Toronto and Colorado agreed on a deal that would send outfielder Randal Grichuk to the Rockies for Ramiel Tapia, a prospect — infielder Adrian Pinto — and cash. It’s really just another salary dump for the Rockies, who were on the hook to pay Grichuk more than $18 million over the next two years. They’ll take about $14 million off the books by swapping him with Tapia and Grichuk.
Grichuk was a fine piece for the Blue Jays but the outfield was becoming crowded with too much young talent to justify keeping him around at that price point.
Why Red Sox fans should care: 22 home runs and 81 RBIs — a career-high for Grichuk — are leaving the division, which isn’t a bad thing on its own. But this does signal that an outfield of Teoscar Hernández, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and George Springer will return at full strength for the 2022 campaign, which I do not care for.
Tommy Pham, formerly of the Padres, signed with the Reds on Thursday for a $6 million base salary and a $1.5 million buyout on the mutual option he has next year. Pham was a good contact hitter for the Cardinals and Rays from 2017-19, but his average tailed off after he was traded to San Diego in the 2019-20 offseason. His 2021 slash of .229/.340/.383 was well below career averages. Pham’s subpar numbers could be the result of some brutal injuries — a fractured hamate bone in his right hand and a stab wound that required 200 stitches. He suffered the stab wound last offseason and it’s possible that he was not entirely healthy for the 2021 campaign.
After the Royals dealt him at the deadline to Atlanta, Soler really found his stride. He recorded more home runs (14) in 55 games with the Braves than he did in 94 games with the Royals (13) and hit .269 in Atlanta after not breaking the Mendoza line in Kansas City. Soler really earned his payday with a 6-20, three home run performance in the 2021 World Series.
Why Red Sox fans should care: The Red Sox are still looking for some outfield depth Both players would have come at a cost and for as valuable as they would have been, those prices don’t exactly match the production. Still, Soler and Pham coming off the table means that the outfielder market becomes just that much smaller and makes the Red Sox that much more desperate for someone who can both handle Fenway’s awkward right field and lengthen the lineup.
- The Blue Jays agreed to terms with newly acquired 3rd baseman Matt Chapman on Tuesday. His new deal is worth $25 million over two years. Toronto also avoided arbitration with Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernández.
- Austin Meadows and the Rays avoided arbitration by inking the 26-year old outfielder to a one-year, $4 million contract. Meadows hit .234/.315/.458 with 27 home runs, 106 RBI and 79 runs scored in 2021.
- Neither Trey Mancini nor Brian Reynolds have come to terms with their respective teams. The Orioles have yet to contact Mancini — an impending free agent — about an extension and GM Mike Elias has hinted that the star outfielder is the subject of trade talks. Reyonds is dealing with the arbitration process and Rob Biertempfel reported that numbers proposed by him and the team are less than $700,000 apart.
- Old friend Andrew Miller announced his retirement on Thursday afternoon. Miller played for 16 years and helped negotiate the latest CBA, one that he will not benefit from.
- New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday that athletes are exempt from the city’s vaccine mandate. So, hypothetically, if a right fielder for the Yankees didn’t get the jab because he was “so focused on getting through the first game of spring training” or whatever, he’d still be eligible to play 81 home games at Yankee Stadium.