Spring is here, and soon the warm weather and the official start of the Major League Baseball season will be here. The offseason was a little longer this year because of the lockout, so some of the trades and signings that happened before and after might have gone unnoticed.
Here’s a look at the latest free agent signings and trades involving New York baseball teams entering the 2022 season.
Max Scherzer is entering his 15th MLB season but doesn’t look rusty yet. He posted a combined 15-4 record between the National and Dodgers last season and won 3 Cy Young Awards, threw 2 no-hitters (the Mets have one in franchise history) and owns a World Series ring.
Scherzer signed with the Mets for 3 years, $130,000.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson was acquired from Minnesota by the Yankees on March 13, along with compatriot Isiah Kener-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt. The deal was sad for some fans because despite the arrival of a former MVP in Donaldson, New York fired some fan favorites in Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez.
Corey Kluber is leaving the Big Apple after just one season at Pinstripes. Last May, he threw the 12th no-hitter in Yankees history, but then got injured and missed about half the season with a shoulder injury. He finished 5-3 in 16 starts and 80.0 innings pitched. Kluber signed a one-year, $8 million deal with AL rival East Rays.
Javier Baez only spent two months as the Met, but there were some memorable ups and downs. A couple of long runs to garner fan support were rinsed off in Flushing when fans gave a thumbs-down gesture in response to the typical tough crowds New York is known for. Owner Steve Cohen called it “unacceptable,” so we shouldn’t be surprised the strike-prone slugger didn’t have a recall campaign. Baez signed a 6-year, $140 million contract with Detriot.
His .289 career average over a decade in the Bigs shows he’s a consistent contact hitter with speed, and he plays center field. Starling Marte has spent much of his career in Pittsburgh, but has bounced back over the past two seasons. He lands with the Mets for four years, $78 million.
Anthony Rizzo has spent the last decade with the Cubbies and helped them end the team’s 100+ year streak without winning a World Series. He joined the Yankees amid the franchise face sale in Chicago and will likely place a lot of baseballs on Yankee Stadium’s short porch on the right. Didn’t have great numbers in 49 games to win the Yanks last season, hitting 8 HR and leading in 21. He resigned for 2 years, $32 million.
What happened to Clint Frazier? His numbers weren’t great but there was hope for a future in New York. After leaving a game due to dizziness mid-season, Frazier never played with the big league club again. He was eventually released by the Yankees after the season and signed to a $1.5 million contract to play with the Cubs.
Noah, say it’s not so-ugh. His rookie campaign came during the Mets’ 2015 World Series run and Thor’s future in Flushing seemed to be brighter than his blonde hair. After a great season for him personally in 2016 (14-9, 2.60 ERA), he left New York with fans hoping for more. Syndergaard signs with the Dodgers for 1 year, $21 million.
In one season and one change with the Mets, Marcus Stroman was 14-15. Dazzling at times but inconsistent throughout. The Mets will miss his strong arm as he signs a 3-year, $71 million contract with the Cubs.
Jeurys Familia loved to make them sweat. Of course, I’m referring to Mets fans, not opposing hitters. Known for struggling to find the strike zone, before magically regaining his composure to secure the save (most of the time), Familia could definitely make it interesting. He has made 124 of his 125 career saves with the Mets, including 94 combined between 2015 and 2016. This Mets fan is saddened to see him go, especially to division rival Philadelphia. But it’s reassuring to know he’ll likely be responsible for a few Mets rallies in 2022.
The Mets made a trade to acquire Chris Bassitt from the Oakland A’s. New York gave up two prospects for a guy who spent his 20s bouncing between the major and minor leagues. However, the past three seasons have all been with Oakland, combining to go 27-11 since 2019. The Mets have high hopes of the 33-year-old Bassitt being another bullet behind Jacob deGrom and Scherzer.
Rougned Odor was a Yankee for 102 games last season. While he only hit .202, he hit 15 home runs. The beard is back already after Odor signed a one-year contract with Baltimore.
Joely Rodriguez appeared in 21 games after coming from Texas in the 2021 season. He went 19.0 innings with an under-3 ERA. He signed for a year and $2 million to stay in the stripes.
Andrew Heaney came to the Yankees via a trade from Angeles last July. He was LA’s opening day starter and started for the Yankees in their Field of Dreams game against the White Sox. With New York, he was 2-2 overall, finishing with an overall ERA of 7.32 – or roughly what a gallon of gas costs these days in Los Angeles. Heaney signed for one year and $8.5 million with the Dodgers.
Another of the many New York free agents who seem to have landed in Chicago. Jonathan Villar played for six teams in his nine seasons. After a season in New York where he had a lot of playing time with the suspension of Robinson Cano, Villar left for the Cubbies. Make only seven teams in ten years.
Kevin Pillar is a brave player who has always earned the respect of Mets fans after taking a fastball in the face and then shaking it. Intrepid. If he’s looking for a good plastic surgeon, he’ll find plenty after signing a deal with the Dodgers to play in Los Angeles.
Mark Canha. WHO? He’s a free agent from Oakland. That might be all Mets owner Steve Cohen needed to hear. The deal for the 32-year-old is 2 years, 26.5 million. His best year so far came in 2019, when he hit 26 homers in 126 games and a .273 batting average.
Adam Ottavino is now 36, but the Mets are hoping he can still be a reliable replacement. After two seasons with the Yankees, he was in the Boston bullpen last year. In 69 appearances, all in relief, he was 7-3 with a 4.21 ERA.
Brett Gardner is a beloved Yankee. Against all odds, it is reliable and it pushes. He spent all 14 seasons with the Bronx Bombers. He is currently unsigned with the NY Post, reporting that AL rival Toronto may be interested.
Michael Conforto has shown enormous potential, but it doesn’t look like he’ll realize it with the Mets. Currently an unsigned free agent, Conforto has strong campaigns in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Injuries and inconsistencies since are the reasons why he is still unsigned with all current MLB camps.
Dellin Betances underwent season-ending surgery in his first season with the Mets. This after building a reputation as a bull arm with the Crosstown Yankees. Betances is currently unsigned.
(this list was compiled in part by data compiled by spotrac)
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