Mostly, the biggest names are gone, and the last few weeks have been about teams deciding if what’s left is worth the price (and potential draft pick losses) that come with them. However, there have been a few quality signings that have truly made a few clubs cores much stronger.
This part of the year is about strategy, and while there are a few more big money deals to go, filling in the blanks is the order of the day right now. And in this latest CTC recap, some clubs that have been behind the pace for a while made some smart signings that will help make some rough days from last summer a little easier this time around.
6. Nick Swisher—Outfield, Signed w/ Cleveland Indians: 4 years/$56 million
The Indians made a strong move in landing one the premier bats on the market in Swisher. And while it’s not a standings redefining move, it is a stabilizing signing for a team that’s rebuilding itself from a crumbling to their standing over the last season and a half. Swisher will slide into the cleanup spot, and should be a solid part of the medium term plans with his deal.
14. Edwin Jackson—Pitcher, Signed w/ Chicago Cubs: 4 years/$52 million
After missing out on Anibal Sanchez, the Cubs moved on to the next pitcher in the same range as him in Jackson. One of baseball’s most frequently hired guns over the last few years, Jackson gets his first multi-year deal here. While he’ll never be a top of the rotation option that could stand to potentially replace Matt Garza after he hits the free agent market next winter, he will add needed depth to their shallow rotation.
19. AJ Pierzynski—Catcher, Signed w/ Texas Rangers: 1 year/$7.5 million
The Rangers first move in restricting their roster after losing out on Josh Hamilton was to take advantage of Pierzynski’s wandering status through the winter. After the White Sox moved on and the Yankees decided to go internal in their catcher fix, Pierzynski was up for the taking. Texas fills their revolving catcher situation, and upgrades defensively in the short-term.
22. Cody Ross—Outfield, Signed w/ Arizona Diamondbacks: 3 years/$26 million
In a surprise move, the D’Backs swooped in on Ross and gave him as good of a deal as could be imagined, perhaps even better. His signing puts them in the trade market with any number of their incumbent outfielders, with Jason Kubel, Geraldo Parra and even potentially Justin Upton all being able to be moved more freely, due to his versatility.
55. Mike Adams—Pitcher, Signed with Philadelphia Phillies: 2 years/$12 million
The Phillies made a very, very smart signing in landing Adams for two years. The non-Papelbon part of their bullpen was as thin as possible a year ago, and putting one of the NL’s best setup men from 2009-11 in the mix is an instant improvement.
For more on the last few major signings, as well as the tactical ones, in real time, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan