The 2015 MLB season may have just ended, but free agency is about to begin. Here’s a quick look at the top players available at each position, with their 2015 statistics, and statistics over the last three seasons. A list of free agent pitchers will come out later this week. (more…)

Yankees Lose, But Season Not A Loss

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

The Yankees’ 2015 season crashed and burned in three hours last night, as they were shut down by the Houston Astros in the wild card play-in game. It was a bad matchup on paper, with Cy Young front runner Dallas Keuchel dominating the lefty-heavy Yankees lineup two previous time already in 2015 (16 shutout innings only allowing 10 base runners). While Yankees pitching did an admirable job against the Astros power-hitting bats, the Yankees offense was predictable useless, scattering three hits through the nine innings. The team looked helpless, swung at pitches aimlessly (Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez had back-to-back 3-pitch swinging strikeouts to start the ninth inning), and just wasn’t suited for a one-game playoff. As a result, it was a boring and uncomfortable game to watch, and the once electric Yankees stadium crowd (wrongfully) let the team have it the final two innings of the contest, booing Brett Gardner to start when he came just short of hustling out a slow dribbler to first base. (more…)