Grading MLB Free Agency Acquisitions: Legendary Faces In New Places


Clutch Sports

Things in Texas just got even bigger: Meet the Rangers’ new infield

It has only been 29 days since the Atlanta Braves were crowned World Series champions in an extraordinary postseason run, but teams around the league are wasting no time as they prepare for next year’s opportunity to take their throne. Future first-round Hall-of-Famers, World Series MVPs, and All-Stars have been on the move since the beginning of the free agency period and have been signing record-breaking deals. Here are my grades for some of the top signings of the offseason thus far:

Rangers sign Marcus Semien (7rs / $175 Million) and Corey Seager (10yrs / $325 Million) Grade: B

The Rangers finished the 2021 season with a 60-102 record, the third-worst record in baseball. It looked like the team was hitting the rebuild button after sending outfielder Joey Gallo to the Yankees, but out of nowhere, the Rangers signed two of the league’s premier infielders in Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. Semien, age 31, bet on himself after signing a one year $18 million deal with the Blue Jays in 2020, but it clearly paid off. He moved to second base and set the all-time position record for home runs with 45, and hopes to continue that trend in Arlington next year. Seager, who was the 2020 World Series MVP, leaves Los Angeles after seven years in hopes of having another all-star caliber year. The spotlight is on the Rangers as Seager and Semien both come with a hefty price tag and high expectations. 

Mets sign Max Scherzer (3yrs / $130 Million)  Grade: A

Max Scherzer is one of many moves made by the Mets who are looking to rebound after a disappointing 2021 campaign. Putting the money and contract length aside, Scherzer, age 37, is a lock for the Hall of Fame, and one of this generation’s top arms. It is certainly an overpay for an aging pitcher, but the Mets now have a 1-2 punch with ace Jacob Degrom and now Scherzer, which could prove to be lethal especially come postseason time. 

Rays extend Wander Franco (11yrs / $182 Million) Grade: A++

The hometown kid gets paid. Former MLB #1 rated prospect, Wander Franco proved he was worth the hype with a rookie campaign that included reaching base safely in 43-consecutive games and an all-star level performance in the ALDS against the Red Sox. This is the perfect move for a team that historically is very frugal with their payroll. 

Mariners sign Robbie Ray – LHP (5yrs / $115 Million) Grade: B+

After Seattle’s Cinderella season was cut short just before the playoffs, it was inevitable that they would-be buyers in the offseason, but signing the reigning AL Cy Young winner was a pleasant surprise. Ray, age 30, is coming off undoubtedly the best season of his career, but his success has a fairly limited sample size. The question still remains, is Ray enough to put Seattle over the edge and end their 20-year playoff drought. 

New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers – Grade: F

You cannot have “the best team money can buy” and still lose out on top free agents, but as an Atlanta (and Boston) sports fan, when the Yankees and Dodgers lose, America wins!