MLB Roundtable: The Most Surprising Contract From Pre-Lockdown Free Agent Madness

The Atlanta Braves is a World Series champion and baseball is currently in the midst of its first stoppage since the 1994-95 strike. MLB and the MLBPA were unable to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement by the December 2 deadline, so the owner locked the player and the furnace was halted for the foreseeable future.

Throughout the season, CBS Sports MLB scribes will bring you a weekly roundtable that breaks down almost everything. Breaking news, a historical question, thoughts on the future of baseball, all that. In our last roundtable we debated the value of free agency contract deadlines. This week, we’re scrambling to tackle the pre-lock free agent frenzy.

Which pre-key free agency contract signing surprised you the most?

RJ Anderson: To mix things up a bit, I’ll go with Marcus Semien for one main reason: Terminology. In the past, teams have always avoided making lengthy trades with a 30-year-old second because of the risk of attrition. (Not long ago by Brian Dozier.) As such, I think Semien will get a large annual average over time tied to a four- or five-year contract. I certainly didn’t anticipate he would get seven years. Good for him, though, and I hope that his highly regarded work ethic will help him stay productive until the deal closes.

Matt Snyder: I think I’ll go along Marcus Stroman arrive Unit. The way things went down was pretty shocking, starting Sunday afternoon (No28), but once things started happening, it seemed like we knew Rangers, Mets, Many tigers, Blue jay, Mariners and some other team will be aggressive. The Cubs are just on the sidelines and aren’t really linked to any of the big names in the rumors. Teams like Angel still looking to start pitching and have a lot of money. There seems to be absolutely no chance for the Cubs to land Stroman, especially in a three-year deal when just hours before it seemed contented to just add to the sidelines and not compete in 2022.

Dayn Perry: I will tell Kevin Gausman to the Blue Jays. I’m not surprised that Blue Jays boldly moved to strengthen the rotation after Robbie Ray departed for Seattle, but I am surprised that Gausman did not return to San Francisco. After that 107-game winning season and with a pretty impressive payroll, Giant, I would have guessed, would bring in one of the key contributors to their surprise 2021 season. That’s a special case because it’s been so long, it seems that Gausman will return to the Giants. However, The Giants seem to think better of that modest investment, and once closed, they must address the hole Gausman left in the rotation – at least if they’re serious about competing again.

Mike Axisa: For me, the biggest surprise before the general shutdown was that Braves didn’t re-sign Freddie Freeman. I think he’ll be one of the first freelancers to sign, rather than not, sign in to the padlock. That shocked me.

To answer the actual question, I’ll go with Max Scherzer. I’m surprised just because I didn’t think Dodgers will be outbid for him. Scherzer matched their needs (rotational help) and aspirations (a World Series championship), and they could dollar with any team, but they held back. Scherzer is on the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, and those tough union guys always win the top offer. All the Dodgers had to do was beat the Mets’ offer, which they could afford to do no matter how crazy the bidding was, but they let Scherzer go. I’m not surprised he went to the Mets. I’m surprised the Dodgers let him go. MLB Roundtable: The Most Surprising Contract From Pre-Lockdown Free Agent Madness

Jake Nichol

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