Baltimore made one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offers to three departing free agents and catcher Matt Wieters accepted, but first baseman Chris Davis and left-hander Wei-Yin Chen have declined.
That means Davis and Chen are both outright free agents and if they sign elsewhere the Orioles will receive a draft pick as compensation.
Davis’ projected market varies wildly depending on who you listen to–Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com predicted he’ll get $182 million, which seems insane to me–but he figures to have enough interested suitors that forfeiting a draft pick to sign him won’t scare anyone off.
Chen could see his market somewhat limited by the attached draft pick compensation, although as a 30-year-old lefty with a 3.44 ERA in 377 innings during the past two seasons he shouldn’t have trouble securing a sizable multi-year deal.
Fox 26’s Mark Berman reports that the Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman have agreed to $100 million contract extension. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart confirms a deal has been reached and adds that the deal is actually for five years, beginning after the 2019 season. The contract will cover all three of Bregman’s arbitration years and two years of would-be free agency.
Bregman, who turns 25 years old later this month, has quickly become one of the best third basemen in baseball. Across parts of three seasons, he has hit .282/.366/.500 with 58 home runs, 208 RBI, 224 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. FanGraphs credited him with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tied with Francisco Lindor and Christian Yelich for the fourth-best mark among position players in baseball, trailing only Mookie Betts (10.4), Mike Trout (9.8), and José Ramírez (8.0).
This is obviously a smart move for the Astros, as this contract extension will secure Bregman’s age 25-30 seasons. With second baseman José Altuve also locked up through 2024, and presumed extensions to come for Carlos Correa and possibly Gerrit Cole and George Springer, the Astros have a core that they can build around for years to come.