Jacob DeGrom signs with the Texas Rangers

The first huge domino of free agency has fallen, as Jacob DeGrom has signed with the… Texas Rangers? What?

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the 34-year-old has signed a five-year, $185,000,000 contract with the Toronto Blue Jays son.

BREAKING: Right-hander Jacob deGrom has signed a five-year, $185 million contract with the Texas Rangers, sources tell ESPN. Physical is passed. Deal is done. Includes conditional sixth-year option that would take total deal to $222 million. Full no-trade clause. A massive haul.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 3, 2022

 
This sets a trend of the Rangers committing serious money to free agents, as they signed Corey Seager to a 10-year, $325,000,000 contract and Marcus Semien to a $175,000,000 contract over seven seasons before the 2022 season.
Last season, DeGrom finished with a 3.08 ERA and 2.13 FIP in 64.1 innings pitched. He also amassed an insane 42.7 K% and an incredibly low 3.3 BB%. However, injuries have been a concern for our generation’s best pitcher, as he’s been limited to only 26 starts the past two seasons. Usually, a starter appears in around 32 games if fully healthy.
He’s also on the wrong side of 30, so they’ll always be a concern there. However, teams have been committing serious money to older pitchers still performing excellently.. For example, the Mets signed Max Scherzer to a 3-year, $130,000,000 contract before the 2022 season when he was 37 years old.
Furthermore, reigning American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is looking for a big payday, like Max Scherzer’s the season prior. Verlander will be 40 years old before the season starts.
What about the rest of the Texas Rangers pitching st …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Ross Stripling was ranked No. 28 on Keith Law’s Top-50 MLB Free Agents list

The Athletic released Keith Law’s Top-50 MLB Free Agents list for the 2022-23 off-season and the Toronto Blue Jays’ lone impact free agent, Ross Stripling, is ranked at No. 28.

Law said that Stripling found success last season due largely to improved fastball command which led to him cutting down walks and keeping balls in the park. While he might not have success to the tune of a 3.01 ERA over 134 innings again, Law believes that Stripling will continue to bring value as a back-of-the-rotation arm moving forward…
He’s been underpaid for years while he was stuck in the arbitration process, which doesn’t do any favors to pitchers who’ve bounced between starting and relieving, but that’s part of his value to another club – he’s a perfect fifth starter/swingman, especially for a club that believes it has a pitching prospect who might break in during the season.
I wouldn’t go over two years but I’d give him $12 million or so per.
The note about Stripling being the perfect pitcher for a team that has a pitching prospect that might break through is an interesting one for the Blue Jays, as Ricky Tiedemann could certainly be a part of the team’s starting rotation at some point in 2023 after he saw success in Low-A, High-A, and Double-A in 2022.
If the Blue Jays were to qualify Stripling and he accepted, he wo …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Carlos Correa is opting out of his deal with the Twins, adding another star to this winter’s free agent market

Carlos Correa is a free agent again.

According to ESPN, the 28-year-old All-Star will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract with the Minnesota Twins and will hit the open market for the second consecutive winter.
Last year, Correa was one name in a huge list of star infielders who hit free agency at the same time, including Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, and Trevor Story. While those four aforementioned players signed long-term contracts, Correa opted to ink a short-term deal with the Twins with the option that he could soon test the market again when there weren’t as many quality names available at the same position.
Correa’s deal with the Twins was worth $35 million annually for three years with an opt-out after the first and second seasons. He slashed a .291/.366/.467 line with the Twins in 2022 and was worth 5.4 wins above replacement, according to Baseball-Reference. It wasn’t as good as his 2021 season with the Astros in which he was worth 7.1 wins and finished fifth in AL MVP voting, but Correa’s competition in free agency is lighter this time around, as the other two big names out there are Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson.
There was some talk last off-season during the dog days of winter that the Blue Jays co …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

A crowded Leafs blueline means that someone could soon be traded

The 2022 Free Agent Frenzy has only been three days old and the Leafs have made a number of signings already. But besides the addition of Ilya Samsonov, most have been depth additions or fringe players on low-risk deals.
Two more players were given such contracts when the Leafs nabbed Victor Mete and Jordie Benn to identical one-year deals on Thursday night. Regardless of whether they get NHL action or not, it is clear Kyle Dubas wants to ensure his team has its bases covered for each position.
Related:
Leafs add Jordie Benn and Victor Mete as defensive depth
As a by-product of these signings, the Leafs now have eight NHL defensemen under contract along with Rasmus Sandin, who was given a qualifying offer but remains unsigned. Simply put, there are too many bodies on the blueline and something has to give or else someone won’t be getting much playing time.
Surely, this means a trade will soon follow, right?
Let’s start by crossing off the players who are unlikely to be dealt. Morgan Rielly’s new contract is set to kick in and is their best defenceman, he’s not going anywhere. Mark Giordano just signed a two-year deal so it’s unlikely he gets dealt so soon, especially since he provided a ton of value. TJ Brodie has been an integral piece on the blueline for the past two years and is also staying put. And Timothy Liljegren is not getting dealt because he has made impressive strides …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Watch the Daily Faceoff Show Free Agency Special here!

It’s day one of free agency and we’re looking forward to seeing what the Toronto Maple Leafs get up to today.
Earlier, we outlined five bargain-bin free agents that could make sense for the Leafs to sign. You can read that story here.
Will the Leafs take a stab at P.K. Subban? Sam Steel? Curtis Lazar? We don’t expect the Leafs to be extremely active today, but they should be in the market to improve their overall depth with a smart, low-risk signing.
With Jack Campbell expected to join the Oilers and plenty more signings coming down the pipeline already, Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk, along with plenty of guests are here to give you all the info and smart analysis you need!
You can watch the Daily Faceoff Show Free Agency Special livestream here:

Read More

Author: David Quadrelli / The Leafs Nation

TLN Free Agency Live Blog: Reacting to moves all around the NHL

Happy free agency day, everyone!
It is shaping up to be a massive day in the NHL as per usual, with major names set to become unrestricted free agents at 12 pm EST. The Toronto Maple Leafs are also set for a big day with important moves to come to address the backup goaltending position and forward depth.
The newest updates will come at the top of the page!
11:15 am EST
Josh Manson re-signs in Colorado
Manson transitioned seamlessly into the Avalanche system and provides them with a bit of a different look to balance their defence group. Four years at $4.5M is a reasonable number and he’ll be a great match with any of their left-side defencemen over that term. Nice piece of business for Chris McFarland and Joe Sakic.
Pavel Zacha traded to Boston for Erik Haula
Zacha wanted out in New Jersey and the Bruins needed some more forward options, especially with Brad Marchand out to start the season. Zacha can play either centre or the left wing and should slot into Boston’s third line. Zacha is an RFA.
Erik Haula will likely slide into New Jersey’s 3C role. He has one year remaining at just $2.375M, coming off of a 44 point season that’s a really solid pickup for the Devils.
For New Jersey, after buying out Janne Kuokkanen and now trading Zacha, …

Read More

Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Around the NHL: the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes, Evgeni Malkin stays home and Matt Murray to the Leafs

Free agency is set to begin in less than 12 hours, and everybody is wondering where will Johnny Gaudreau end up. While Gaudreau is the most exciting unrestricted free agent to hit the market since John Tavares, there are several other intriguing players available in all price ranges.
We have also seen a few high profile trades in the past seven days and plenty of rumours surrounding other quality players who could be on the move.
Free Agency
As mentioned above Gaudreau is the top unrestricted free agent available. After eight seasons in Calgary, he has informed the Flames organization that he will not be returning. It has been reported that this is solely a family decision. Gaudreau would like to move closer to home as he is expecting a baby.
The New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers have been the most common destinations linked to Gaudreau and it seems both the Devils and Islanders are prepared to offer him long-term deals north of nine million per season.
Philadelphia is the closest geographic location to where Gaudreau grew up and his childhood team. They also have his close friend and former college teammate Kevin Hayes locked up for four more seasons. However, they do not currently have anywhere near enough cap space to …

Read More

Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Staff Picks: Who we like for the Leafs in free agency

Here we are on the eve of free agency, and 25 hours away from the madness truly beginning. It seems like the last chance for us to weigh in on who are targets are before we start justifying who was actually signed. That’s why the question posed to the TLN writers this week is, “Who is your free agent target and why?”
Dylan Strome by Michael Mazzei
I believe the Leafs should focus their efforts on the non-tendered RFAs that are set to hit the open market, and the top choice for me is Dylan Strome. He has been making strides in his game despite Chicago mishandling him and barely giving him consistent playing time. The underlying metrics imply that he is a solid player and is more than deserving a a permanent roster spot, but Chicago apparently doesn’t think the same way and did not give him a qualifying offer. He should come at a reasonable price and would be a solid addition to the middle-six both this coming year and going forward given that he is right in the middle of his prime. He could be a hidden gem in free agency this summer and he is my choice for top target for the Leafs to acquire on July 13.
Eric …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Monday Rumour Recap: Latest on Murray, Kase, Campbell, and others

The start of free agency week hasn’t exactly gotten off to a slow start. There seem to be plenty of rumours either around the Leafs, Leafs adjacent, or potentially impactful to the Leafs. So here’s a brief recap of what is out there to get you caught up.

I’m told there’s some solid framework elements between the @Senators and @MapleLeafs however the potential completion of this deal is largely dependent on the comprehensive up to the minute medical due diligence by TML on Matt Murray’s health . @espn @NHL #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 11, 2022

This is obviously the big one to watch for Leafs fans, and it seems that the deal is essentially good to go and the Leafs doctors and front office are just deciding how good they feel about Matt Murray’s health. It never seems like an encouraging step, but better they do this and make their decision on complete data.
It’s very likely the Leafs will get around 50% salary retention for Murray. It also seems highly likely that the deal is going to be tilted largely in a Leafs direction for taking on this risk.
Here’s some more on Matt Murray from yesterday:
Friedman: Matt Murray talks intensifying between the Leafs and Sens

Hearing #Leafs will not be issuing a qualifying offer to Ondrej Kase, making him a UFA.
I’d expect Pierre Engvall will be qualified, but not 100% confirmed yet.
Not expecting many other surprises. #Canes plan to qualify Ethan Bear.@DailyFaceoff
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 11, 2022

Kyle Dubas has previously stated his intention to qualify Pierre Engvall, but was on the fence about Kase. It appears his mind has been made up and Kase will hit unrestricted free agency. Kase is very much a player the Leafs will double back on when he isn’t arbitration eligible, but the idea of locking into an arbitration ruling on an injury riddled player like Kase would be difficult.
Still no word on the remaining Leafs RFAs.
From the 32 Thoughts Podcast: Campbell likely to Edmonton, Kuemp …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation