Author: Aaron Gleeman

Max Scherzer Getty

Breaking down the offseason’s biggest free agent contracts


Now that James Shields is off the board, signing a four-year deal with the Padres said to be worth around $75 million, we have a clear picture of all the major free agent spending that went on this offseason.

First, here’s how our own Matthew Pouliot ranked this offseason’s free agents in terms of how much he expected them to be desired by teams way back on October 31:

1. Max Scherzer
2. Jon Lester
3. Yasmany Tomas
4. Hanley Ramirez
5. James Shields
6. Pablo Sandoval
7. Russell Martin
8. Victor Martinez
9. Nelson Cruz
10. Chase Headley
11. Ervin Santana

And here’s how this offseason’s free agents rank in terms of actual contract values received:

1. Max Scherzer, $210 million
2. Jon Lester, $155 million
3. Pablo Sandoval, $95 million
4. Hanley Ramirez, $88 million
5. Russell Martin, $82 million
6. James Shields, ~$75 million
7. Yasmany Tomas, $68 million
8. Victor Martinez, $68 million
9. Nelson Cruz, $57 million
10. Ervin Santana, $55 million
11. Chase Headley, $52 million

Those are the 11 free agents who topped $50 million. Pouliot’s top 11 ended up being the same as the actual top 11, although there were some minor changes in the order.

Still, despite having to wait until February 8 and despite all kinds of reports about teams not valuing him as much as everyone expected, Shields ended up more or less where Poulipt predicted and got significantly more money than every other free agent pitcher except for Scherzer and Lester.

Phillies “could move” Cliff Lee during spring training

cliff lee getty

Jayson Stark of spoke to an unnamed executive who says the Phillies “could move” left-hander Cliff Lee as soon as spring training. If he’s healthy, of course.

Lee has been throwing off a mound for a while now and, barring any setbacks, he’s expected to be fully healthy for the start of camp. He’s owed $25 million this season and $27.5 million or a $12 million buyout for 2016, so obviously any interested teams will need to be convinced that he’s over the arm problems that ended his 2014 early.

Before being shut down the former Cy Young winner started 13 games with a 3.65 ERA and 72/12 K/BB ratio in 81 innings, looking more or less like his usual self at age 35.

Royals, Danny Duffy avoid arbitration with one-year deal

Danny Duffy

Left-hander Danny Duffy has avoided arbitration with the Royals, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2.425 million.

He requested $3 million and the Royals countered at $1.75 million.

Duffy has thrived coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, posting a 2.44 ERA in 174 total innings since going under the knife in 2012. That includes a 2.53 ERA in 149 innings last season spent mostly as a starter, but the 26-year-old missed the playoffs with a rib injury.

He’ll be a full-time member of Kansas City’s rotation this season.