Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that Wade Davis has agreed to a three-year, $52 million deal with the Colorado Rockies. There’s also a fourth-year vesting option that could make the deal worth $66 million. The guaranteed average of $17.33 million is the highest per-year salary ever for a relief pitcher, surpassing the $15 million a year the Yankees are paying Aroldis Chapman.
Davis, 32, saved 32 games for the Cubs in 2017, posting a 2.30 ERA and a 79/28 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings. He spent the previous four seasons with the Kansas City Royals, helping them to a World Series title in 2015, when he posted an astounding 0.94 ERA in 69 games out of the pen. Davis will take the place of his former Royals teammate Greg Holland, who closed for the Rockies in 2017 but who is now a free agent.
The Cubs had made Davis a qualifying offer, but he rejected it, meaning that the Rockies will send Chicago a draft pick as compensation.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.