There were a couple of big-time signings from the 2014 MLB free-agent pool this weekend, and bigger dominoes will certainly fall in the coming weeks.
Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reported that the New York Yankees agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal with former Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann. The deal also includes a sixth-year option that could bring the deal to $100 million and a full no-trade clause.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted that the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a deal with free-agent shortstop/third baseman Jhonny Peralta, and Jim Bowden of ESPN.com tweeted that the deal was for four years and $52 million.
McCann and Peralta were two of the biggest bats on the market, and more bats will continue to sign now that the market has been set. Here are predictions for the next players to ink deals this winter.
Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees
Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reported a few weeks back that the Yankees were making a "full-court press" to sign McCann and Carlos Beltran.
It seems they were spot on about McCann, so who's to say they won't also be right about Beltran? McCann always seemed like the most logical player for the Yankees to sign first, as they had a real need behind the plate and not a huge hole in the outfield.
Now that their catcher situation has been figured out, though, look for them to go hard after one of the top postseason hitters of all time. Yankees legend Bernie Williams would be in favor of a deal, as he told Brendan Kuty of NJ.com that Beltran "would be a star in any league he plays."
This, of course, was a comment regarding Beltran's switch to the American League. He started his career with the Kansas City Royals and dominated AL pitching at the time, but the 36-year-old would likely be relegated to part-time outfield/part-time DH duties in his second go-around in the AL.
Beltran could very well sign next. I think a two-year, $36 million deal gets it done.
Bronson Arroyo, Minnesota Twins
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press believes the Minnesota Twins would be willing to go three years for starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, and that should be enough to convince him to sign.
At 36 years old, Arroyo may not be fielding many three-year offers this offseason. Sure, pitching for the Twins may not bring him the most success in terms of a chance at the playoffs, but he'll be given the security he's likely looking for at this point in his career.
Arroyo is coming off a fine season for the Cincinnati Reds. He went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 202 innings with a WHIP of 1.153. Arroyo has eclipsed the 200-inning mark in eight of the last nine seasons, though the other season was a 199-inning endeavor.
The Twins will certainly be getting a reliable veteran pitcher to anchor an otherwise young staff, though it may be difficult for him to transition back into the AL after spending the last eight years with the Reds.
Tim Hudson's two-year, $23 million deal with the San Francisco Giants could serve as a benchmark of sorts for the Twins. I say Arroyo signs in Minnesota for three years and $36 million.
Phil Hughes, Miami Marlins
Phil Hughes isn't a particularly large domino, but he's the perfect type of signing for a Miami Marlins team looking to piece together a pitching staff.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have shown interest in Hughes, and Hughes may actually succeed in the spacious confines of Marlins Park. After giving up 59 home runs in the last two seasons with the Yankees, a shift to a larger ballpark may be in order for the right-hander.
Hughes could be had at a semi-reasonable price. Like Josh Johnson's deal with the San Diego Padres, a deal with Hughes would likely be for one year with a respectable base salary and the potential to make more in incentives.
Miami likely realizes that a deal with Hughes could very well backfire, though, and that's why I think they'll be smart and offer him just a one-year pact.
Hughes and the Marlins will agree on a one-year, $7 million deal with incentives included that will boost his pay into the $10 million range.