Much like the starters, the top few relievers remain unsigned in the market, but there has been much more movement in the tiers below that absolutely top of the market.
The Rockies and Phillies have been the most surprisingly active among the “expensive” free agents. Jake McGee re-signed with Colorado and Bryan Shaw moved from Cleveland to Colorado for identical 3 year, $27 million contracts. The Phillies spent 2 years on both Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek, giving the former $18 million and the latter $16.25 million.
The Chicago Cubs were expected to be heavy into the free agent market, and they have done just that, signing Steve Cishek to $13 million over 2 seasons and Brandon Morrow to $21 million over the same two seasons. Both will bring the type of raw stuff to take over the closing job in Chicago, but the Cubs also are not necessarily done shopping for relievers, either.
The Rangers have pursued alternative routes with their bullpen signings this offseason. To this point, Mike Minor‘s $28 million over 3 years is the most that any reliever has received in overall value of contract, though Minor is very possibly going to be stretched out as a starter.
The Rangers have utilized non-traditional routes instead to strengthen their bullpen, signing Tony Barnette to a one-year, $1.5 million deal and Chris Martin to a 2-year, $4 million dollar deal. The Diamondbacks have taken similar non-traditional routes, signing T.J. McFarland and Yoshihisa Hirano to a total of %6.85 million in contracts.
The Astros have also signed a pair of quality bullpen arms, inking both Joe Smith and Hector Rondon both to 2-year deals. Smith signed a $15 million deal. Rondon was non-tendered by the Cubs, and the Astros were pleased to sign him to a $8.5 million total contract.
Juan Nicasio has led the way in multi-year pacts for a team that’s only really signed on player to this point, signing a 2 year, $17 million deal with the Mariners. Four other pitchers received multiple year deals, with Anthony Swarzak getting $14 million from the Mets, Luke Gregerson $11 million from the Cardinals, and Yusmeiro Petit and Brandon Kintzler each for $10 million.
On the one-year pacts, a few “flyer” types have earned small deals so far this offseason. Tom Koehler has topped that list with a $2 million deal with the Dodgers to move to the bullpen. Wily Peralta signed with the Royals to convert to the bullpen for $1.525 million. Jordan Lyles will also work on such a conversion for $1 million with the Padres.
Next: Hitter deals