Free agent frenzy sends familiar faces to new places in MLB

Many familiar faces with impressive resumes are in new places after one of major league baseball’s craziest free agent sprees.

Max Scherzer and Corey Seager got mega deals before lockdown. Freddie Freeman had to wait until spring training to get his lucrative contract. Trevor Story skipped leagues and changed positions. Nick Castellanos changed the red stripes.

Kris Bryant remained in the NL West. Carlos Correa remained in the American League.

Other stars have found themselves with new teams through trades. Matt Chapman went from the A’s to the Blue Jays. The Marines got outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suarez from the Reds. Oakland also traded Matt Olson, sending him to the Braves. The Yankees got Josh Donaldson from the Twins.

Fans may have to pull out their programs to go along with those cold beers, hot dogs, and Cracker Jack to find out who ended up where.

A look at some of the many movements:

MAX SCHERZER: The three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star has returned to Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, signing a three-year, $130 million contract with the New York Mets. He is coming off a 15-4, 2.46 ERA season split between Washington and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

COREY SEAGER: The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2020 World Series MVP got the richest deal, a 10-year, $325 million deal to leave the Dodgers for the Texas Rangers. He joined Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien in Texas. Semien, who hit 45 home runs for Toronto last year, was signed to a seven-year, $175 million contract by the Rangers hours before Seager on Dec. 1.

FREDDIE FREEMAN: The 2020 NL MVP is out of Atlanta after helping the Braves win the World Series, returning home to play for the Dodgers, who gave him $162 million on a six-year deal. Freeman’s decision to leave came after the Braves acquired first baseman Matt Olson from Oakland.

TREVOR STORY: A four-time Colorado All-Star shortstop, Story signed a six-year, $140 million contract with Boston to play second base. He joins shortstop Xander Bogaerts to form a powerful midfielder.

KRIS BRYANT: The Rockies signed the versatile 2016 NL MVP, giving him a seven-year, $182 million contract. Bryant was traded from the Cubs to the Giants last season after playing in his fourth All-Star Game.

ROBBIE RAY: After winning the AL Cy Young Award in Toronto, the southpaw landed a five-year, $115 million contract from Seattle.

CARLOS CORREA: Two-time All-Star shortstop and 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, Correa left Houston for Minnesota, earning a three-year, $105.3 million contract. But Correa can step down after the 2022 and 2023 seasons to become a free agent again.

NICK CASTELLANOS: The 2021 All-Star outfielder was awarded a five-year, $100 million contract from the Phillies after a career season in Cincinnati. Castellanos joined slugger Kyle Schwarber, who received $79 million over four years from Philadelphia.

KENLEY JANSEN: The longtime Dodgers closer and three-time All-Star with 350 career saves have joined defending champion Braves on a one-year, $18 million deal.

JORGE SOLER: The 2021 World Series MVP stayed in eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, signing a three-year, $36 million contract with the Marlins. Soler led the AL with 48 homers in 2019 for Kansas City.

NELSON CRUZ: The veteran designated hitter is back in the NL where he spent his first season in 2005 with Milwaukee. The Nationals gave Cruz, 41, a $12 million salary for this year, and the deal includes a $16 million mutual option for 2023 with a $3 million buyout.

KEVIN GAUSMAN: The third time was a charm for the Blue Jays, who signed Gausman away from San Francisco to a five-year, $110 million deal. The right-hander had rejected free agent offers from Toronto in each of the previous two offseasons.

STARLING MARTE: The Mets gave Marte $78 million for four years to be their center fielder. He led the majors in stolen bases last year, but was slowed this spring by an oblique injury. Their big pre-lockout success also included signing infielder Eduardo Escobar to a two-year, $20 million deal and gifting outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha $26.5 million on two years with a club option.

JAVIER BÁEZ: The All-Star and Gold Glove double shortstop signed a six-year, $140 million contract with Detroit before the lockout. He finished last season with the Mets on a trade from the Cubs.


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