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MLB: Big moves as Story, Correa, Castellanos find new homes

Trevor Story signs with Boston Red Sox

With baseball finally back, it looks like free agency is wrapping up with MLB Spring Training games underway. In the last couple of days, big names like Trevor Story, Carlos Correa and Nicholas Castellanos have all found themselves inking big deals with new clubs. There will likely be more players on the move as we inch closer to opening day via trade but with the exception of players like Michael Conforto and Tommy Pham, it looks like all the bigger named free agents have found homes for at least the 2022 season.

Correa and Castellanos were both All-Stars last year and Story is a two time All-Star himself, so the fact that all three of these players found a new home this offseason is noteworthy. They each offer a significant upgrade to their new teams in different ways.

Trevor Story – Boston Red Sox

(+450 to win AL East, +1600 to win World Series)

Trevor Story inked himself a six-year, $140 million deal with the Boston Red Sox after reportedly being in conversation with the New York Yankees all offseason. Story was one of the most sought-after free agents this winter as he has put up big numbers during his six-year career in the major leagues with the Colorado Rockies.

Story took over from Troy Tulowitzki as the Rockies’ everyday shortstop in 2016 and was no disappointment. Despite coming after the best shortstop in the team’s history, Story cemented himself quickly. Story slashed .272/.340/.573 during his time in Colorado highlighted by two All-Star appearances in 2018 and 2019. Story established himself as one of the league’s best shortstops as he sent balls flying out of Coors Field on a nightly basis.

The only argument that can be made against Story is the same argument that can be made about any Rockies player leaving Coors Field. Much has been made of his drastic home-and-away splits. For his career, Story is a .303 hitter at Coors field and a .241 hitter away. In fact, 95 of Story’s 158 career home runs have come in Rockies home games, it sure seems like Story benefitted from the thin Colorado air. The caveat to this argument would be that Story is heading into perhaps the second-best place for right-handers to hit. As the “green monster” at Fenway Park is a mere 310 feet from home plate, Story should catch a couple of breaks there.

Story, a great defensive short stop, will be playing second base for the BoSox, which seems a bit strange. It looks like Story’s bat will play in Boston and the Red Sox shake out to be a pretty good defensive team already. There will likely be no downside to playing Story at second base; they just will not get his full potential. It also helps that Boston was able to pry him away from the Yankees, so that’s a plus.

Carlos Correa – Minnesota Twins

(+600 to win AL Central, +6500 to win World Series)

In a shocking move, Carlos Correa signed a three-year deal with the Twins worth $105.5 million. The Twins looked like they were poised for a bit of a rebuild in the 2022 season when they traded away Josh Donaldson to the Yankees. Little did we know that the Twins were just trying to clear money for one of the best shortstops to hit the market in a long time.

Correa, 27, has spent his entire career thus far with the Houston Astros, helping lead them to two World Series and winning one of them. Correa was the first overall pick in the 2012 draft and reached the big leagues in 2015. Correa’s average annual value (AAV) is the most in history for an infielder at $35.1 million per year, and fourth in all of baseball. Though it was rumored all offseason that Correa had offers much larger in the 13-year, $350 million range, Correa opted to take a short-term deal with more money to hit free agency again in his age-30 season. Correa has the option to opt out after the 2022 and 2023 seasons if he wishes, which could be likely.

No one pegged the Twins as a potential suitor for Correa when the offseason began, so it seems strange that the pair came to an agreement despite the current team in Minnesota. Even with Correa, the Twins don’t look to be a legitimate playoff contender; they have a lot of holes, so spending big on a free agent of Correa’s stature is odd. There aren’t many ways to make sense of this singing, but Correa will surely be a good trade-deadline target should the Twins be as bad as people expect this season. Correa would have the option to opt out, making him a potential rental for whatever team would acquire him.

It should also be noted that this offseason, Correa signed with the Boras Corporation. Since he was not with Scott Boras and company last season, they do not get a commission for any deal he received this offseason. Something to think about for sure.

Nicholas Castellanos – Philadelphia Phillies

(+500 to win NL East, +3500 to win World Series)

Many people thought the Phillies would be done after nearing the luxury tax by signing Kyle Schwarber just last week, but that did not stop them from pursuing Nicholas Castellanos, who inked a five-year deal with the Phillies worth $100 million. Castellanos isn’t on the level of Story or Correa, but he has been an extremely undervalued talent since coming up in 2013. Castellanos now reunites with Dave Dombroski in Philadelphia, a relationship that began in their days in Detroit.

The Phillies will look to bash their way to the playoffs as they certainly won’t be carried by what looks to be a shaky defense. With the addition of Castellanos, it looks like the newly acquired Schwarber will be the team’s primary designated hitter.

Castellanos will offer some serious protection for Bryce Harper as he looks to slide perfectly into Philadelphia’s clean-up spot. Castellanos hit a career-high 34 home runs last season with the Cincinnati Reds and is the perfect right-handed compliment to the left-handed Harper. Philadelphia’s lineup looks scary as Schwarber, Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and now Castellanos could all hit 30+ home runs in the coming season. Philadelphia’s playoff drought looks like it could be coming to an end soon.

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