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Baseball Daily Dose

Torrid Tuesday - Baez To Tigers

by Drew Silva
Updated On: December 1, 2021, 8:56 am ET

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As the countdown continued toward the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, Tuesday brought us another frenzied 24 hours of baseball activity. 

Trades, signings, non-tenders … this sport always operates with better pace when there’s a deadline on the horizon. An impending freeze on all transactions has sparked a somewhat refreshing sense of urgency among MLB front offices. We’ll enjoy it while we can.

The biggest splash came early in the morning as the Tigers agreed to a reported six-year, $140 million free agent contract with shortstop Javier Baez. Detroit had also been linked to Carlos Correa, but it appears that he is comfortable waiting out the lockout -- or whatever you want to call it -- before settling on a new home. Trevor Story is also expected to hold off on signing until after MLB and the MLBPA complete their negotiations for a new CBA, whenever that is.

Baez fills a present and future need for the Tigers, who have a lot of promising young pitching but were looking for some established bats to pair with the offensive talent (see: Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene) that is now rising through the system. The year-to-year stat lines from Baez can be confounding, but he’s a five-tool superstar when everything is clicking, and he should have plenty of good years ahead at age 28 -- soon to be 29.

In his 47 games this past season with the Mets, following a July 30 trade from the Cubs, the two-time National League All-Star put up a .299/.371/.515 batting line with nine home runs, 22 RBI, five stolen bases, and 32 runs scored. And he played his usual brand of flashy up-the-middle defense, rebounding to a 3.6 overall fWAR reading after finishing negative in that regard during the shortened 2020 campaign. More of the good Baez, please.

Other significant items of note from Tuesday’s fast-churning newswire …

Raisel Iglesias Returns To Angels

He’ll receive a four-year, $58 million contract after smartly declining a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Halos earlier this month. That would have been a record one-year salary for a relief pitcher, but Iglesias is now locked into a longer guaranteed term with a larger guaranteed payout. There’s a risk in signing bullpen arms to sizable deals, but Iglesias has been steadily sharp -- and at times dominant -- since he arrived from Cuba on an agreement with the Reds in 2015. The 31-year-old right-hander tallied 34 saves in 2021 alongside a 2.57 ERA, 0.929 WHIP, and 103/12 K/BB ratio in 70 innings. He’ll be one of the first closers off the board in fantasy drafts for 2022.

Joey Wendle Traded To Marlins

Tampa Bay got outfield prospect Kameron Misner, the 35th overall pick from the 2019 MLB Draft, in exchange. Wendle was an American League All-Star in 2021, though his second-half production wasn’t nearly as impressive as what he did in the first half to earn that nod. Still, he can play all over the infield defensively and should represent an important offensive upgrade for the Fish as they look to push into contention in what projects to be a knock-down, drag-out National League East division. They have the pitching, and it’s a safe bet that they’re not done adding bats. Nick Castellanos, a native of the Miami area, would make a ton of sense.

Cesar Hernandez Signs With Nats

It’s a one-year, $4 million contract with another $1 million available via performance-based incentives. Hernandez suddenly became a different player in 2021, slugging a career-high 21 home runs between Cleveland and Chicago but also finishing with his lowest on-base percentage (.308) since 2014. He’s a worthwhile bounceback candidate for the Nationals, who are going to try to work through a rolling rebuild before Juan Soto sniffs free agency. They’ll need to get creative, and Hernandez is a fine bridge to the next line of success. Look for him to be a midseason trade chip again in 2022.

Cubs Pick Up Clint Frazier

Speaking of rolling rebuilds and a requirement of creativity, the Cubs have reportedly come to agreement on a one-year deal with Clint Frazier exactly one week after he was released by the Yankees. Lingering symptoms of dizziness and fogginess completely derailed his final season in New York, but the 27-year-old former top prospect registered a shiny .905 OPS during the condensed 2020 campaign. Chicago also worked out a two-year, $13 million pact on Tuesday with catcher Yan Gomes. Willson Contreras should soon be on the move to a contender.

Padres Acquire Jorge Alfaro

The return for the Marlins will be a player to be named later or cash considerations. Alfaro was a serious disappointment over the last two seasons in Miami, slashing just .240/.282/.343 with seven home runs in 123 games, but he’s a gifted athlete with the ability to play both catcher and the corner outfield. San Diego can use that kind of bench depth. And maybe a change of scenery will bring out the talent that had him so highly ranked in his younger years.

Rougned Odor To Baltimore

Odor is already owed more than $12 million from the Rangers for the 2022 season, so this only took a minimum MLB salary commitment from the Orioles. He’s always been a frustratingly inconsistent hitter, but Odor does possess immense raw power and can hopefully put it on full display at homer-friendly Camden Yards. The 27-year-old boasts a career .294/.368/.447 batting line in the previous time he’s spent in Baltimore.

Non-Tenders Galore

More than 40 players were non-tendered ahead of the 8 p.m. ET deadline on Tuesday, but none of the decisions came as a surprise. Richard Rodriguez is out in Atlanta after completely losing the ability to miss bats right around the time that Major League Baseball began its sticky-stuff crackdown. Matthew Boyd was pushed off the roster in Detroit after requiring flexor tendon surgery in September.

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Quick Hits: Braves exercised their 2024 club option on manager Brian Snitker … Mariners signed reliever Andres Munoz to a four-year, $7.5 million contract extension with club options for three additional years … Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that teams are trying to "pry" Freddie Freeman away from the Braves … Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports that the Phillies have had trade talks with the Rays about Kevin Kiermaier … White Sox re-signed utilityman Leury Garcia to a three-year contract … According to Chad Dey of Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver, the Red Sox have reached agreement on a deal with James Paxton … Braves and utilityman Orlando Arcia avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $3 million contract with a club option for 2024 … Yankees and third baseman Gio Urshela avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.55 million contract … Rockies and reliever Daniel Bard avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.4 million contract … Yankees and right-hander Domingo German avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.75 million contract … Robert Murray of FanSided reports that reliever Luis Garcia is in serious talks with the Padres … According to Andy Martino of SNY.tv, the Yankees have spoken to the Rangers about a trade for Isiah Kiner-Falefa … Rays signed left-hander Brooks Raley to a two-year, $10 million contract with a club option for 2024 … Orioles and outfielder Anthony Santander avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.15 million contract … According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets have "shown some level of interest" in a reunion with Jeurys Familia … Phillies and reliever Seranthony Dominguez avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract … Pirates signed catcher Roberto Perez to a one-year, $5 million contract … Twins and reliever Tyler Duffey avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.8 million contract … Padres and reliever Emilio Pagan avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.3 million contract … Brewers and first baseman Rowdy Tellez avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.94 million contract … Diamondbacks and reliever J.B. Wendelken avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $835,000 contract … Red Sox and reliever Ryan Brasier avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million contract … Giants and reliever John Brebbia avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $837,500 contract … Athletics and reliever Deolis Guerra avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $815,000 contract … Brewers and utilityman Jace Peterson avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract … Diamondbacks and left-hander Caleb Smith avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract … Twins and lefty reliever Caleb Thielbar avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.3 million contract … Giants and outfielder Austin Slater avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.85 million contract … Brewers and reliever Jandel Gustave avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract … Braves and outfielder Guillermo Heredia avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1 million contract … Brewers non-tender first baseman Daniel Vogelbach … Nationals non-tendered reliever Wander Suero … Braves non-tendered infielder Johan Camargo … Red Sox signed outfielder Christin Stewart to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training … Marlins designated outfielder Lewis Brinson for assignment.