How was your week

Posted: February 17, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

There was a thought that once the Chicago Cubs signed Yu Darvish the free agent market would open up and we’d see some more signings. Well we have seen some more signings, but still no contracts for the bigger name free agents left on the market.

All three signings towards the end of the week where pitchers as teams look to add depth to their starting rotations. Let’s take a look at who ended up signing where.

The Toronto Blue Jays signed left hander Jamie Garcia to a one year $10 million dollar contract. Garcia’s money is guaranteed,. He’ll get $8 million dollars for the 2018 season with a team option for the 2019 season at $10 million dollars. Now if the Blue Jays don’t want to pick up Garcia’s option for 2019 the contract has a $2 million dollar buy out in it.

Garcia spent his first seven seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals before pitching for three teams last season. Garcia made 18 starts for the Atlanta Braves before being dealt to the Minnesota Twins where he made just 1 start before the Twins moved him along to the New York Yankees where he started 8 games down the stretch for them. Garcia did appear in 1 playoff game for the Yankees last season.

Garcia ended up going 5-10 in his 27 starts with an ERA of 4.41 over 157 innings. That ERA was a little high for Garcia as his career ERA is a very respectable 3.69. Look for Garcia to fit nicely into the back of the Blue Jays rotation.

Andrew Cashner also found a new team as he signed a two year $16 million dollar deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Cashner will get $5 million dollar for the 2018 season, $8 million dollars for the 2019 season while the other $3 million dollars is a signing bonus which is deferred to 2020 through 2022. Cashner a $10MM vesting option in the contract, in addition to $5MM available in yearly incentives. The option becomes guaranteed if Cashner throws 340 innings over the first two seasons of the deal. It’d become a $10 million dollar player option for Cashner in the event that he reached 360 total innings for those two seasons.

Cashner is coming off what most people think was his best season as a starter. Cashner made 28 starts for the Texas Rangers going 11-11 with an ERA of 3.40 over 166 2/3rd innings. Cashner has always been a big strikeout type of pitcher, but last season those numbers where down as he struck out just 86 batters with a Strikeout to 9 innings rate of 4.6. For his career Cashner is a 7.0 on his Strikeouts to 9 innings rate.

Will have to see where the Orioles pencil Cashner into their rotation. He be in the mix the Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, but who knows how they’ll line up.

The New York Mets added another free agent as they signed Jason Vargas to a two year $16 million dollar deal. The contract also contains an $8 million dollar option for a 3rd season. Vargas can also has an $250,000 incentive clause based on innings pitched starting at 160 innings.

Vargas tied with three other pitchers for the most wins in baseball last season with 18. He went 18-11 with an ERA of 4.16 in 32 starts covering 179 2/3rd innings for the Kansas City Royals. Vargas will be 35 and is headed into his 13th season, but he’s had multiple 30 plus starts and 200 innings plus seasons and that’s something the Mets could use in their rotation.

If healthy the Mets should have a formidable starting rotation, but that health has been a big, big issue these last few seasons. With it looking as though Steven Matz will start the 2018 season on the DL Vargas will be the lone left hander in the Mets rotation. Vargas will probably end up as the 3rd starter for the Mets behind Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom and in front of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. With the history of health problems this Mets rotation has had a 30 starts season out of Vargas could be a calming influence.

There was another pitcher to get a contract recently, but this time it was a reliever. Tony Watson has agreed to a contract with the San Francisco Giants, but terms of the deal have not been released yet. Since Watson is a Scott Boras client it’s believed that the deal will be for multiple years. It’s also expected that the deal won’t force the Giants past the luxury tax line.

Watson made his mark as a top left handed set up guy with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but once he took over the close role for them he had some issues. Watson was 5-3 with an ERA of 3.66 for the Pirates. He appeared in 47 games and had 10 saves. The Pirates dealt Watson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the playoff run. Moving back into a set up role Watson appeared in 24 games going 2-1 with an ERA of 2.70.

With Mark Melancon returning from injury Watson should slide into the left handed set up role in front of him. This duo had very good success for four seasons for the Pirates before Melancon was traded.

We saw three starters and a top set up guy get new contracts this week, but still nothing on the Jake Arrieta or Alex Cobb front. Did their demands price them out of the market? Interestingly both pitchers had contract offers from the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs offered Cobb a 4 year deal for $72 million dollars, but Cobb turned it down believing he’s a $20 million dollar a season type of pitcher. The Cubs made a last n=minute pitch to Arrieta right before they signed Darvish, but Arrieta said he didn’t have enough time to look over the Cubs offer; so they ended up singing Darvish instead. With the way the pitching free agent market has played out you have to wonder if both of these guys will be kicking themselves for not taking those offers.

What do you think, do you see Arrieta and Cobb being signed before the season starts? Or do you they’ll have to wait for a team to see where they’re at before either of these guys get a contract offer.

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