Updated: Mar 1
Welcome IN, Ball Boys and Ball Girls. It's time for Tasty Talk.
Twenty-seven years of labor peace have ended for MLB. We have had a long, cold, frustrating winter that isn't even over yet. Nearly $1.7 billion FLDwas committed to free agents during November, smashing the prior record by 4x. It means it's time for us to play "Justify the Contact."
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You can view all of the previous Justify That Contract rounds by clicking here.
Let's talk about the position plays now that we have all the pitchers out of the way. There are a ton of names left on the table. Let's look at the age, WAR, the player's triple slash, and if they have any name-value or veteran leadership to bring.
-Chris Taylor 4yr/$60mil - LAD
The former Mariner bloomed with the Dodgers and kept their man in the house after Seager moved to Texas and looked to keep fighting with the boys in Dodger Blue. Taylor does it all defensively for the Dodgers and will play all positions except P and C to this point in his career and while playing all the defensive positions with six career DFS and a career .967FLD% is just amazing. Pair all of that with being an All-Star and a career .264/.341/.458 slash line in 6 seasons with the Dodgers $15mil might end up being a steal. Justified 100%
-Leury Garcia 3yr/$16.5mil - ChW
The now 30yo jack of all trades for the White Sox stays home and will continue to be an essential bench piece for a team with championship expectations for the 2022 season. The career .259/.302/.364 line isn't the most attractive, but for about $6mil a year, the veteran presence is fantastic for the young White Sox team is Justified.
-Orlando Arcia 2yr/$3mil- Atl
Arcia took on the role of UT player in 2021, playing 2B, SS, 3B, LF between the Brewers and Braves and ended up being a part of the Braves World Series team while not playing. At only 27 years old and being paired just over 1.5mil for the next two seasons, Arcia will be an exciting depth piece, to say the least, with one of the best INF of all baseball coming together ahead of him. Justified.
-Byron Buxton 7yr/$100mil ext- Min
The former number 2 overall pick in the 2012 pick looks to end his career, starting in Min going into his 28 seasons. The deal locks down one of the fastest and best defensive CF in baseball for the Twins at a reasonable price. The legs might fade a few years into this new extension; however, for now, CF is all Buxton in Min and will be for the next few years. The 16.2WAR, Gold Glove, and Platinum Glove awards make up for the lackluster .241/.299/.461 career slash. I'll get just the extension a why and give it a barely justifiable grade.
-Starling Marte 4yr/$78mil- NYM
Finally, Marte can stop bouncing around. The Mets will be Martes now 4th team since being dealt in 2020 from the Pirates. Marte is also a great OF and one of the best defensive guys to have on your OF grass with his two Gold Gloves and the career .289/.346/.451 slash gives the Mets a foundational piece that might be slightly overpaid, but hey, Cohens got plenty of money. For just under $20mil for a guy, you'll have form age 33-38 isn't a deal I would have made and makes this deal not justified if it was a two-year deal-different story.
-Avasil Garcia 4yr/$53mil- Min
The now power-hitting OF is coming off the best HR total of his career with 29. At only 30 years old and moving to RF with the Twins and playing alongside Buxton and likely with Buxton ahead of him could only mean good times, right. The career .270/.325/.431 slash line is good, not great, but good. However, the career .980FLD% across all three OF isn't too shabby. Catching the tail end of Garcia's best year with the deal and under $15mil a year doesn't look too bad. Justified
-Mark Canha 2yr/$26.5mil- NYM
Steven Cohen said, you two from Oakland, play for me in NY, and Canha and Marte said for sure, dude. You and I both know that Oakland would have never paid either of these guys this much money. The 33yo OF/1B Canha brings in veteran leadership alongside a .244/.344/.431 slash time to Queens. Would I have paid nearly $14mil for a guy with a career -29DRS, not at all. This contract makes no sense and is NOT JUSTIFIED!
-Kole Calhoun 1yr/$5.2mil- Tex
The now 34yo is just looking to keep the career going after a season riddled with injuries and limited him to 51 games played with the D-Backs. Calhoun brings in a .48/.322/.427 slash to pair with his career -3DRS and .948fld% that has slipped off dramatically since his age 30 seasons. This season likely could be one last ride and shot for Calhoun in 2022. I don't get the deal, and I think you sign someone younger and cheaper. He is not Justified.
-Yoshi Tsutsugo 1yr/$4mil- Pit
No one, and I mean no one, wanted Yoshi after coming over from Japan in 2020 and then ended up a team that wanted him and loved him like a long-lost son. The numbers in 43 games with the Pirates yield a .268/.347/.535 line with 8HR. I like the contract here for the Pirates and Yoshi. Justified.
-Ben Gamel 1yr/$1.8mil- Pit
Gamel, another guy who just loved the team as much as they loved him, had a good, solid season with the Pirates in 2021, producing a .255/.352/.399 slash line in 111 games with the team. I like that the Pirates kept two of the guys who took well to the system and kept them for so cheap. At age 30, the time might be running out for Gamel, but Gamel has his shot with the Pirates. Justified
-Clint Frazier 1yr/$1.5mil- ChC
The 27yo was run out of Yankee stadium by the games and organization after never getting consistent playing time and having unreasonable expectations; however, he was the 5th overall pick, and the expectations are expected. The 2020 season was kind to Frazier posted a career-best .394OBP and hit 8HR in 39 games. He then didn't get the time he needed to continue developing in 2021. I love the deal here for the Cubs, who might end up getting a long-term piece of this deal for cheap if he shows the same promise he did in 2020. Justified
-Nick Plummer 1yr/min- NYM
The 24yo OF landed an MLB deal before the lockout with the Mets after posting a solid .267/.455/.440 line at the AAA affiliate for the Cardinals in 2021. Plummer looks to be a solid defensive OF, and I am curious to see why the Mets threw him an MLB deal before the lockout. I don't have a ruling on this one yet.
-3B Kris Bryant, SS Carlos Correa, OF Michael Conforto, OF Nick Castellanos, DH Nelson Cruz, 1B Freddie Freeman, 2B/SS Jose Iglesias, 2B/DH Jed Lowrie, OF Andrew McCutchen, 1B Brad Miller, OF Joc Pederson, DH/1B Albert Pujols, 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Eddie Rosario, 1B/OF Kyle Schwarber, 3B Kyle Seager(RETIRED), 1B/3B Travis Shaw, SS Andrelton Simmons, DH/OF Jorge Soler, SS Trevor Story, SS/3B Jonathan Villar