BTV 2021-22 Offseason Roundup

Welcome to the 2021-22 Offseason Roundup. Any additional trades will be added to this article as they are reported.

- - -

April 7: Cleveland Guardians acquire RHP Anthony Castro ($0.2M) from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for OF Bradley Zimmer ($0.2M)

Toronto spent its spring adding left-handed hitting outfield depth, earlier acquiring Raimel Tapia from Colorado. Zimmer disappointed for Cleveland and is out of options, while Castro didn’t make the Blue Jays bullpen and has one option remaining.

April 7: Arizona Diamondbacks acquire IF Yonny Hernandez ($0.5M) from the Texas Rangers in exchange for OF Jeferson Espinal ($1.0M)

Hernandez is a speedy infielder who showed good plate discipline in the minor leagues. He was a victim of a Texas roster crunch as multiple non-roster invitees made the Opening Day team. He’ll provide depth for a banged-up Arizona infield. Espinal is a lottery ticket who won't need to be added to the 40-man until next offseason at the earliest, and it will likely be later than that due to his slower development.

April 7: Minnesota Twins acquire RHP Chris Paddack ($17.4M), Emilio Pagan ($0.0M) and a PTBNL (unknown) from the San Diego Padres in exchange for LHP Taylor Rogers ($7.2M), OF Brent Rooker ($1.9M) and cash ($6.6M)

After their surprising signing of Carlos Correa, the Twins spent their spring looking for pitching. But rather than break the bank for arms like Frankie Montas or Tyler Mahle, they opted to make this deal as well as a buy-low free agent signing of Chris Archer.

On the surface, this one is strange for Minnesota, who sacrifice their All-Star closer in Rogers to add a younger arm in Paddack whose future is questionable to say the least. But Rogers is due to become a free agent after the season, the Twins have a pair of capable lefties remaining in the bullpen in Caleb Thielbar and Danny Coulombe, and they’ll also be employing top pitching prospects like Jhoan Duran in the bullpen throughout the season. Plus, they add a serviceable reliever in Pagan, whose solid strikeout and walk rates contrast the concerningly hard contact he allows.

Paddack comes with three years of control and plenty of pedigree. But his struggles the last two years, failure to develop a third pitch and late-2021 elbow injury make him a tough player to value. He was superfluous to San Diego after it acquired Sean Manaea from Oakland. Brent Rooker is also a clean fit, buried on a busy outfield depth chart in Minnesota but almost a necessary addition for the Padres.

The cash is a big deal here. With it, the deal is accepted by the model as a minor overpay by San Diego ($17.4M to $15.7M); without it, it’s flat-out rejected. It pays down Rogers’ contract to the league minimum, leaving the Padres payroll at $228.8M according to FanGraphs Roster Resource, just below the first luxury tax threshold of $230M.

April 6: Milwaukee Brewers acquire C Victor Caratini ($1.9M) and cash (unknown) from the San Diego Padres in exchange for C Brett Sullivan ($0.6M) and OF Korry Howell ($0.6M)

April 6: Milwaukee Brewers acquire C Alex Jackson ($0.6M) from the Miami Marlins in exchange for IF Hayden Cantrelle ($0.6M) and RHP Alexis Ramirez ($0.4M)

These two go together, as they were Milwaukee’s response to an 80-game PED suspension for backup catcher Pedro Severino, which was announced just before the season. The Padres were a natural fit, juggling veterans Austin Nola, Jorge Alfaro and Caratini, as well as former top prospect Luis Campusano, behind the plate. Caratini made the most sense to move, as he is owed $2M this season and the team just acquired Alfaro. The cost for Milwaukee was a minor league catcher in Sullivan to provide depth and a toolsy Double-A outfielder with a lot of swing-and-miss in Howell.

But next, the Brewers needed to replace Sullivan. So they flipped 2020 draftee Cantrelle, an infielder who didn’t hit much in his affiliated debut last year, and Ramirez, a live arm who will miss all of 2022 after shoulder surgery, to the Marlins for Alex Jackson. Miami felt confident enough in its catching depth behind new starter Jacob Stallings to move Jackson, a former top prospect who hasn’t hit at all in the majors.

April 4: Detroit Tigers acquire OF Austin Meadows ($11.1M) from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for IF Isaac Paredes ($4.2M) and a Comp B pick (estimated $4.0M)

Top outfield prospect Riley Greene broke his foot in the last week of spring training, leaving the Tigers scrambling to add an outfielder. Meanwhile, Meadows’ name had been involved in rumors for weeks, the Rays seemingly ready to move on from him and his modest salary to make room in their outfield for top prospect Josh Lowe. The two sides lined up well and made an interesting deal.

Meadows provides a potent bat against righties, struggles against lefties and doesn’t provide much in terms of defense. But he comes with three years of team control and fills a short-term need for the Tigers as a replacement for the injured Greene, as well as a longer-term need for left-handed power.

Paredes is a talented near-MLB-ready infielder, a type of player the Rays have plenty of, but that it never hurts to stock up on. It could even lead to a trade to address other areas of need later in the season. The Tigers aren’t exactly flush with upper-minors infield talent, but they have Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario on the left side of the infield for the foreseeable future and are starting to push their chips in to compete.

The key to this deal for Tampa Bay might have been the compensation pick, which is the only type of draft pick that can be traded. Its estimated value is $4.0M, roughly that of a 40+ FV prospect that would be available at that point in the draft. But its reasonable to expect that Tampa Bay places an even higher value on the pick, given their success with drafting and developing as well as the premium on cost-controlled talent placed by their lower-budget tendencies.

The deal is accepted by our model as a minor underpay by Detroit.

April 3: Miami Marlins acquire LHP Tanner Scott ($3.7M) and RHP Cole Sulser ($3.3M) from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for OF Kevin Guerrero ($1.3M), LHP Antonio Velez ($0.3M), a PTBNL (unknown) and a Comp B pick (estimated $4.0M).

This deal is obvious for the Marlins. They made some moves over the course of the offseason but failed to address their weak bullpen until this late-spring deal allowed them to add two solid arms with team control. It cost them very little in terms of actual prospects and filled a definite need.

The Orioles side of it is a bit more curious. Baltimore seems locked in a state of perpetual rebuild without a clear end in sight, even as top prospects Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez and others near the big leagues. But unlike the Tigers, Rangers and other teams in similar spots, the Orioles seem unwilling to spend preemptively to supplement the arrival of these young players.

Obviously, relievers are volatile, and even if the Orioles were almost ready to contend, it still might make sense to flip a pair of veteran arms. But the timing still seems strange. Scott has three years of team control remaining and Sulser has four. Baltimore’s return here was fine – the deal was accepted by our model – but with the way reliever prices can inflate at the deadline, a strong few months from Scott and/or Sulser could have netted the team an even larger return this summer. Obviously there’s risk there if either arm performs poorly, but this return isn’t moving the needle a ton in the rebuild anyway.

Once again, the comp pick is the highlight, and could have been the driving force between making a deal now or waiting until the deadline. Guerrero is an intriguing 17-year-old outfielder, while Velez had success in High-A and Double-A last season and could make the big leagues soon. The PTBNL is an unknown, but isn’t likely to impact the values here too substantially.

April 3: Chicago White Sox acquire C Reese McGuire ($2.9M) from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for C Zack Collins ($0.0M)

In this deal, each team acquires a catcher who better fits their respective roster needs. The Blue Jays, crowded behind the plate, add an optionable left-handed hitting power bat in Colins. The White Sox, needing an MLB backup with experience, add the out-of-options McGuire. The deal was accepted by our model as a minor overpay by Toronto.

April 3: New York Mets acquired LHP Joely Rodriguez ($0.2M) from the New York Yankees in exchange for RHP Miguel Castro ($0.0M)

On the surface, this is simple: the Mets needed a lefty reliever after losing Aaron Loup in free agency, and the Yankees could use a serviceable righty so they could keep prospects like Deivi Garcia and Luis Gil stretched out in the minors.

But there’s an interesting wrinkle here as Rodriguez was re-signed by the Yankees as a free agent earlier this offseason. This meant he couldn’t be traded without his consent, and he and his agent negotiated a $0.5M assignment bonus in exchange for allowing the deal. The Mets will pay this bonus, bringing his surplus value from its original $0.7M to its current $0.2M.

April 3: San Diego Padres acquire LHP Sean Manaea ($14.1M) and RHP Aaron Holiday ($0.2M) from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for IF Euribiel Angeles ($2.4M) and RHP Adrian Martinez ($0.5M)

Mike Clevinger ran into some knee soreness in his return from Tommy John Surgery, leaving the Padres with a need in the rotation. They filled that need with a huge bargain, at least according to our model. This is a much smaller return than was anticipated for Manaea, especially with how many teams across the league could use a solid starter and had reportedly shown interest.

We feel good about Manaea’s value. His value was adjusted after the lockout to account for the possibility provided in the new CBA that, going forward, draft compensation may be eliminated. Since Manaea no longer can be expected to provide his team a draft pick if he leaves in free agency, his value went down slightly. But otherwise, he’s a reliable 2.5-3 WAR arm making only $9.75M, albeit one with some injury history.

Angeles is the key here. FanGraphs prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen described him as a player who will likely be appreciated more by team models than by scouts due to a gap between his performance and his raw tools – and that was before he hit .329/.392/.445 between Single-A and High-A as a 19-year-old. Martinez provides Oakland some upper minors pitching depth, an area which it clearly targeted this offseason. Holiday, heading to San Diego, was a 2021 13th-round pick.

Even if we’re low on Angeles, there’s a clear gap here. Our model has only had 14 misses in almost three years, and the majority of them have been A.J. Preller trades. So at least we’re used to it.

April 2: New York Yankees acquire C Jose Trevino ($3.7M) from the Texas Rangers in exchange for RHP Albert Abreu ($0.0M) and LHP Robert Ahlstrom ($0.2M)

The Yankees looked weak behind the plate even before a spring injury to Ben Rortvedt, and Trevino provides them a solid defender who won’t embarrass himself at the plate. He’s a cheap backup, and perhaps our model is a touch high on him, but his defense graded very well in 2021.

Texas was content behind the plate with two other good defenders in Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim, so instead they continued to address their biggest need: pitching. Abreu hasn’t put it together at the big league level, but he has the tools to be a solid reliever. He’s also out of options and might not have made New York’s roster. Ahlstrom is a 2021 7th-round pick who hasn’t yet pitched in the minors.

This one was accepted by our model as a minor overpay by Texas.

April 1: Los Angeles Dodgers acquire RHP Craig Kimbrel (-$1.0M) from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for OF AJ Pollock (-$1.0M)

This one is fascinating – and, by our model, a perfect value match. The Dodgers were left without a closer after Kenley Jansen left for Atlanta, and although Kimbrel struggled in the second half with the White Sox, he was dominant in the first half before being traded by the Cubs. He also attributed some of those struggles to his usage with the White Sox, and the Dodgers will be returning him to his usual ninth inning. But even as a potentially elite reliever, Kimbrel’s $16M salary is a steep price, especially given his second-half struggles – leading to his negative surplus.

Pollock was quietly a very good hitter for the Dodgers, though his glove declined and he struggled to stay on the field. He’ll slot into right field for the White Sox, where an already weak position was battered by spring injuries. Again, though he is a productive player, his $10M 2022 salary and $5M 2023 player option buyout outpace his on-field value by just a bit.

But the most notable takeaway from this trade, at least as far as the model is concerned, is confirmation that the 2021 deadline deal that sent Kimbrel to the White Sox was, in fact, an overpay. There was a gap of $32.7M between the Cubs return (Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer) and Kimbrel’s value at the deadline. Even if our model was high on both Madrigal and Heuer, there still would be a notable gap. But this deal lets us work backwards. Kimbrel is currently worth AJ Pollock – a slightly underwater veteran outfielder worth -$1.0M. If he was truly worth that package of Madrigal and Heuer at the deadline, then it feels impossible that his value would tank so low so quickly, even with his poor second half. So confirmation – as if we needed any more – that the Kimbrel deal was an ill-advised move by the White Sox.

March 31: Pittsburgh Pirates acquire IF/OF Josh VanMeter ($0.0M) from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Listher Sosa ($0.1M)

March 30: Philadelphia Phillies acquire RHP James Norwood ($0.0M) from the San Diego Padres in exchange for IF Kervin Pichardo ($0.1M) and cash (unknown)

March 29: Chicago White Sox acquire OF Adam Haseley ($0.2M) from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for RHP McKinley Moore ($0.5M)

March 28: San Diego Padres acquire 1B/OF Matt Beaty ($0.6M) from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for IF/RHP River Ryan ($0.2M)

March 27: San Francisco Giants acquire UT Luke Williams ($0.9M) from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for 3B Will Toffey ($0.2M) and cash (unknown)

March 25: Tampa Bay Rays acquire OF Harold Ramirez ($0.4M) from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for IF Esteban Quiroz ($1.1M)

March 18: Los Angeles Dodgers acquire RHP/OF Tanner Dodson ($0.4M) from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for OF Luke Raley ($0.0M)

These minor transactions get lumped together as a team with a short-term need adding a veteran from another team facing a roster crunch, often in exchange for a marginal prospect. The Giants needed infield depth so they grabbed the recently-DFA’d Williams; the White Sox needed outfield depth so they picked up Haseley; and so on.

The most notable of these is probably the Rays acquisition of Ramirez, who hits lefties well. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he were the Rays’ next reclamation project breakout.

March 24: Toronto Blue Jays acquire OF Raimel Tapia ($0.0M) and IF Adrian Pinto ($1.6M) from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for OF Randal Grichuk (-$12.2M) and cash ($9.7M)

This was the finishing touch on a puzzling Rockies offseason. Grichuk will be their center fielder, and while he isn’t an excellent defender, he’s certainly their best option. As a roughly league average bat owed almost $19M over the next few years, Grichuk is underwater. The Rockies will pay him about $9M.

Toronto was on the lookout for a lefty outfield bat to help balance their right-handed heavy lineup, and while Tapia is just a bench player, he’ll help. His actual value, according to our model, was -$1.7M. But he was on a non-guaranteed arbitration contract, so theoretically, either team could have cut him prior to the season at very little cost. Pinto may end up being the prize of this deal for the Blue Jays; after the deal was announced, scouts raved about his tools and his 2021 DSL performance.

This deal was accepted by our model as a moderate overpay by Colorado ($1.6M vs. -$2.5M). Adjusting Tapia’s value down brings it closer.

March 18: San Diego Padres acquire 1B Luke Voit ($3.1M) from the New York Yankees in exchange for RHP Justin Lange ($1.7M)

After re-signing Anthony Rizzo, the Yankees no longer had a spot for Voit. New York is constantly conscious of its payroll in relation to the various luxury tax thresholds, so keeping Voit’s $5.45M for him to be an oft-injured, 1B-only bench bat didn’t make sense. They flipped him for Lange, a live arm drafted with San Diego’s 2020 Comp-A pick.

Even before Fernando Tatis Jr.’s injury, the Padres lineup was lacking thump, and that’s what Voit will bring. He’ll split time between DH and first base, where Eric Hosmer’s league average bat is entrenched due to his albatross of a contract.

March 16: Cincinnati Reds acquire LHP Mike Minor ($1.9M) and cash ($1.5M) from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for LHP Amir Garrett ($0.0M)

Like the Rockies, the Reds had a weird offseason. They traded some of their notable players, but not all of them, and then used some of the money saved to sign players like Donovan Solano and Colin Moran and make trades like this one. Minor replaces Wade Miley, whom the Reds lost to the Cubs on waivers before the lockout. He’ll eat innings and could return a minor prospect at the deadline.

The Royals used the Minor savings to bring back Zach Greinke, who projects to be slightly more valuable. They also add Garrett, who was very bad in 2021. But Kansas City has a track record of fixing relievers, and if they can do so with Garrett, quality lefties are always in high demand.

March 16: Toronto Blue Jays acquire 3B Matt Chapman ($24.1M) from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHP Gunnar Hoglund ($9.3M), IF Kevin Smith ($4.7M) and LHPs Zach Logue ($0.7M) and Kirby Snead ($0.3M)

This trade immediately drew comparisons to the infamous 2014 Josh Donaldson deal. It makes sense: in both deals, Oakland sent an All-Star third baseman to Toronto in exchange for a seemingly underwhelming four-player return.

But even as this one is rejected by our model as an underpay, it looks a lot closer than the Donaldson deal ever did. That is largely because Chapman isn’t Donaldson: he comes with two years of control compared to Donaldson’s four, and is coming off a disappointing offensive season in addition to a hip injury. For these reasons, it’s possible our model was a little too high on Chapman. It also seems a market for Chapman never fully developed, as few contenders needed a third baseman. But he’s a great fit for the Blue Jays, who have more than enough offense but struggled defensively at the hot corner last year.

Oakland’s return seems to prioritize floor over ceiling. Hoglund, Toronto’s 2021 first-round draft pick, had Tommy John Surgery before the draft and will likely be back in game action this summer. Prior to the injury, he was billed as a nearly complete product who could rise through the minors quickly as a mid-rotation arm. The A’s have targeted injured early-round pitchers in the past, most notably with Jesus Luzardo.

Smith responded to a rough 2019 and the lack of a 2020 minor league season with a strong 2021 in Triple-A. He posted strong batted ball data, but questions about his discipline and defensive home leave evaluators more reserved. Logue is a back-end arm who also had a strong 2021 in Triple-A, and Snead looks to be a serviceable left-handed reliever. Snead and Smith broke camp with the A’s, and Logue will likely join them at some point this year.

March 14: Seattle Mariners acquire OF Jesse Winker ($19.1M) and 3B Eugenio Suarez (-$8.9M) from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for LHP Brandon Williamson ($15.4M), RHP Justin Dunn ($4.5M), OF Jake Fraley ($2.7M) and RHP Connor Phillips ($2.6M)

There’s a lot to unpack here. Phillips was originally a PTBNL. Even without his inclusion, the deal was rejected by our model, with $10.2M headed to Seattle and $22.6M to Cincinnati. With Phillips, it’s $25.2M to the Reds. But that isn’t quite accurate.

First, Dunn opened the season on the injured list for the Reds with a shoulder injury stemming from issues he had last season. The Reds knew this when making the trade; we only knew about last year’s injury, not its continuation. Dunn’s new value is $3.7M.

Suarez is also likely lower than he should be. Part of the model’s input is publicly available projection systems. We used those projections to get to Suarez’s -$8.9M, but at some point in the offseason, the projections changed. We weren’t aware until checking after the trade. His accurate value would have been around $8.0M.

Accounting for those two changes alone, it’s closer, $27.1M to Seattle and $24.7M to Cincinnati. But then there’s also Winker. His $19.1M includes a heavy DH penalty because his outfield defense is so bad. But we haven’t made any adjustments regarding the universal DH since we aren’t yet sure how it will affect that market. So there’s another possible wrench.

After all that, it looks pretty close. On the baseball side of it, Seattle picks up a big left-handed bat and a third base replacement for Kyle Seager. It cost them a good, but non-elite prospect in Williamson, a lower-ranked arm in Phillips, an injured likely reliever in Dunn and a fourth outfielder in Fraley. The Reds, on the other hand, save some money (clearly an offseason priority) and add a solid prospect.

March 14: Atlanta Braves acquire Matt Olson ($43.3M) from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for C Shea Langeliers ($27.8M), OF Cristian Pache ($7.5M) and RHPs Ryan Cusick ($5.4M) and Joey Estes ($2.6M)

Atlanta boldly decided to move on from Freddie Freeman by making a big trade for Olson and quickly extending him. Olson is four and a half years younger than Freeman, but obviously doesn't have the same track record. It is going to be fascinating to compare Olson and Freeman’s performance over the next handful of years, as well as the careers of the prospects the Braves parted with.

The decision cost Atlanta four talented young players. Of the four, Pache’s inclusion grabbed the most headlines, as the outfielder used to be one of the best prospects in baseball. But the bat hasn’t developed, and without it, he’s just a Billy Hamilton/Juan Lagares type: useful, but a fourth outfielder on a good team. But like evaluators said of those two, if he hits even a little bit, he’s a star. It’s a gamble for the A’s, and one that a contending team like the Braves couldn’t afford to make.

Langeliers is the true headliner, at least value-wise. He’s a plus defensive catcher with big power and a questionable hit tool. The profile is eerily similar to that of current A’s catcher Sean Murphy, leading to questions of if (or when) the team will trade the Gold Glove winner. Langeliers is nearly MLB-ready, but Cusick and Estes are both a few years off. Cusick has a live arm and is a likely reliever, but could be excellent if he finds a way to stick in the rotation. Estes has a good chance to be a back-end arm.

March 13: New York Yankees acquire 3B Josh Donaldson (-$19.1M), SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($8.5M) and C Ben Rortvedt ($2.6M) from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for 3B Gio Urshela ($3.2M) and C Gary Sanchez ($0.0M)

This was New York’s big move of the offseason, as they chose to sit out a historically great class of free agent shortstops and instead make this creative trade to rework the left side of their infield. Kiner-Falefa has a great glove and a passable, if not quite league average, bat. Once the Yankees’ top shortstop prospects are ready, he’ll be able to easily transition into a utility role.

But the prize, despite his negative value, is Donaldson. The former MVP is still a solidly above average hitter and, by most defensive metrics (UZR doesn’t like him), remains a slightly above average defender at the hot corner. Still, his age and injury history keep his field value below the $50M he is owed over the next three years.

Rortvedt is part of the Yankees new budget approach behind the plate, prioritizing defense over Sanchez’s flashes of offensive prowess. This is an interesting challenge trade at every position involved, especially knowing that the Twins used the money saved in this deal to sign Carlos Correa.

Defensively, Urshela is Donaldson’s opposite. UZR likes him, and he passes the eye test with more than his fair share of flashy plays, but OAA and DRS aren’t fans. His bat projects to be about league average. He has two years of control remaining.

Sanchez was a non-tender candidate due to his shaky defense and inconsistent bat. The Yankees grew tired of him as an everyday catcher, but for the Twins, he’ll back up a good defender in Ryan Jeffers and spend some time at DH.

This deal was rejected by the model, -$8.0M heading to New York and $3.2M going to Minnesota. But part of that is likely because our model is not team-specific; it attempts to measure how the average team would value each player. The Yankees, obviously, are not the average team, and it is easier for them to take on a contract like Donaldson’s. For the Twins, he was making it difficult to make other moves. So perhaps his -$19.1M isn’t quite that low to New York. Additionally, public projections have Donaldson aging quite poorly. The Yankees likely think much higher of him.

March 13: Minnesota Twins acquire RHPs Sonny Gray ($28.3M) and Francisco Peguero ($0.1M) from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for RHP Chase Petty ($5.4M)

We’re still scratching our heads about this one. Though Gray’s ERA was a bit inflated in 2021, his peripherals were fine. He’s projected for roughly 2.5 WAR in 2022, and 5.0 over the two years left on his deal. He’ll earn an affordable $22.2M. We feel good about his $28.3M value, especially given the lack of good starting pitching available after the lockout.

Some evaluators really like Chase Petty. He was Minnesota’s 2021 first-round pick, and he can hit triple-digits with his fastball. But at the end of the day, he’s a high school pitcher, the most volatile class of prospect in baseball. The success rate on first-round high school arms over the past handful of years is not good. No matter how much you like Petty specifically, you have to completely ignore that history to bump his value to $15M-$20M, let alone Gray’s $28.3M.

This deal was, obviously, rejected by our model. We feel comfortable saying the Reds made a poor trade motivated largely by their desire to move Gray’s contract.

March 12: New York Mets acquire RHP Chris Bassitt ($17.0M) from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHPs JT Ginn ($10.3M) and Adam Oller ($0.7M)

This deal confirmed to us that we needed to make adjustments for the Qualifying Offer situation described in the Manaea blurb. We were conservative with model adjustments coming out of the lockout, but we moved quickly on this one and it seems to have worked. Removing Bassitt’s added draft pick value, he drops to $13.0M and this deal is accepted by the model.

At the time, Bassitt rounded out a fearsome Mets rotation, but with Jacob deGrom’s spring injury, he becomes an essential contributor. Luckily for the Mets, Bassitt has been durable and effective the last few years. ERA estimators don’t quite believe his 3.15 mark from last year (or his 2.29 mark in 2020) but he’s still a solid mid-rotation arm. He’s in his last year of team control, and while his salary hasn’t yet been determined, it was originally estimated at $8.8M (which is the number used for his value figures above).

March 12: Texas Rangers acquire C Mitch Garver ($10.9M) from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for SS Isisah Kiner-Falefa ($8.5M) and RHP Ronny Henriquez ($1.4M)

It felt great to start the post-lockout offseason with a deal that lined up perfectly. At the time, Kiner-Falefa looked like Minnesota’s replacement at shortstop for Andrelton Simmons, and maybe that was the plan at the time. But now we know they would go on to flip IKF to the Yankees and sign Correa instead. Henriquez is a live arm, adding to an impressive collection of Twins pitching prospects.

With this move, the Rangers continued their aggressive pre-lockout shopping spree by adding a top catcher in Garver. He’s had some trouble staying on the field, but some of his injuries have been fluky, and when healthy he’s a good pitch framer and a scary power bat.

December 1: Milwaukee Brewers acquire OF Hunter Renfroe ($1.6M) from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (-$12.8M) and IFs David Hamilton ($5.4M) and Alex Binelas ($4.9M)

We’re into the pre-lockout moves, on which the write-ups will be brief. This deal was accepted by the model as a moderate overpay by the Red Sox ($1.6M to Milwaukee, -$2.5M to Boston). But prospect updates have since decreased Binelas to $3.0M and Hamilton to $3.3M, at which point it would have been declined.

This one came barely before the transaction freeze, leaving us to wonder if it was rushed to get in to beat the buzzer. The Brewers added some much-needed offense in Renfroe, while the Red Sox took on Bradley’s underwater contract to add the two prospects. Familiarity with Bradley in Boston and belief in at least a partial rebound likely factored in here.

November 30: San Diego Padres acquire C Jorge Alfaro ($0.7M) from the Miami Marlins in exchange for PTBNL or cash (unknown)

We still don’t know the PTBNL/cash component here, but given Alfaro’s low value it’s very likely to be accepted. This is a case of Preller acquiring a former top prospect from his days with the Texas Rangers.

November 30: Miami Marlins acquire IF Joey Wendle ($4.4M) from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for OF Kameron Misner ($7.0M)

This was accepted as a minor overpay by Miami. Wendle received a harsh positional adjustment as a glove-first primary second baseman, but he’s been slightly underrated as a hitter and he’ll play third base for Miami.

November 29: Miami Marlins acquire C Jacob Stallings ($8.8M) from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHPs Zach Thompson ($5.9M) and Kyle Nicolas ($1.7M) and OF Connor Scott

Miami finally gets their catcher in Stallings, a great defender who can hold his own at the plate. But at 32, Stallings will likely profile as more of a backup at some point within the next few years. The Pirates add an interesting late-blooming arm in Thompson as well as a couple more prospects to their very deep far.

November 27: Seattle Mariners acquire UT Adam Frazier ($0.8M) from the San Diego Padres in exchange for OF Corey Rosier ($1.4M) and LHP Ray Kerr ($0.6M)

Frazier no longer had a natural home on San Diego’s roster, nor did his lofty arbitration estimate of $7.2M. Additionally, his poor second half tanked his value. The Mariners, ready to compete, had an opening at second base and Frazier only cost them money and a pair of middling prospects.

November 26: Arizona Diamondbacks acquire OF Jordan Luplow ($1.1M) from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 2B Ronny Simon ($0.2M)

November 22: Texas Rangers acquire OF Billy McKinney ($0.0M) and IF Zach Reks ($1.5M) from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations (unknown)

November 22: Atlanta Braves acquire RHP Jay Jackson ($0.0M) from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for cash considerations (unknown)

November 22: Chicago Cubs acquire OF Harold Ramirez ($0.4M) from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for cash considerations (unknown)

November 22: Milwaukee Brewers acquire RHP J.C. Mejia ($0.0M) from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for cash considerations (unknown)

November 22: Los Angeles Angels acquire UT Tyler Wade ($0.3M) from the New York Yankees in exchange for cash considerations (unknown)

November 19: Philadelphia Phillies acquire C Garrett Stubbs ($0.2M) from the Houston Astros in exchange for OF Logan Cerny ($1.0M)

November 19: Cleveland Guardians acquire RHP Tobias Myers ($0.8M) from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for IF Junior Caminero ($0.7M)

November 19: Philadelphia Phillies acquire RHP Nick Nelson ($0.0M) and C Donny Sands ($1.1M) from the New York Yankees in exchange for LHP Joel Valdez ($0.7M) and 1B TJ Rumfield ($0.2M)

November 19: Oakland Athletics acquire RHP Brent Honeywell ($0.7M) from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for cash considerations (unknown)

November 13: Milwaukee Brewers acquire IF Mike Brosseau ($1.6M) from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for RHP Evan Reifert ($0.5M)

These minor deals were all accepted by the model. They were all related to 40-man decisions made around the non-tender deadline and the Rule 5 protection deadline (though the Rule 5 Draft was ultimately canceled).

November 3: Detroit Tigers acquire C Tucker Barnhart ($0.0M) from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for IF Nick Quintana ($2.5M)

This was our first indication that the Reds would be cutting costs, though this was defensible as rookie Tyler Stephenson leapfrogged Barnhart on the depth chart last year. This was accepted as a minor over pay by Detroit, but prospect updates have dropped Quintana’s value to $1.6M, bringing this one even closer.

About the Author