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The Past Week’s Free Agency Signings

Twitter/Miami Marlins

Keep up to date on the MLB free agency market with SQ.

With the winter meetings upon us, we are ramping up to the hottest part of the Major League Baseball offseason! The baseball and news crews at SQ are here to keep you abreast of all the most recent transactions that have occurred in the MLB world over the past week — starting with the most recent deals.

Matt HollidayOF/1B, New York Yankees

On Sunday, the eve of the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, multiple reports indicate that Matt Holliday has signed a one-year deal with the Yankees, worth $13 million. 

The right-handed Holliday turns 37 next month, and he has not been an effective outfielder for a while. His bat remains effective however. Expect to see him spend a lot of his time at DH, and possibly make some relief appearances at first base. Last season, Holliday played 84 out of 110 games in left field; he also made his first 10 career appearances at first base. 

In 2016, Holliday hit .246 with 62 RBI, 20 home runs, and 20 doubles in 110 games. Holliday, a seven-time All-Star, has a .303/.382/.515 career triple-slash. He has 295 home runs and 1,153 RBI in 13 seasons. 

Jacob Lindgren, LHP, Atlanta Braves

Left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren is attempting to make a comeback from Tommy John surgery. He has signed a one-year contract with the Braves worth $1,025,000. 

Lindgren, 23, was drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 2014 draft. He debuted with the Major League ball club in 2015, appearing in seven games out of the bullpen, pitching to a 5.14 ERA in 7.0 innings; he struck out eight, walked four, and gave up three long balls. 

The Yankees released Lindgren on Friday. He had elbow ligament-replacement surgery in August. 

Carlos Beltran, OF/DH, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent Carlos Beltran for $16 million. A source told ESPN’s Buster Olney that the deal includes a full no-trade clause. 

The Astros have already made several moves this offseason, trading for Yankees catcher Brian McCann and signing outfielder Josh Reddick

In 2016, between the Yankees and Rangers (who traded for him at the deadline), Beltran hit .295 with 93 RBI, 73 runs, and 29 home runs, earning himself an All-Star berth. He has the sixth most career home runs among active players. 

Marc Rzepczynski, LHP, Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners have agreed to a two-year deal with left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski. An MLB source previously told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that it will be worth $11 million. 

In 2016, Rzepczynski was a combined 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 70 games for the Oakland A’s and Washington Nationals. He made three postseason appearances for the Nationals. 


Rzepczynski gave up just one home run in all of 2016, across 47.2 innings. He struck out 46 and walked 29 batters. However, his WHIP was a too-high 1.57. 

Anthony Recker, C, Atlanta Braves

The Braves locked up their backup catcher for another season, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $800,000 with Anthony Recker. 

Recker hit .278 with 15 RBI and two home runs in 90 at-bats for Atlanta in 2016.

Brian Duensing, LHP, Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have signed lefty reliever Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million free agent contract. 

After coming into the league with the Minnesota Twins and spending seven seasons there, Duensing played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2016. Over his career, he has limited lefty hitters to a .236 average against him. 

Duensing only pitched in 14 games in 2016 as he underwent surgery in June to repair bone chips in his left elbow. He returned post-recovery in September to make seven appearances, across which he pitched to a 2.70 ERA

Edinson Volquez, RHP, Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins have signed right-handed starter Edinson Volquez to a two-year, $22 million contract. 

Volquez, 33, was an important part of the rotation during Kansas City’s 2015 World Series title run, as he went 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA that season. He wasn’t as good in 2016, going 10-11 with a disappointing 5.37 ERA

Volquez will be joining a Marlins rotation missing its ace, José Fernández, who tragically passed away in September. Volquez said, “Jose’s death was a sad moment for MLB. He was a great pitcher, and he was only 24. But I don’t want to be José. I want to be me.”

Having already lived in Miami for three years, Volquez told his agent that signing with the Marlins was his top priority as a free agent this offseason. Volquez said. “I know a lot of the guys here like Martin PradoDee Gordon, and Marcell Ozuna. Fitting in to this clubhouse won’t be a problem.”

Sean Rodriguez, UTIL, Atlanta Braves

Utility player Sean Rodriguez has agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million contract with the Atlanta Braves. 

Rodriguez, 31, can play every position at the major league level besides catcher. In 2016, for Pittsburgh, he hit .270 with 56 RBI and 18 home runs — all career highs. Rodriguez has made most of his career starts at second base, although he saw more time at first with the Pirates last year. 

Jason Castro, C, Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins have agreed to a three-year deal with free agent Jason Castro, signing him for a total of $24.5 million. 

The contract breakdown will be $8.5 million in 2017, and $8 million in each of 2018 and 2019. 

The 29-year-old Castro has spend his entire six-year major league career with the Houston Astros, for whom he hit .210 with 32 RBI and 11 home runs last season. He played in 113 games as he shared time behind the dish with Evan Gattis


Castro is known as a good pitch framer, which is becoming an increasingly coveted and recognized skill for catchers. 

Castro was an All-Star in 2013, when he hit .276 (career-high) with 56 RBI and 18 home runs. 

Yoenis Cespedes, OF, New York Mets

On Wednesday, the Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes to a lucrative four-year contract. See: Yoenis Cespedes Re-Signs With The Mets, by SQ Reporter Hunter Hodies

Matt Joyce, OF, Oakland Athletics

Outfielder Matt Joyce has agreed to a two-year contract with the Oakland A’s. He will receive $11 million over the two year deal. 

In 2016, Joyce played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, batting .242 with 42 RBI and 13 home runs in 140 games. 


Joyce was an All-Star in 2011, when he hit .277 with 75 RBI, 19 home runs, and 13 steals — all career highs. 

Jon Jay, OF, Chicago Cubs

On Tuesday, the reigning champion Chicago Cubs signed outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year deal for $8 million. 

The lefty Jay, 31, played the 2016 season with the San Diego Padres, hitting .291 in 90 games. 26 of his 101 hits were doubles. He is a career .287 batter, with a .352 OBP. He has spent most of his career in St. Louis with the Cardinals. 

He led the National League in hit-by-pitches in 2014, when he got plunked 20 times. Jay also has the highest career fielding percentage (.996) of all active center fielders. 


The signing of Jay is in preparation of Dexter Fowler‘s likely departure for a big contract offer elsewhere. 

Edited by David Kaptzan.

SQuiz
Which player led the NL in hit-by-pitches in 2014?
Created 12/5/16
  1. Jon Jay
  2. Hunter Pence
  3. Anthony Rizzo
  4. Aramis Ramirez

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