Grading All the Latest Deals from MLB's Free Agency Frenzy

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IINovember 28, 2012

Grading All the Latest Deals from MLB's Free Agency Frenzy

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    The MLB free-agent frenzy has just begun with a lot of players still left on the market.

    With the action expected to pick up at the annual winter meetings Dec. 3-6, multiple players and their agents are holding out for the big contract.

    However, there are those who didn't wait on the winter meetings, deciding to go ahead and sign with a team.

    Here's a look at all the latest free-agent signings along with a grade for each deal.

Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Grade: B+

    While not a free-agent deal, Evan Longoria receiving a contract extension from the Tampa Bay Rays this week was big news.

    Longoria received a $100 million extension that will keep him with the Rays until 2023.

    What makes this deal interesting is the Rays signed Longoria to a six-year contract in 2008, just days into his big-league career. Along with option years after, the Rays could have had Longoria signed through 2017 at a cost of $44 million the rest of the way.

    Now, the $44 million is guaranteed, as is the rest of his deal that will pay him $13 million in 2017 and $19.5 million in 2022.

    This deal shows two things—the Rays are willing to pay big bucks, albeit to one player, and Longoria will likely retire a Ray. Plus, by signing him to this deal, the Rays ensure their star third baseman doesn't hit the free-agent market where he could command a much higher salary.

Jonathan Broxton, Cincinnati Reds

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    Grade: A-

    The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly agreed to a deal with Jonathan Broxton.

    The deal is believed to be three years and gives the Reds the option of moving Aroldis Chapman to the rotation.

    Having Broxton as a closer is a good thing, especially considering the success he's had in his career.

    Last year, Broxton had 27 saves and a 2.48 ERA between Cincinnati and Kansas City.

    Overall, it's a good deal for the Reds as it allows them to move forward with Chapman.

Scott Feldman, Chicago Cubs

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    Grade: C-

    The Chicago Cubs announced the signing of Scott Feldman on Tuesday.

    Feldman spent his first eight years in the big leagues with the Texas Rangers, but outside of 2009, Feldman has been disappointing.

    With the Rangers' rotation getting thicker, there was just no room for Feldman to stay in Arlington.

    However, was this the best move for the Cubs?

    With a deep pocketbook and looking to bring a team out of the cellar, many expected the Cubs to make a bigger splash in starting pitching than Feldman.

    But, for one year and $6 million, it's worth the risk for the Cubs to take a flier on him.

Ryan Madson, Los Angeles Angels

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    Grade: A

    Jerry Crasnick of has reported that reliever Ryan Madson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

    Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto had been looking to upgrade a bullpen that went 19-20 with a 3.97 ERA, 12th-best among the 14 American League teams. The Angels' bullpen blew 22 saves, tied with Boston for most in the league.

    After being a reliable setup man in Philadelphia, Madson joined the Cincinnati Reds last year before getting sidelined after Tommy John surgery.

    Although he won't be the Angels' closer, he'll still be a reliable setup man.

Eli Whiteside, New York Yankees

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    Grade: F

    The New York Yankees added catching depth with they claimed Eli Whiteside off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

    New York avoided arbitration with Whiteside by agreeing to a one-year, $625,000 deal or $200,000 if Whiteside is in the minor leagues.

    It's a head-scratcher as to why the Yankees signed Whiteside.

    With guys like Russell Martin and Mike Napoli still available, the Yankees still had options. And, it's not like they have a budget they have to stay within.

    Not sure why the Yankees made this move, as Whiteside is nothing more than a third catcher on any team.

Jonny Gomes, Boston Red Sox

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    Grade: B-

    The Boston Red Sox agreed to a $10 million deal with Jonny Gomes on Tuesday, although the deal is still pending a physical.

    Gomes is a career .244/.334/.455 hitter with a little bit of power.

    This move gives the Red Sox a backup plan just in case Cody Ross doesn't re-sign with the team. If he does, then Gomes will be a valuable fourth outfielder who will be able to provide veteran leadership in the clubhouse.

    Overall, it's not a bad move. It gives the Red Sox healthy options, and that's what they need right now.

Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals

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    Grade: B

    Jeremy Guthrie re-signed with the Kansas City Royals, giving the team a veteran starter.

    The deal is reportedly worth $25 million over three years, according to a story by the Associated Press.

    Last year, Guthrie went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA with the Royals after being traded by the Colorado Rockies during the season.

    Guthrie has never been much of a winning pitcher, as he's 55-77 over the course of his career.

    Still, his leadership in a young rotation will be key if the Royals are going to have any sort of success in 2013.

Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees

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    Grade: A+

    So far, this is the best signing this offseason. Not only is it good for the Yankees, but it's also good for Hiroki Kuroda.

    According to a report by Andrew Marchand of, Kuroda turned down two-year offers to take the Yanks' one-year, $15 million offer.

    The Yankees received the edge because of Kuroda's comfort level in the Bronx. In his first season with the Yankees, Kuroda felt at home with his new teammates, the fans and the city. He was glad to take a one-year offer because he would like to finish his career in Japan, the source confirmed.

    While there was more of a guarantee with other teams, Kuroda stuck with his personal preference and didn't follow the money.

    Plus, he wants to finish his career at home in Japan, giving one last go at a world championship in MLB.

    Kuroda is earning a lot of respect from fans with this move, while the Yankees are celebrating because they're bringing back their second-best starter from a year ago.