Biggest MLB Free Agency Winners and Losers Pre-Lockout: Hello Rangers and Corey Seager

Former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager just got a 10-year deal from the Texas Rangers.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager just got a 10-year deal from the Texas Rangers. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It's been an eye-opening day in Major League Baseball free agency, with more than a billion dollars being spent around the league.

Why so many contracts being signed so early this year? The main issue is the ending of baseball's collective bargaining agreement, set to expire Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET. Teams want to get their players signed under the current agreement, and furthermore, players would like to know their futures ahead of a potential lockout and work stoppage.

With no signs of contracts letting up for the next day or so, let's evaluate some of the early winners and losers ahead of Wednesday's lockout deadline.

MLB Free Agency Biggest Winners

The Rangers

Did Rangers Principal owners Ray Davis and Bob R. Simpson just land a winning Powerball ticket? If so, it might explain where this resent surge of free agency dollars is coming from.

After shelling out 7 years and $175 million to infielder Marcus Semien, Texas shored up another key infield piece in free agent shortstop Corey Seager with a 10 year, $325 million deal according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Meanwhile, it's hard for a four year, $56 million dollar deal to feel like chump change, but let's not forget the Rangers also locked up Jon Gray just a few days ago as well.

The Rangers entered the offseason with the fourth-longest odds at WynnBET Sportsbook to win the World Series at +10000. It's safe to say those odds will likely be cut in half when they re-open.

Following a 60-win year and no winning seasons since 2016, Texas appears to be on the right path towards making another charge at an AL West title.

The Mets

The recent NL East punching bag looked like they were going to carry their title into the pending lockout, especially after owner Steve Cohen lashed out on Twitter following a signing they missed out on regarding former Mets left-hander Steven Matz.

But, as it appears, that messed up move could have been a blessing in disguise for the Metropolitans, who have added on over $200 million in contracts since last Friday, including the latest signing of longtime nemesis Max Scherzer on a 3-year $130 million deal. Scherzer's average annual value, according to Passan is higher than both the Baltimore Orioles ($37 million) and Pittsburgh Pirates ($40.2 million).

In addition to the most heralded pitcher on the market, despite being 37 years of age, the Mets have also agreed to terms with outfielder Starling Marte, utility player Mark Canha, and infielder Eduardo Escobar.

The Mets began the offseason with +2200 odds to win the World Series over at WynnBET.

The Fans

After the last several years of waiting until February or March to see a decent free agency contract signed, we finally have some early offseason action in Major League Baseball!

In 2020, George Springer's 6-year, $150 million dollar deal arrived in late January, Gerrit Cole, the top free agent pitcher on the market didn't sign until mid-December back in 2019, and Bryce Harper's record-breaking 13-year $330 million deal didn't go down until the beginning of March of 2019!

Before the end of November, we've already seen MLB clubs hand out several $100 million-plus contracts to Marcus Semien (Rangers), Max Scherzer (Mets), Robbie Ray (Mariners), and Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays). Granted, there may not be a season with the looming lockout on the way, but it's nice to see professional clubs spend the way we were accustomed to seeing in year's past.

MLB Free Agency Biggest Losers

New York Yankees

While their in-city rivals just added under a quarter of a billion dollars to their payroll, the Yankees have sat around and twiddled their thumbs while the free agency frenzy has picked up.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman has some key decisions to make this offseason, especially when it comes to the shortstop position. With the market set on Seager, they know how to appropriately bid on Carlos Correa's services moving forward? New York could also use some upgrades in the starting rotation as well as in center field, having missed out on Starling Marte to the Mets. Perhaps they may even try to move on from Gary Sanchez at the catcher spot well?

The Yankees opened the 2021-22 offseason at +900 odds for the Fall Classic at WynnBET.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have now lost their top starting pitcher and shortstop within the day, as Scherzer and Seager have found new homes. They could also lose utility star Chris Taylor, Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw ahead of the December 1st lockout deadline too.

While President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has never been shy about signing lucrative contracts since arriving in Los Angeles, it's a tough pill to swallow to see the Dodgers lose out on two of their best players as quickly as they have. They could always try to sign Carlos Correa, but after the 2017 World Series debacle and the Astros' cheating scandal, there may still be some bad blood to get past.

AL West Teams Not Named the Texas Rangers

Poor Seattle.

After finalizing a $115 million contract to sign 2021 Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, the Rangers are getting all the headlines for their spending spree on Monday.

The Mariners' signing of Ray, for what it's worth is the largest deal they've handed out since the Robinson Cano 10 year, $240 million deal back in 2014, and the Felix Hernandez contract extension for 7 years and $175 million in 2013.

Meanwhile, the Astros are likely to lose Correa to another contender after reports that their initial offer was of the lowball variety, and the A's lost their longtime manager Bob Melvin to the San Diego Padres. As for the Angels, they still have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, but their quest to get their two stars not just into the playoffs, but a playoff win just got demonstratively more difficult.

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