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Tasty Talk: Grade the Deal

WELCOME, Ball Boys and GIRLS! We did it; we made it through the most prolonged work stoppage in MLB History. MLB pushed opening day back, and we will still get 162 day season! The free agency still hasn't taken off; at the time of writing this, Freddie Freeman, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, Seiya Suzuki, among others, are still mulling offers.

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You can view all of the previous Justify That Contract rounds by clicking here.

Let's dive into what happened around the MLB this week.

  • The Blue Jays and the Athletics made a deal sending 3B Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays. The Athletics will get P Gunnar Hoglund(NO4), Zach Logue(No), and Kirby Sneed, as well as SS Kevin Smith(NO9). The numbers by the name were their rankings Jay's system as prospects.

The deal for me on both sides gets an A. The Jays needed to solidify the INF after missing out on Freeman, and I bet they realized that Vlad Jr was going to move back. So they decided to bring in the 2nd best defensive 3B behind Arenado into town. I love the move A.

  • The Rockies were the highest bidder for 3B Kris Bryant, signing him to a 7yr, $182MM deal.

Money talks, a no-trade clause, no opt-outs talks, a new front office, a new regime, and no other stars to compete for attention with all talks to why this deal got done. I don't love the landing spot in the ultra-competitive NL West. However, this is going to be a time will tell deal. B+

  • The Dodgers waited out the market long enough to sign SoCal native 1B Freddie Freeman to a 6yr, $162MM deal.

A+ for the Dodgers, who have not gotten each team's superstar player after they lost to them in October. Fredrick goes to his hometown Dodgers on the deal and will likely win a couple more rings in front of hometown fans. A+.

  • The Cubs and prized Japanese OF Seiya Suzuki agreed to a 5yr, $85MM deal.

It was surprising when the Cubs jumped into the mix for Suzuki, and it worked out in their favor as they cashed in on the next cornerstone of their franchise. I give it an A.

  • OF/DH Kyle Schwwarber, 4yr, $80mil, Phi Phillies

FINALLY! The Phillies brought in another star to complement Harper, Bohm, Realmuto and compete in this very winnable NL East climate. I'm a fan of the signing here and give it an A.

  • LHRP Andrew Chafin, 2yr, $13mil, Det Tigers

For the facial hair being in Detroit now is fantastic. However, the Tigers needed a veteran pen piece, and Chafin is exemplary and should help continue to bring the Tigers back into contention in the NL Central. B- for the Tigers.

  • LHP Steven Brault, 1yr, $, Chi Cubs

The Cubs needed to add to the pen and did in Brault. C+ for the deal.

  • OF Eddie Rosario, 2yr + club opt $18MM, Atl Braves.

Bring him on the back! Great move on the Braves' part to bring Rosario back in the house after the Pache trade and the update on Acuna being out of the OF mix till late May. Great move, great price A- overall on the deal.

  • The Royals traded LHP Mike Minor and cash to the Reds in exchange for LHRP Amir Garret. This means Javy Baez and Garret are back together in the same division. Haha, nice.

I love the move to bring Baez and Garret back together in the division. A+

  • The Royals brought him home. RHP Zack Greinke returns to KC on a 1yr, $13MM deal.

YES! A reunion for the ages for the future Hall of Famer and the Royals should still be competitive and playing for the middle ground and giving other teams at least a minor headache. A+ for the reunion move very classily.

  • RHRP David Robertson, 1yr, $3.5MM, Chi Cubs

More pen pieces for the Cubs; this one is better than the previous one. B-

  • INF Donovan Solano, 1yr, $4.5MM, Cin Reds

The Reds needed to bring in bodies to still put a decent product on the field with a 2020 silver slugger; Solano gets a starting job in the NL, which is familiar. B-

  • INF Matt Duffy, 1yr, $1.5MM, LA Angels

Good quality depth signing for the Angels here. Could you give me a C+ here?

  • OF Joc Pederson, 1yr, $6MM, SF Giants

Yet another hometime signings at Pederson grew up about an hour away from SF in Palo Alto. Between platooning and DH, the Giants got a guy who can win and is very familiar with the NL West. A- is the grade.

  • LHP Daniel Norris, 1yr, $, Chi Cubs

Coming off of an ugly 2021 season, the Cubs got a valued piece who they hope rebounds if not easy to cut losses. C is the gade.

  • LHP Matthew Boyd, 1yr, $5.2MM, SF Giants

The Giants did it again, getting another high upside piece if he buys into the system and shows well enough to score a more important deal. I love the deal here, and give me a B/B+

  • INF Jonathan Villar, 1yr + mutual opt, $6MM, Chi Cubs.

Another INF signing for the Cubs after signing Simmons days ago. Another good deal for the team is slowly putting together what could be a decent product to watch as they mesh.

  • RHRP Archie Bradley, 1yr, $3.75MM, LA Angels.

The Angels pen was desperate for more pieces to back up starters last year, and they added Bradley to pitch in front of Iglesias and help the last game situations. Give me a B- for a deal here.

  • OF Corey Dickerson, 1yr, $5MM, Stl Cardinals

We haven't seen the Cardinal's name much because they don't need much as most of this team returns from last season. Dickerson is an excellent LHH compliment to the RHH Cardinals lineup. I give the deal a B-

  • 1B/OF Colin Moran, 1yr, $1MM, Cin Reds

Again, the Red needs at least decent players because of the lottery and can't go full tank mode. Moran should be a decent part of the Red's depth, and I give the deal a C.

  • RHRP Ryan Tepera, 2yr, $14MM, LA Angles

With Tepera now in a house with Bradley and Iglesias and Loup, the Angels pen will give opponents headaches, and it looks like the Angels aren't wasting any more of Trout's career. I give the deal B.

  • RHRP Mychal Givens, 1yr + mutual option, $5MM, Chi Cubs

The Cubs added more talent and depth to the pen, which was greatly needed to be relevant. Suddenly the Cubs pen looks legit enough to win some games. I give the deal a C+.

  • RHP Danny Duffy, 1yr +club option, $, LA Dodgers

The LA Native stays home after a trade last season from KC; Duffy is expected back in June and should be a pivotal contributor to the Dodgers rotation/pen in the 2nd half. Excellent pickup, B-.

  • RHP Garrett Richards, yr, $MM, Tex Rangers

When a deal happens right as you finish up writing about the other deals, I like the deal for the Rangers; however, with all their stars, I wish they would go and land a better starting pitcher. However, overall C is what I give the deal.

Other Rumblings from around the MLB:

-Red Sox ace Chris Sale is expected to miss 3-6 months to recover from a stress fracture in his rib cage.

-Fernanado Tatis Jr had wrist surgery. Timetable for recovery hasn't been released.

-The Blue Jays aren't done yet as they have talked to the Guardians about Jose Ramirez with a plan to move him to 2B if a deal gets done.

-Trevor Story is one of the biggest names left unsigned at this point. The Red Sox have their eye on him as a fit at 2B.

-OF/DH Jorge Soler's market has picked up steam as the Braves, Padres, Rockies, and Marlins are in on him.

-OF/DH Nick Castellanos's market is still likely between the Phillies and Marlins.

-The MLB has extended Trevor Bauers leave through April 16th; this ensures he misses at least the first week of the season.


The extra-inning ghost runner is "trending back toward reality for the 2022 season," reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Heyman adds that MLB has yet to call on reinstating the rule but is listening to team managers who want to "avoid testing arms" and thus would favor the rule's reinstatement after a truncated spring camp.

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