Before the lockdown, players loaded on Wednesday as the major league teams unlocked their coffers for an unprecedented amount of spending.
Baseball league clubs pledged to pay a record $1.4 billion in wages in a single day on Wednesday, hours before the league’s lockdown of players after 11:59 p.m. expired. of the sport’s collective bargaining agreement.
Six nine-figure contracts have been awarded, including two from Texas Rangers – reserve Corey Seager gets $325 million over 10 years and quarterback Marcus Semien will earn $175 million over seven years.
The Detroit Tigers get quarterback Javier Baez for $140 million, a six-year contract, ace Max Scherzer is guaranteed $130 million over three years from the New York Mets, and right-hander Kevin Gausman lands in the Toronto Blue Jays with the Toronto Blue Jays. price of 110 million dollars for many years. Twins hub operator Byron Buxton has also completed a seven-year, $100 million contract to stay in Minnesota.
This is the first time teams have spent more than $1 billion in a single day.
“This is really exciting,” says Scherzer. “I’m a fan of the game and to see people sign their autographs right now, to actually watch the teams compete in this trendy fashion, it’s refreshing because we’ve seen the icing on the cake. in the past few competitions.
The 27 deals announced Wednesday total $1,423,250,000, part of about $2 billion in new contracts delivered since the end of the World Series before the expiration of the CBA.
“This year was a situation where we got some calls early and were interested in what we were asking for,” said Semien, a freelance agent for the second year in a row. “It becomes easier to narrow down a decision. What it presents is an opportunity to build something.”
The league and the federation are likely to lead to a protracted labor dispute after the main league average salary fell on opening day 2021 for the fourth consecutive season.
Players and teams alike may have feared the chaos of a limited free dealer window in the spring if the lockout was that long. That pushes agents, general managers and owners to act before listings are frozen.
“It’s 50-50,” Baez said. “We don’t know what will happen when the deadline comes. I’m just sure I want to be with one of the best teams.”
Teams will not be able to communicate with their players during the downtime.
“We talked about that yesterday. It’s funny when you sign it and the next day you’re closed,” Seager said. “They answered me in advance. I knew what to expect from them. They knew what to expect from me. They knew I would prepare. They knew I wanted to prepare.”
However, a lot of big names are still on the board. Diving star Carlos Correa, first substitute Freddie Freeman, third substitute Kris Bryant, short-term substitute Trevor Story and midfielder Nick Castellanos remain frees and may have to wait until spring or later to find a home.
Right-hand man Nick Martinez was close to reaching an agreement with the San Diego Padres but did not complete it before the owner locked the players, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no agreement was reached.
Martinez, who has played for Japan for the past four seasons, remains a free agent. So did right-back Jordan Lyles, who had a deal with Baltimore but couldn’t complete fitness in time.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander is still technically on the market despite agreeing to a $25 million, one-year contract with a 25 million conditional player option dollars in the second year to return to Houston more than two weeks ago. The Astros never announced that they had completed his contract.
Based on estimates of the remaining unsigned players, MLB predicts season spending will be around $3 billion on the all-star free agency class, about $700 million more than the previous high. there. Out of 188 free agents, 46 agreed to trade before the expiration of the CBA.
Among other transactions completed on Wednesday:
- RHP Marcus Stroman for the Chicago Cubs, $71 million over three years.
- OF/INF Chris Taylor returns to Los Angeles Dodgers, $60 million over 4 years.
- RHP Raisel Iglesias to stay with Los Angeles Angels, $58 million for four years.
- RHP Jon Gray to Texas, $56 million in 4 years.
- OF Avisail Garcia to Miami, $53 million over four years.
- Alex Wood Film Festival to San Francisco, $25 million in two years.
- INF Eduardo Escobar to New York Mets, $20 million over two years.
- INF/OF Leury Garcia for the Chicago White Sox, $16.5 million over three years.
- C Yan Gomes to Chicago Cubs, $13 million over two years.
- RHP Yimi Garcia to Toronto, $11 million over two years.
- James Paxton Film Festival to Boston, 10 million USD over a year
- RHP Corey Knebel to Philadelphia, $10 million for a year.
- RHP Corey Kluber to Tampa Bay, $8 million for a year.
- RHP Andres Munoz with Seattle, $7.5 million over four years.
- RHP Luis Garcia with San Diego, $7 million over two years.
- C Roberto Perez to Pittsburgh, $5 million for a year.
- RHP Dylan Bundy to Minnesota, $5 million for a year.
- Rich Hill Film Festival to Boston, 5 million USD for a year.
- C Kevin Plawecki with Boston, $2.25 million for a year.
- OF Michael Hermosillo to the Chicago Cubs for a year with a salary of $600,000 in majors and $180,000 in undisclosed wages.
- INF Johan Camargo to Philadelphia for $1.4 million in a year.
AP baseball writer Ronald Blum contributed to this story