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These small MLB free agency deals could be big deals

This MLB winter will be remembered for the monster contracts of Aaron Judge, Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts – and for the three deals of Carlos Correa. Judge, Turner and Bogaerts combined to gross $940 million, and it was with Judge and Turner who turned down bigger deals from other teams that could have put this trio at over $1 billion. And Correa actually took on $865 million in contracts himself, which must be a record.

While there weren’t many obvious bargains, there were a few deals that might turn out to be just that. Here’s our list of big under-the-radar signings.

1. Tyler Anderson, LHP, Angels ($40 million, three years)

With the qualifying offer, it’s understandable that Anderson grabbed that deal before taking the Interstate Dodgers’ $19 million QO offer. Once Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker and Jameson Taillon got their deals north of $60 million, this one looked pretty good. Undoubtedly, that seemed fine to Anderson too, as he had been mostly a journeyman before 2022.

2. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates (5 millions de dollars, un an)

That’s over $5 million in goodwill for the Pirates, a team that needs goodwill.

3. JD Martinez, DH, Dodgers ($10 million, one year)

He had more money on the table elsewhere, which seems to be a characteristic of better deals.

4. Ross Stripling, RHP, Giants ($25 million, two years)

The Giants will take plenty of abuse for failing to secure either Judge or Correa. But they do good business, Stripling was outstanding last year.

Ross Stripling wasn’t the star the Giants were looking for, but he’ll likely give them excellent value.
Toronto Star via Getty Images

5. Jose Quintana, LHP, Mets ($24 million, deux ans)

The Mets came out of nowhere here, grabbing the veteran who resurrected his career last year.

6. Brandon Drury, IF/OF, Anges (17 M$, deux ans)

Here is another guy who made a lot of money in his walking year. But I would bet on him too. He had his eyes corrected before 2022, which may have been the reason for the major improvement. It also took less to sign with the Angels.

Andrew McCutchen is back in Pittsburgh for a deal that could be a boon for the Pirates.
Getty Images

7. Nelson Cruz, DH, Padres (1 million dollars, one year)

The Padres signed some stunning deals, but here they got one of the best hitters of the last decade and a half at a reasonable pace. Yet another guy who turned down more money elsewhere.

8. Zach Davies, RHP, Diamondbacks ($5 million plus $3 million in incentives, one year)

The Diamondbacks have done a lot of good things. Davies is not favored in the open market because he is a soft pitcher, but with the exception of a year he has been very effective.

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