The 2019 MLB offseason is already off to a better start than the previous offseason.
Although the premier free agents, Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and so on have yet to sign a contract, other free agents that are desirable have begun signing with new teams.
The most recent player to sign was Yasmani Grandal who signed a four year, $73 million with the Chicago White Sox today. Yasmani Grandal is one of the few players that can say that they bet on themselves and won.
Last year, after a horrible 2018 playoff run with the Dodgers, Grandal was set to become a free agent. He declined the Dodgers qualifying offer and tested free agency to see if there were better options for himself.
Grandal reportedly declined a four year, $60 million deal with the New York Mets during that time. Why? Who really knows. It is possible that Grandal thought he was worth more than $15 million per season. Or maybe he didn’t want to play for the New York Mets after playing in his second consecutive World Series.
Eventually, Yasmani Grandal ended up taking a one year, $18.25 million offer from the Milwaukee Brewers. Grandal didn’t have MVP numbers but for a catcher, he did have quite an offensive season.
Yasmani Grandal hit 27 home runs and batted in 77 runs in the 2019 season.
Now, Grandal’s bet has paid off and he has signed a long term deal with the Chicago White Sox.
The first free agent signing that somewhat caught people by surprise was Will Smith signing with the Atlanta Braves.
Will Smith was one of the best closers in baseball last year but didn’t necessarily pitch in games that mattered. Smith was a hot commodity at the trade deadline, the Giants were actually serious about trying to contend for a wild card spot and didn’t trade Smith when they possibly could have gotten a decent prospect for him.
The Giants gave Smith the qualifying offer and Smith used that to his advantage. He took that offer to teams and said he would take it on the last day unless a team gave him a better contract.
The Atlanta Braves were the team that caved in and signed Will Smith. Will Smith cashed in a signed a three year, $40 million contract.
Since this offseason has already seen a couple free agent signings, the hope is that it continues and doesn’t linger into the new year. There is no doubt that this free agent class is more rounded than last years but, that doesn’t mean that teams will pull the trigger on impulse just to acquire a player.