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, Anthony Rizzo, 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 jump into the Friday 3/11 signings.
If you are anything like me and saw the first notification of a player signing, then you said, "WHO?"
No, it wasn't manager David Ross who agreed to an extension to stay the Cubs manager through 2024 with an option for 2025
RHP Drew VerHagen signed a two-year pact for $5.5mil after nearly two years in Japan; the now 31yo gets another shot in the MLB. This deal is Justified, and I give the deal a C+ with B- upside.
LHP Martin Perez, 1yr, $4mm Texas Rangers.
Back in Texas, where he spent seven years of his career. I don't hate the signing, the price, the ability to work out of the rotation and pen. I'm a fan and give this deal a C+ and justify it.
LHP Carlos Rodon, 2yr, $44mm, SF Giants
After losing Gausman to the Blue Jays, the Giants needed to add to their rotation post-lockout, and for $22mil on a team in contention for the NL West, I can't so no to this deal. The deal gets an A, and the contract is justified.
LHP Clayton Kershaw, 1yr, $17mm, LA Dodgers
Some thought that Kershaw would retire; others thought he would take a trip to Texas and play for the hometown Rangers. However, this deal signals a farewell, run-it back, and let's try to get you one more. The money is good, a discount even for Kershaw, and I give the deal a B and justify.
SS Andrelton Simmons, 1yr, $4mm, CH Cubs
Not the SS that Cubs fans thought they were going to land. Simmons is good enough and is a bridge guy for sure and good enough, honestly. The deal gets a C+ because of the extreme value they got for Simmons.
RHP Andrew Vasquez, 1yr, $, Tor Blue Jays
I mean, I don't understand this deal—a guy with 12 MLB appearances over three seasons. I don't get it, and for that reason alone, an MLB deal gets the first D of the new year.
Rumors from Friday
-Albert Pujols- Interest from the Rockies, Mariners, Cardinals
-The Braves were talking to Oakland about Matt Olson along with the NYY, Rangers
-The Dodgers made Freeman an aggressive offer.
-INF Jonathan Villar drew interest from the Blue Jays, Cubs, Red Sox, and Dodgers.
-OF Seiya Suzuki has his offers piling up as of Friday. Mariners, Giants, Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox, Padres are all in the mix.