That was a nice break, but don’t get used to it.
Tuesday was a relatively slow day amid the busiest week ever, with only three All-Star first basemen and three championship pitchers involved in transactions. In fact, two of those All-Stars didn’t technically change teams, with an extension and a re-signing topping the headlines.
- Braves extend 1B Matt Olson (8yr/$168m)
- Yankees re-sign 1B Anthony Rizzo (2yr/$32m)
- Braves sign RHP Collin McHugh (2yr/$10m)
- Cubs sign RHP Chris Martin (1yr/$3m)
- Pirates sign RHP Heath Hembree (1yr/$2m)
- Pirates sign 1B Daniel Vogelbach (1yr/$1m)
- Rangers sign UT Brad Miller (??/??)
- Angels sign C Austin Romine (minors)
- Astros sign LHP Zac Rosscup (minors)
- Mariners sign 1B Mike Ford (minors)
It was already tough enough for Oakland A’s fans to see Olson traded to Atlanta on Monday, and then 24 hours later we watched him get the kind of commitment from the Braves that our team doesn’t offer to our favorite players. Such is life, and at least we can be happy that Oly got paid by somebody.
Meanwhile, after the Yankees missed out on the Olson trade sweepstakes, they brought back their own incumbent star first baseman. Rizzo was acquired from the Cubs last July, and now he’ll stick around the Bronx for a couple more years. New York has constructed an impressive infield featuring Rizzo at 1B, Josh Donaldson at 3B, Isiah Kiner-Falefa at SS, and their pick of D.J. LeMahieu or Gleyber Torres at 2B.
The rebuilding Pirates made a pair of moves. Vogelbach was an All-Star in 2019, though technically as a DH not a 1B, and now he’ll be allowed to DH in the NL if Pittsburgh wants after spending last year at 1B with the Brewers. The Bucs also added Hembree, who won a ring with the Red Sox in 2018.
Two more notable pitchers changed uniforms. Martin won a ring with the Braves last year, but now he’ll move on to the Cubs, who traded away most of their bullpen last summer. Atlanta quickly filled the vacancy with McHugh, who won a ring with the 2017 Astros back when he was a quality starter, though now he’s settled in as a dominant swingman reliever.
Each of Oakland’s AL West rivals made a move. Following the theme of the offseason, the biggest splash belonged to the Rangers, who nabbed a solid super-sub in Miller, though terms haven’t yet been announced. The other three clubs picked up minor league free agents.
Hope you caught your breath, because there are still a lot of moves coming and spring training games begin Thursday (or Friday for the A’s). There are marquee free agents available (Correa, Freeman, Bryant, Story, Castellanos), and at least three more A’s stars on the trade block (Chapman, Manaea, Montas). Get ready for Wednesday!