Angels sign Julio Teherán
The Angels went into the offseason looking to make big moves on the pitching front, but they missed out on Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber. They did pick up Dylan Bundy earlier in the winter, too, though many expected them to make at least one more addition. They did just that on Thursday, signing long-time Braves righty Julio Teherán to a one-year deal worth $9 million. Earlier in the decade, Teherán looked like an up-and-coming ace in Atlanta, but he was never able to take that next step. At this point he probably tops out as a mid-rotation arm, but he’s been better-than-average by ERA in each of the last two years and in three of the last four, albeit with peripherals that tell a different story. It’s really not the impact the Angels need at the top of their rotation, but there is at least an argument Shohei Ohtani’s return to the mound can provide that.
Sox Spin: This is a big deal on the David Price front. I don’t think this takes the Angels out of those talks, but they feasibly have a full rotation now. With Ohtani and his two-way status, they generally like to go with a six-man rotation, and they now have six starters. There are health and track record questions there, though, so they could add one more arm and have Patrick Sandoval start the year either in Triple-A or in the bullpen. The desperation is no longer there, however.
Brewers sign Justin Smoak
The Brewers have been on the prowl of late, signing some low-cost depth pieces in Ryon Healy and Eric Sogard earlier in the week. On Thursday, they added a former Red Sox division rival in Justin Smoak to take over at first base. He’ll make $5 million on this deal. The Brewers lost both Eric Thames and Jesús Aguilar, their former platoon at the cold corner. They needed to do something for this position, and it looks like Smoak (with Healy getting some time, too) will be that answer. Milwaukee still needs the pitching, but they have a nice offense being built there.
Sox Spin: This is big for the Red Sox if you think they need a left-handed first baseman on this roster. Smoak was one of those options, and this was a nice price, too. On the other hand, this does put Eric Thames very much in play, someone I wrote about earlier in the week. The good news is Smoak is out of this division. He can’t hurt us anymore.
Gio González signs with the White Sox
Like the other two teams already mentioned here, the White Sox need pitching. They’d missed out on Zack Wheeler earlier in the offseason in a big blow to their plans, and now they are coming back with a Gio González signing. The former Nationals southpaw now heads back to the team where his career started. Lucas Giolito had a huge breakout this past year, but the White Sox don’t have much behind him. González isn’t the pitcher he once was, but this is a nice, stable addition for a solid mid-rotation arm to be added to a young rotation.
Sox Spin: It never really seemed like the White Sox were big players in the Price market, and if they are this signing doesn’t really preclude any trade. So, I don’t see much effect here in either direction.
Royals sign Maikel Franco
This is an interesting signing. The Royals are obviously in full rebuild mode, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add any players in free agency. Granted, this is not a very expensive contract, but there is some upside here. They added former Phillies prospect Maikel Franco on a one-year deal. Now, Franco has not had a good career, struggling on both sides of the ball. But he’s still only 27 years old and there is upside at the plate here. The Royals need some excitement, and after they brought back Jorge Soler last year maybe this can be their next project.
Sox Spin: Not much to say here.