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MLB Roundup 3/19: Twins sign Carlos Correa

Some stunning news to wake up to.

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World Series - Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Twins sign Carlos Correa to a three-year deal

The Twins have been one of the most surprisingly interesting teams on the other side of the lockout, making a few big moves like trading for Gary Sánchez while dumping Josh Donaldson’s contract while also acquiring Sonny Gray in a trade. None of those compare to the huge move they made late into the night on Friday, leaving everyone shocked by signing Carlos Correa to a three-year deal worth $105.3 million. It is the largest average annual value given to an infielder, and Correa has an opt out after each of the first two years of the deal.

Correa was the top free agent on the market this year, which makes it surprising that he settled for a shorter term deal, even if it is still a favorable contract for him given the high yearly salaries along with the opt outs. He’s also a huge get for the Twins, who are trying to compete in an AL Central that doesn’t look all that strong outside the White Sox. Correa, who put up a 134 wRC+ last season alongside great defense at a premium position, will replace the light-hitting Andrelton Simmons, who was the Twins shortstop last season. They could still use some help in the rotation to be a true contender, but their lineup is now deep, and their defense up the middle is tremendous.

Why Red Sox fans should care: While there were some rumors during the lockout that the Red Sox were considering making a move for Correa, it doesn’t really seem like that was ever real. That said, there is some real impact here. With Correa leaving, the Astros now could be in the market for a shortstop, and Red Sox target Trevor Story is the best one left. Boston still appears to be right in the thick of things, but a contender who can offer a starting job at shortstop and also happens to be in Story’s home state makes things considerably more difficult for Boston than even last night.

Phillies sign Nick Castellanos to a five-year deal

For the first time in their history, the Phillies are going over the luxury tax, and they’re doing it to bolster their lineup. The Phillies Friday night agreed to a five-year deal with hard-hitting outfielder/DH Nick Castellanos. The deal, which contains no opt-outs, is for an even $100 million total.

The Phillies already made a similar move earlier in the week by signing Kyle Schwarber, but that didn’t stop them from adding another big-time bat to this lineup. They now can boast a top three of Schwarber, Castellanos, and Bryce Harper, with Rhy Hoskins behind them, giving them as formidable a top of the lineup as anyone in the game. Of course, there are going to be some major defensive questions in this lineup as well, with one of Schwarber and Castellanos forced into the outfield on a daily basis. They’re betting their offense and pitching staff is good enough to make up for the defensive woes, and it’s not the worst bet to make.

Why Red Sox fans should care: There were some token rumors connecting Boston to Castellanos leading up to when he signed, but it never seemed all that serious, which is strange. While not an ideal defensive fit, Castellanos could have faked it for a year in front of the Monster before taking over at DH the following season, and he’d have given the Red Sox that big right-handed bat they’ve been after. He’s coming off a 140 wRC+ season and has been over 120 in three of the last four years.

Braves sign Kenley Jansen to a one-year deal

Earlier this week the Dodgers signed Freddie Freeman, taking away one of the all-time great Braves. So, it only make sense that Atlanta would then turn around and try to take one of the Dodgers long-time best players. Granted, it’s not nearly the same impact, but the Braves did grab long-time Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen, signing him to a one-year deal worth $16 million.

This one kind of came out of nowhere, but it makes sense for a Braves bullpen that is very good but also skews a bit left-handed. Jansen does have some worrying signs, most notably deteriorating command with his walk rate jumping six percent in 2019 all the way up to 13 percent last season. That said, he’s always put up results, and there’s not a ton of risk here with this being a one-year deal. Atlanta suddenly has a potentially dominant back end of the bullpen, with Jansen and Collin McHugh, another recent signing, from the right side and Will Smith and Tyler Matzek from the left.

Championship Series - Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Why Red Sox fans should care: It’s hard to be too upset about the Red Sox not making this move, not because I think it would have been a bad one but because I was never expecting a splash in the bullpen. Jansen would have helped shore up a late-inning situation that is riddled with question marks well beyond the ones around Jansen, but there’s just no way this version of the Red Sox is spending $16 million on a reliever.

Yankees trade Luke Voit to the Padres

One of the reasons the Yankees have been able to consistently compete over the last half decade specifically has been their ability to identify offensive talent on the scrapheap and incorporate them into their lineup. One of the best examples of this has been Luke Voit, but he started to fall out of favor last year when they traded for Anthony Rizzo. That took Voit out of his everyday lineup spot, and with Rizzo now coming back in free agency it seemed like something had to give. Something did indeed give. Voit has been traded to the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Justin Lange.

In Voit, the Padres get a power-hitting right-handed bat for the middle of their lineup, though one with some injury issues. They have some depth at the position behind him to make up for that, though they may be looking at more moves to trade Eric Hosmer and/or Wil Myers to offload those contracts. On the other side of the deal, as mentioned the Yankees weren’t really going to have a path to give Voit a ton of playing time, and get the 34th overall pick from the 2020 draft. Lange has extremely intriguing stuff, but his command is still quite raw at 20 years old.

Why Red Sox fans should care: This one’s easy. Red Sox fans do, and should, care about just about everything the Yankees do. I think they’re giving up on Voit too easily, but after signing Rizzo they don’t have much choice.

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