2017 Free Agent Signings in Major League Baseball
By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
When we were all kids, a guy would be in on a team's lineup when we were in 4th grade and still be there when we were in college. That's pretty rare nowadays in a league where free agents move around from team to team with frequency. Some players are seemingly on a new team every season. Similarly, there are teams with a massively-changed cast from season to season. It can make it hard on a baseball fan to follow. Like most baseball fans, we are also following other sports. While distracted, a lot of free agent moves take place that we might not acknowledge until seeing a player with his new team. By then, it's obviously too late. In this neat little 2017 free agent summary, Loot breaks it all down per team. He explores all free agent signings in 2017 on a major level, while discussing players that departed, and how it all will impact teams in the upcoming 2017 MLB season. Check it out!
Arrivals: OF Gregor Blanco, P Jorge De La Rosa, C Chris Iannetta, P Fernando Rodney
Departures: C Welington Castillo, P Daniel Hudson, 2B Rickie Weeks
Impact: Arizona lost a good catcher in Welington Castillo coming off his best season. They signed Chris Iannetta as a catcher, adding a still-feared, but aging presence in the bullpen in Fernando Rodney.
Arrivals: P Bartolo Colon, P R.A. Dickey, SS Sean Rodriguez, C Kurt Suzuki
Impact: They didn't lose anybody and add two veteran arms to the rotation in RA Dickey and Bartolo Colon, who are 42 and 43, respectively. Still, Colon managed 15 wins last season while Dickey can still stockpile innings. They also add a good veteran catcher in Suzuki.
Arrivals: C Welington Castillo
Departures: P Tommy Hunter, 1B Steve Pearce, C Matt Wieters
Impact: Quiet free agent season for Baltimore, who secured a good catcher in Castillo, but lost a better one in Matt Wieters and some pop with Steve Pearce and a decent reliever in Hunter.
Boston Red Sox:
Arrivals: 1B Mitch Moreland
Departures: 2B Aaron Hill, P Junichi Tazawa, P Koji Uehara, P Brad Ziegler
Impact: Quiet on the free agent front for the Red Sox, who did sign a good first baseman in Mitch Moreland, but lost arms in Uehara, Tazawa, and Ziegler.
Arrivals: P Brett Anderson, OF Jon Jay, P Koji Uehara
Departures: CF Dexter Fowler, P Jason Hammel, P Joe Smith, P Travis Wood, P Aroldis Chapman
Impact: The Cubbies will be looking to repeat as World Series champs, but will be doing do without CF Dexter Fowler and pitchers Jason Hammel, Joe Smith, and Travis Wood. They also lost their closer Chapman.They got a few arms with Brett Anderson and Koji Uehara, along with veteran outfielder Jon Jay.
Chicago White Sox:
Arrivals: P Derek Holland
Departures: C Alex Avila, P Trevor Cahill, OF Austin Jackson
Impact: The ChiSox are hoping Derek Holland can recapture his prior form, as they added what they hope to be a key piece to the rotation. On their way out are Alex Avila, Austin Jackson, and hurler Trevor Cahill.
Arrivals: P Scott Feldman, OF Ryan Raburn, P Drew Storen
Impact: The Reds added a few nice pieces with hurlers Drew Storen and Scott Feldman.
Arrivals: 3B Edwin Encarnacion, OF Austin Jackson,
Departures: OF Rajai Davis, 1B Mike Napoli
Impact: Cleveland may have upgraded their power profile with one of the big free agent signings on the offseason in Edwin Encarnacion. They lost Mike Napoli, but Encarnacion should pick up the slack and then some.
Arrivals: IF Alexi Amarista, 1B Ian Desmond, P Mike Dunn
Departures: P Jorge De La Rosa, C Nick Hundley, OF Ryan Raburn
Impact: The Rockies added more pop to their lineup with the signing of power-hitting 1B Ian Desmond, along with useful Alexi Amarista and a good reliever in Mike Dunn.
Arrivals: C Alex Avila,
Departures: SS Erick Aybar, C Jarrod Saltamacchia
Impact: Not a terrible eventful offseason for the Tigers in terms of free agents, only signing Alex Avila, a catcher they had from 2009-2015, before he spent a season in Chicago.
Arrivals: OF Carlos Beltran, P Charlie Morton, OF Josh Reddick
Departures: C Jason Castro, OF Colby Rasmus, 3B Luis Valbuena
Impact: Houston added some offense with the signings of outfielders Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick.
Kansas City Royals:
Arrivals: P Jason Hammel, OF Brandon Moss. P Travis Wood
Departures: 1B Kendrys Morales, P Edinson Volquez
Impact: The Royals lost a few key contributors in Morales and Volquez, but added a few nice arms like Hammel and Travis Wood from the Cubs. In addition, they added some pop with the addition of Moss to the lineup.
Los Angeles Angels:
Arrivals: P Jesse Chavez, P Yusmeiro Petit, OF Ben Revere, 3B Luis Valbuena
Departures: P Jhoulys Chacin, P Jered Weaver
Impact: The Angels added some pieces to their pitching staff in Chavez and Petit that could pay off, while adding a few position players in Ben Revere and Luis Valbuena.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Arrivals: OF Franklin Gutierrez, P Sergio Romo
Departures: P Brett Anderson, P Joe Blanton, P Jesse Chavez, P Casey Fien, P JP Howell, OF Josh Reddick
Impact: The Dodgers beefed up their bench with Gutierrez and the pen with Romo, but lost some key arms in the offseason, as well.
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Arrivals: C AJ Ellis, P Junichi Tazawa, P Edinson Volquez, P Brad Ziegler
Departures: P Andrew Cashner, P Mike Dunn, P Fernando Rodney
Impact: Miami hopes to have better pitching this season after signing Edinson Volquez, along with relivers Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler.
Arrivals: P Neftali Feliz, P Thomas Milone, OF Eric Thames
Departures: 1B Chris Carter
Impact: Milwaukee loses a little pop with the departure of Carter, but adds a few arms, in addition to Thames, who returns from a 3-year spell in the Korean League.
Arrivals: P Matt Belisle, C Matt Castro, P Ryan Vogelsong
Departures: P Thomas Milone, P Trevor Plouffe, C Kurt Suzuki
Impact: The Twins lost a few arms and a good veteran catcher in Suzuki, but add a few arms and C Matt Castro.
New York Mets:
Departures: P Bartolo Colon, P Jon Niese
Impact: A quiet free agent period for the Mets, who made no key signings. They also lost a 15-game winner in Colon and an X-factor in Niese.
New York Yankees:
Arrivals: 1B Chris Carter, P Aroldis Chapman, OF Matt Holliday, P Jon Niese
Impact: Seemed like a semi-productive offseason in the free agent market for the Yanks, signing Chris Carter, who had 41 homers last season. They also add vet Matt Holliday and feared closer Aroldis Chapman makes his return to the Bronx.
Arrivals: P Santiago Casilla, OF Rajai Davis, OF Matt Joyce, P Trevor Plouffe, 3B Adam Rosales
Impact: The A's didn't lose anything to free agency and added a few arms, along with useful outfield talent like Rajai Davis and Matt Joyce.
Arrivals: P Joaquin Benoit, OF Michael Saunders
Departures: C AJ Ellis, P David Hernandez, P Charlie Morton
Impact: After a career-high 24 homers, the Phils are hoping Michael Saunders adds some pop to the lineup. They also hope Joaquin Benoit still has some life in his arm.
Arrivals: P Daniel Hudson
Departures: P Neftali Feliz, OF Matt Joyce, SS Sean Rodriguez, P Ryan Vogelsong
Impact: Not a terribly impactful offseason for the Bucs in terms of free agent signings, only signing pitcher Daniel Hudson, while losing pitchers Feliz, Vogelsong, and a few useful bats, as well.
San Diego Padres:
Arrivals: SS Erick Aybar, P Trevor Cahill, P Jhoulys Chacin, P Jered Weaver
Departures: IF Alexi Amarista, OF Jon Jay, 3B Adam Rosales, P Tyson Ross
Impact: The Pads looked to add some arms, signing Jhoulys Chacin, Jered Weaver, and hometown product Trevor Cahill. Still, they lost one of their stalwart vets in Amarista and a starting pitcher in Tyson Ross.
San Francisco Giants:
Arrivals: P Mark Melancon, P David Hernandez, 2B Aaron Hill, C Nick Hundley
Departures: OF Gregor Blanco, P Santiago Casilla, P Sergio Romo
Impact: San Fran lost some steam from their bullpen with the departures of Casilla and Romo, but added a top closer in Melancon. They also added P David Hernandez and bats Aaron Hill and Nick Hundley.
Arrivals: P Casey Fien, P Marc Rzepczynski
Departures: OF Franklin Gutierrez, C Chris Iannetta, 1B Adam Lind, P Drew Storen
Impact: Seattle hopes their bullpen gets a boost with the additions of Fien and especially Rzepczynski.
St. Louis Cardinals:
Arrivals: P Brett Cecil, CF Dexter Fowler
Departures: OF Matt Holliday, OF Brandon Moss
Impact: They lost a little pop with the departures of Moss and longtime standout Holliday. The addition of Cecil should help the bullpen considerably, while Fowler gives them a solid presence in CF.
Tampa Bay Rays:
Arrivals: P Tommy Hunter, C Wilson Ramos, OF Colby Rasmus, P Shawn Tolleson, 2B Rickie Weeks
Impact: The Rays didn't lose anyone to free agency, while making a slew of signings. Most impactful is the addition of catcher Wilson Ramos, coming off his best season at .307 with 22 homers.
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Arrivals: 1B Mike Napoli, P Andrew Cashner, P Tyson Ross
Departures: 1B Ian Desmond, P Derek Holland, 1B Mitch Moreland, P Shawn Tolleson
Impact: Lot of moves in the offseason for the Rangers. They lost key players like Desmond, as well as Mitch Moreland and former standout Derek Holland. But they were busy in acquiring former Padres teammates Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, who can both help their rotation, in addition to Mike Napoli, coming off a career-high 34 homers in 2016.
Toronto Blue Jays:
Arrivals: P JP Howell, 1B Kendrys Morales, 1B Steve Pearce, C Jarrod Saltamacchia, P Joe Smith
Departures: 3B Edwin Encarnacion, P Joaquin Benoit, P Brett Cecil, P R.A. Dickey, P Scott Feldman, OF Michael Saunders
Impact: Toronto was busy on both sides of the free agent equation this offseason, losing power hitter Edwin Encanacion, Michael Saunders, and pitchers Joaquin Benoit, Brett Cecil, Brett Feldman, and RA Dickey. But getting JP Howell and Joe Smith will help the pen, while they hope Kendrys Morales can make up some of the power lost with Encarnacion's departure.
Arrivals: P Joe Blanton, 1B Adam Lind, P Marc Rzepczynski, C Matt Wieters
Departures: P Matt Melancon, P Matt Belisle, P Yusmeiro Petit, C Wilson Ramos, OF Ben Revere
Impact: They made some nice signings, especially with relivers Joe Blanton and Marc Rzepczynski, also signing a top catcher in Matt Wieters. They did, however, lose a top closer in Melancon and a top catcher in Ramos.
Big Name Free Agents Unsigned By Press Time (March 9):
DH Billy Butler
OF Marlon Byrd
P Chris Capuano
OF Coco Crisp
P Doug Fister
OF Jeff Francoeur
1B Ryan Howard
P Edwin Jackson
P Colby Lewis
P Tim Lincecum
P Jonathan Papelbon
P Jake Peavy
C AJ Pierzynski
SS Alexei Ramirez
P Alfredo Simon