MLB free agency roundup: Marcus Semien heads to Rangers; Kevin Gausman to Blue Jays

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With murmurs of a lockout and a collective bargaining agreement that will expire at midnight Dec. 2, Major League Baseball had a busy holiday weekend on the free-agency front. 

The New York Mets agreed to terms with three players during a “Black Friday” shopping spree, and other teams jumped in from there. Earlier in the week, the Tampa Bay Rays secured a future with phenom shortstop Wander Franco, 20, with a record deal that guaranteed him $185 million. 

The news kept coming Sunday: a veteran starting pitcher inked a huge deal and a veteran infielder got paid, plus a noteworthy extension. Here’s the news from Sunday: 

The Texas Rangers finished the 2021 MLB season with a league-worst .670 team on-base plus slugging percentage. The Toronto Blue Jays led MLB in that category (.797), and the one-year acquisition of Marcus Semien certainly helped. 

Now the Rangers have Semien to anchor shortstop, as the 31-year-old signed a seven-year, $175 million deal on Sunday, according to ESPN.

Semien enjoyed a career year in Toronto. He played in all 162 games, finished third in MVP voting and set career highs in RBI (102) and homers (45). He also won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, parlaying it all into a payday that Texas was happy to provide. 

The Blue Jays are going all in to win the American League East, spending big money on a big arm. ESPN’s Jeff Passan and report pitcher Kevin Gausman and Toronto have agreed to a a five-year, $110 million contract.

The right-hander is coming off a stellar season in San Francisco, where he made 33 starts and went 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts to only 50 walks. The 30-year-old, who is entering his 10th season, now heads back to the AL East after spending his first five big league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. He joins a Toronto staff that boasted a 3.91 ERA in 2021 and already features a pretty stacked rotation.

This is a gamble by both sides, as the injury-prone Buxton has played more than 92 games in a season just once. But he is a rare five-tool player, so the Twins signed him to a seven-year, $100 million contract, according to ESPN.

The deal pays Buxton $9 million next season and $15 million until 2028. Buxton will turn 28 next month.

The deal is incentive-laden, per The Athletic, with escalators included for MVP awards. The breakdown is: 

Garcia, 30, was an All-Star in 2017 while with the White Sox and played for Tampa Bay (2019) before spending the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2021, he reached career highs in home runs (29), RBI (86) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.820). 

In the need of bats, the Marlins signed the outfielder to a four-year, $53 million deal, according to ESPN.

A two-time American League Cy Young winner, Kluber endured a third injury-ridden season, this time after a season with the New York Yankees. He missed about three months with a shoulder injury after throwing a no-hitter on May 19 and finished with a  3.83 ERA in 16 starts (80 innings). He appeared in eight games in the two years before that.

A different AL East team will give the 35-year-old another shot: the Rays. Kluber’s deal is one year latest malayalam movie newsand $8 million, per multiple reports. Incentives could bring the deal to $13 million, based on number of start thresholds.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

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