Extra Innings: Winners and losers of free agency

Graphic by Lily Davis
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With nearly all of this year’s big-name free agents off the board, here are the teams that won (and lost) free agency in 2022. 

Winners

New York Yankees

Despite facing fierce competition from the Giants, the Yankees managed to re-sign Aaron Judge to a mammoth nine-year $360 million contract and promptly made him the 16th team captain in franchise history. They also made a splash by signing starter Carlos Rodón to a six-year deal, adding to their already stacked rotation. Furthermore, re-signing first baseman Anthony Rizzo keeps a power bat in the lineup. 

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Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies got arguably the best shortstop on the board in Trea Turner, signing him to an 11-year deal worth $300 million to replace Bryson Stott, a weakness in their infield. They also boosted their rotation by signing former Met Taijuan Walker to a four-year contract, and Matt Strahm is a solid addition to the bullpen. 

New York Mets

Even though the Mets lost three of their starting pitchers, they managed to find solid replacements in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and José Quintana. The Mets also brought back center fielder Brandon Nimmo and bolstered their bullpen, re-signing Edwin Díaz and Adam Ottavino and bringing in veteran David Robertson. 

Chicago Cubs

Losing Willson Contreras stings, but the Cubs’ top priority this offseason was always a shortstop, and they found their man in Dansby Swanson, signing him to a seven-year $177 million deal. Jameson Taillon is a boost to their rotation, and Chicago also signed Cody Bellinger, Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini, adding solid depth. 

Losers

Boston Red Sox

Rafael Devers’ extension aside, this offseason has to be counted as a failure for the Red Sox. They lost key contributors in Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi and J.D. Martinez, and their biggest acquisitions were Justin Turner, Corey Kluber and Kenley Jansen, which would make them a scary team — if this were 2017. 

San Francisco Giants

The Giants did make a couple of additions, namely Mitch Haniger, Michael Confort and Sean Manaea, but their offseason will be remembered for the guys they missed out on: Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa. The Yankees got Judge in spite of heavy speculation that he’d head to the Bay Area, and a problem in Correa’s physical killed a reported 13-year $350 million deal between the two sides, leaving the Giants without a superstar.  

Baltimore Orioles

After a surprising 83–79 season on the league’s lowest payroll, the Orioles talked a big game about spending this offseason to support their young core, but so far, nothing has really materialized. Their biggest signing has been Adam Frazier who struggled last year in Seattle. Not quite the offseason they were looking for but maybe the trade market will yield something. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers weren’t necessarily inactive in free agency, but they did watch a lot of guys walk. Trea Turner was their biggest loss, and LA also saw Tyler Anderson, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner, among others, leave town. They did manage to re-sign Clayton Kershaw and bring in Noah Syndergaard and J.D. Martinez but ultimately failed in finding a replacement for Trea Turner.  They’ll still be among the league’s elite teams next year, but they probably won’t win 111 games again.

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