Weeks from Opening Day, Major League Baseball teams are scrambling to make moves during the truncated spring training.
Big-name free agents including Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and Trevor Story are still available and trades have been flying since players reported to camp, with the Oakland Athletics selling off All-Stars Matt Chapman (Blue Jays), Matt Olson (Braves) and Chris Bassitt (Mets) in recent days.
Keep it here all day Wednesday – and through the rest of spring training – as USA TODAY Sports brings you all the biggest news and buzz from around the league.
The San Francisco Giants bolstered their outfield depth by agreeing to terms on a one-year, $6 million deal with 2015 NL All-Star Joc Pederson. The 29-year-old Pederson won a World Series ring last season with the Atlanta Braves, but is much more familiar to Giants fans from the seven years he spent with their archrival, the Los Angeles Dodgers — including their 2020 World Series championship season.
A native of nearby Palo Alto, Pederson had his best season in 2019, when he played in 149 games for the Dodgers and totaled career highs in home runs (36) and RBI (74).
The Colorado Rockies made an unlikely splash in the free-agent market on Wednesday, reaching an agreement with former NL MVP Kris Bryant on a seven-year, $182 million contract.
Bryant, 30, was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the San Francisco Giants last season. He hit a combined .265 with 25 home runs and 73 RBI between the two teams. The four-time All-Star is a versatile defender who should thrive at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Cincinnati has already traded Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez and Amir Garrett since spring training began, but GM Nick Krall said Wednesday that the team doesn’t plan to deal two of its other biggest assets – right-handed starters Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle.
The Royals agreed to a one-year, $13 million contract with Zack Greinke on Wednesday, bringing the 38-year-old back to where his big-league career began.
Greinke went 11-6 with a 4.16 ERA in 171 innings for the Astros in 2021.
Kansas City selected Greinke sixth overall in the 2002 draft and he made his big-league debut two years later, winning the AL Cy Young award in 2009.The Royals traded Greinke to the Brewers after the 2010 season and received Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar in the deal – both of whom were key players for the team that won the World Series in 2015.
Royals starters had a 4.97 ERA in 2021, ranking 12th of 15 teams in the American League. Kansas City’s big-league rotation holdovers include Brad Keller, Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, Carlos Hernandez and Daniel Lynch.
The Reds completed their third trade this week, shipping reliever Amir Garrett to the Kansas City Royals for starting pitcher Mike Minor and cash considerations.
The Reds have now traded Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez and Garrett since the start of camp Sunday.
Minor, a 34-year-old right-hander, had an 8-12 record with a 5.05 ERA in 28 starts with the Royals last season. He’s owed $10 million this year with a $13 million club option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout.
– Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati Enquirer
The World Series champion Atlanta Braves signed outfielder Eddie Rosario to a new two-year contract worth $18 million, bringing back one of the key players from their 2021 run to fill a hole in left field.
Acquired in July from Cleveland, Rosario was the MVP of the NLCS against the Dodgers, batting .560 (14-for-25) with three homers and nine RBI in the six-game series. The 30-year-old received MVP votes in 2019 and 2020 with the Twins, hitting 32 homers with 109 RBI in 2019.
Atlanta also signed outfielder Alex Dickerson to a non-guaranteed major-league contract on Wednesday. A left-handed hitter, Dickerson hit .233 in 111 games for the Giants in 2021, but had a breakout 2020 season, posting a .947 OPS with 10 home runs and 27 RBI in 52 games.
It’s been a busy week for the Braves, who traded for first baseman Matt Olson to replace Freddie Freeman – signing him to a $168 million deal – and signed reliever Collin McHugh to a two-year deal.
The Detroit Tigers have signed left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin to a two-year, $13 million deal Chafin has an opt-out in his contract after the first season.
Chafin, 32, logged a 1.83 ERA with 19 walks and 64 strikeouts in 71 games for the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics last season.
Opponents already had to account for one slugging lefty in the middle of the Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup in Bryce Harper, the reigning National League MVP. Make that two, with the Phillies signing slugger Kyle Schwarber to a four-year deal.
Schwarber was an All-Star in 2021, hitting 32 home runs with 71 RBI in 113 regular-season games for the Nationals and Red Sox.
Now that the designated hitter has been extended to the National League under the newly ratified collective bargaining agreement, Phillies manager Joe Girardi can pencil Schwarber’s name into the order without fretting about any defensive liabilities.
– Chris Bumbaca
Red Sox lefty Chris Sale has a stress fracture in his rib cage and will miss the start of the 2022 season.
Sale underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and returned in August 2021, going 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 42 ⅔ innings and made three starts for Boston in the postseason.
Red Sox executive Chaim Bloom said it will be “weeks, not days” before Sale can pick up a ball and start throwing again.
Without Sale, the Red Sox have Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Rich Hill, Tanner Houck and Michael Wacha in the rotation.
The fire sale continues for the Oakland Athletics, who traded All-Star third baseman Matt Chapman to the Toronto Blue Jays.
In return, the A’s will receive minor leaguers Kevin Smith, Gunnar Hoglund, Zach Logue and Kirby Snead.
This is the third trade this week involving the Athletics. The dust is still settling after Oakland traded fan-favorite first baseman Matt Olson to the World Series champion Atlanta Braves and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to the New York Mets earlier this week.
The Chicago Cubs have landed one of the most coveted free agents on the market, Japanese star Seiya Suzuki.
Suzuki, a four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner and two-time batting champion in Japan’s Central League, agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal,
Suzuki has been one of the best players in Nippon Professional Baseball League since making his debut in 2013. Last season, he hit .317 with 38 home runs and 88 RBI.
The Yankees signed free agent first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a two-year, $32 million deal, a reunion with the 32-year-old first baseman who joined them at the 2021 trade deadline.
Now, the Yankees have an infield of Rizzo at first base, Gleyber Torres at second base, Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop and Josh Donaldson at third base, with DJ LeMahieu expected to get starts at first, second and third.