As of today, Monday November 24, 2014 at 12:06 Arizona time (because really, I can’t ever remember if we are on Mountain Time or Pacific Time), several big off-season deals have been made. I am going to run through the biggest deals and give my opinions on the ridiculous deals I have seen thus far…
Let’s start with the big fish in the room:
Giancarlo Stanton: He signed a 13yr/$325 million deal. Holy crap. First of all, this comes as a surprise to absolutely no one. He is one of the best overall players in the game and was a very deserving runner-up for the 2014 NL MVP award. Stanton basically sold his soul to the fish in Miami, but the deal proves that the Marlins are committed to finally building a winning team. And they will be good once they get their players healthy and good to go. Will they be the best in the NL East? Probably not right away, but look out because they are going to make an impact sooner rather than later. Was it smart to commit such a large amount of time and money? Probably not, but I am not a fan of a contract longer than seven years. The deal is heavily back-ended so if something does happen, the Marlins have a bit of wiggle room. I will say this: Stanton has a lot to live up to now that he has the biggest contract in sports history.
The Red Sox Rampage:
Hanley Ramirez: He signed a 4yr/$88 million deal, plus a vesting fifth-year option worth $22 million. I disagree with this signing. After watching Ramirez play for the Dodgers, I know full well that he is a super talented player. However, he is a super talented player who is always hurt. Not only that, but the Red Sox have no where to put him. They will probably not move Xander Bogaerts from shortstop because Ramirez is not the elite shortstop he once was, and with the signing of Pablo Sandoval, Ramirez will not be playing third. So now what? Put him in the outfield? Sure, why not? Oh yeah, the Red Sox have a massive number of outfielders. If they want to make the Ramirez signing work, they are going to have to make some trades.
Pablo Sandoval: He will sign an estimated 5yr/$100 million deal. Nothing has been confirmed and no specific numbers have been thrown out, but it is a pretty solid bet that Panda will be heading off to Boston. He is the best third baseman on the market and Boston will be greatly improved by having him there. Even with his weight issues, Panda is a really good defensive third baseman and his power is undisputed. Not to mention that if the Red Sox get into the post-season (PLEASE NO!!! Sorry. The Yankee bias is coming out!), he will be their deadliest weapon. I am curious to see what the Red Sox will do now, but they have shocked the system thus far.
A Nat to a Sox:
Adam LaRoche: He signed a 2yr/$25 million deal. This is a fantastic pick-up for the Chicago White Sox. LaRoche is not the best base runner any more, but he is a solid defender at first base. He also brings some power into the White Sox line-up. He will probably split time with Jose Abreu at first base and DH, which is really good considering LaRoche is 35 years old. Will the White Sox make it to the post-season with LaRoche? Probably not, but they are a much better team with him than without him. It is curious why he left the Nationals, but he is really going to help his new team.
Staying in Seattle:
Kyle Seager: He agreed to a 7yr/$100 million deal with an eighth year option. This was a signing the Mariners needed to make. Seager has made so many contributions to this teams and has performed well at third base. Not only that, but his numbers have been trending up, which is huge. The Mariners are a sleeping giant in the AL West and Seager is going help this team make it into the post-season. If they perform better than they did last year, the Mariners will probably grab a wild-card at the very least and try to show why they deserve to be back after all these years.
So what’s next? Who knows, but there are a bunch of really good free agents out there and I think it will be really cool to see what happens in next few months! These guys are going to be getting a bunch of money, but in a $9 billion industry, that comes as no surprise.