Let’s Play Ball!
MLB fans and bettors got great news Thursday afternoon, with the announcement that the MLB and MLBPA came to an agreement on a new CBA.
With games starting April 7, it’s official the Hot Stove Season all over again, and player signings and trades will take center stage no doubt.
Check out the latest impactful signings below and the significance the moves have on the betting front.
Sunday, March 20
|Red Sox||Trevor Story||Reported 6-year, $140M|
After six seasons with the Rockies, Story declined an $18 million qualifying offer from the organization this fall.
The 29-year-old shortstop made two All-Star game appearances during his six-year stay with Colorado and topped 20 home runs in all five of his full seasons. He’s also stolen at least 20 bases in each of the past three full seasons while also playing plus-defense and ranking inside the top-10 shortstops in defensive WAR each of the past five years.
Leaving hitter-friendly Coors Field will almost certainly have a negative impact on Story, though. He has a .303/.369/.603 career slash line at Coors while posting a .241/.310/.442 line on the road.
The Red Sox odds on March 1 were +2000 to win the World Series, after today, +2000 via DraftKings. The Red Sox will have to make another splash to convince the oddsmakers they can win it all!
Saturday, March 19
|Twins||Carlos Correa||3 yr – $105.3M|
The Minnesota Twins reportedly signed free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa to a 3-year, $105.3 million contract early Saturday morning.
The 27-year-old was the most sought-after free agent this offseason. He hit .279 last season, with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs while leading all shortstops with 20 Defensive Runs Saved.
The Twins are hoping to compete in a solid AL Central Division. The Chicago White Sox are the (-185) betting favorites to win the division, while the Twins are (+600) after the Correa signing at FanDuel Sportsbook.
They’ll have more work to do but are rumored to be active in the trade market.
Thursday, March 17
|Dodgers||Freddie Freeman||6 yr – $162M|
The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly signed free-agent first baseman Freddie Freeman to a $162 million, six-year contract early Thursday morning.
The 31-year-old first baseman won the 2020 National League MVP and was a key contributor to Atlanta winning the 2021 World Series. Freeman also won a Gold Glove in 2018, and he’s gone to the All-Star Game five times.
Los Angeles’ World Series odds dropped in short order following the signing of Freeman.
Dodgers World Series Odds – March 1 to Current:
FanDuel Sportsbook: +600 to +550
Caesars Sportsbook: +600 to +500
DraftKings Sportsbook: +700 to +500
Find out more details regarding the trade here.
Wednesday, March 16
|Rockies||Kris Bryant||7 yr – $182M|
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Kris Bryant has agreed to a seven-year, $182 million contract with the Colorado Rockies Wednesday.
It’s an interesting move for Bryant. He stays in the loaded NL West headlined by the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, albeit on a Rockies team that is perpetually stuck in mediocrity.
Bryant hit .265 with 25 homers and 10 stolen bases in 586 plate appearances last year with the Cubs and Giants.
Though he’ll bolster the lineup, the move will likely not move the needle on the Rockies’ betting odds. They currently sit at +15000 to win the World Series in 2022 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Phillies||Kyle Schwarber||4 yr – $79M|
The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly signed free-agent outfielder Kyle Schwarber to a four-year contract worth just short of $20 million per year Wednesday, March 16.
With the recent addition of the universal DH in the new collective-bargaining agreement, Schwarber projects to be utilized primarily in this spot, as plus-power is his greatest asset.
He’s a near-lock for the heart of the Philadelphia lineup and an excellent complement to reigning National League MVP outfielder Bryce Harper and first baseman Rhys Hoskins.
After all, Schwarber is coming off arguably his best season with 32 home runs, 71 RBI, and a career-high .928 OPS over just 471 plate appearances through 113 games.
It’s worth noting the significant disparity in the odds for Schwarber to lead the majors in home runs at Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook, especially with Citizens Bank Park a favorable hitting environment.
Kyle Schwarber Home Run Leader Odds:
Caesars Sportsbook: +5000
DraftKings Sportsbook: +2500
Don’t expect Philadelphia World Series odds to budge too significantly from the Schwarber addition, though.
Phillies World Series Odds:
FanDuel Sportsbook: +4000
Caesars Sportsbook: +3500
DraftKings Sportsbook: +3500
|Cubs||Seiya Suzuki||5 yr – $70M|
The Chicago Cubs reportedly signed outfielder Seiya Suzuki to a $70 million five-year contract Wednesday, March 16.
Suzuki played with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in 2021, and he’s been widely considered one of the best players in Japan over the past number of seasons.
While it’s difficult to project how he’ll transition to the MLB, the 27-year-old outfielder hit 38 home runs with a .317/.433/.639 slash line last year for the Carp. He’s also considered a plus-fielder with a strong throwing arm.
It’s unlikely signing Suzuki will impact the Chicago futures market.
However, it will be interesting to see his number on National League Rookie of the Year Award odds lists.
Former NPB players Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Saski and Ichiro Suzuki have all won Rookie of the Year honors, after all.
|Blue Jays Acquire||Matt Chapman|
|Athletics Acquire||Kevin Smith|
The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly acquired third baseman Matt Chapman, from the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
Chapman is a three-time Gold Glove winner and appeared in the 2019 All-Star Game. The 28-year-old third baseman has topped 20 home runs in the past three full seasons, including hitting a career-high 36 round-trippers in 2019.
The Blue Jays scored the third-most runs in the American League in 2021, and Chapman joins a star-studded lineup, including AL MVP candidates first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and shortstop Bo Bichette.
While there wasn’t immediate line movement for the Blue Jays following the announcement of the reported acquisition of Chapman, unsurprisingly, sportsbooks dropped their odds for Toronto winning the World Series over the course of the day.
What’s most interesting is whether or not this is a result of betting action coming in on Toronto, the bookmakers adjusting based on updated projections following the addition of Chapman, or a combination of both.
Blue Jays World Series Odds:
Caesars Sportsbook: +1200 to +1100
FanDuel Sportsbook: +1200 to +1100
DraftKings Sportsbook: +1100 to +1000
Find out more regarding the trade here.
Tuesday, March 15
|Anthony Rizzo||Yankees||Reported 2-year deal|
The New York Yankees reportedly signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a 2-year, $32 contract Tuesday. The deal includes a player opt-out clause following the first season.
Rizzo is a three-time All-Star who hit at least 25 home runs in six consecutive seasons from 2014 through 2019. However, the now 32-year-old first baseman has struggled in consecutive years with a combined .240/.343/.432 slash line across 819 plate appearances.
Of course, Rizzo’s role in helping the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series was paramount, and he also has three Gold Gloves on his resume.
Most impactful for betting markets, however, is that the Rizzo signing likely signals the Bronx Bombers won’t be adding highly sought after free-agent first baseman Freddie Freeman to the fold.
The Yankees World Series odds didn’t immediately shift following the Rizzo signing. Here’s what numbers the major sportsbooks are currently hanging.
Yankees World Series Odds
FanDuel Sportsbook: +1200
Caesars Sportsbook: +1100
DraftKings Sportsbook: +900
Monday, March 14
|Mariners Acquire||Jesse Winker|
|Reds Acquire||Justin Dunn|
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Seattle Mariners have acquired Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez from the Reds in exchange for Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamson, and Jake Fraley.
Winker is the headliner in this deal. Last season he batted .305 with 24 home runs and 71 RBIs while making his first All-Star appearance.
Williamson is an excellent get for the rebuilding Reds – as MLB.com ranks him as the Mariners’ NO. 7 prospect.
|Braves Acquire||Matt Olson|
|A’s Acquire||Cristian Pache|
The Atlanta Braves have reportedly acquired first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics Monday, March 14, ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweeted.
Atlanta will lose considerable prospect depth, with outfielder Cristian Pache and catcher Shea Langeliers the top two prospects in the organization.
Whereas starting pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes are promising righties projected to start the 2022 season at the Single-A level.
Cusick was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 MLB June Amateur Draft, and Estes was picked in the 16th round in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Find out more regarding the deal here.
UPDATE: The Braves have signed Olson to a new 8-year / $168M contract.
Sunday, March 13
|Yankees Acquire||Josh Donaldson|
|Twins Acquire||Gary Sanchez|
The New York Yankees acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela on Sunday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweeted.
The trade didn’t have a sizable impact on the World Series odds for either team. The Yankees were listed at +900 ahead of the deal at DraftKings Sportsbook, and their line didn’t move. Minnesota’s number did climb from +8000 to +9000 at DraftKings, though.
Find out more regarding the deal here.
|Nelson Cruz||Nationals||Reported 1-year, $15M|
The Washington Nationals dipped into the free agent pool on Sunday, signing DH Nelson Cruz to a 1-year deal worth a reported $15 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of the The Athletic. Cruz played in 140 games last season, splitting time with the Twins and Rays. He hit 32 home runs along with 86 RBI. Cruz joins the likes of Juan Soto and Josh Bell in what could still be a rebuilding year for the Nationals.
Currently, DraftKings has the Washington Nationals at +12000 to win the World Series and +3500 to win the NL East. Longshots to say the least.
|Twins Acquire||Sonny Gray|
|Reds Acquire||Chase Petty|
The Minnesota Twins made a splash Sunday by acquiring starting pitcher Sonny Gray in exchange for pitching prospect Chase Petty – a first-round draft pick in 2021.
Gray went 7-9 last season, posting a 4.19 ERA over 135 1/3 innings with 155 strikeouts. He’ll look to bounce back from a subpar campaign in the much friendlier confines of Target Field.
The Twins are currently +750 to win the AL Central Division – sitting just behind the Detroit Tigers, while the loaded Chicago White Sox are -200 favorites to lead the division.
Saturday, March 12
|Mets Acquire||Chris Bassit|
|Athletics Acquire||J.T. Ginn|
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the second notable trade went down Saturday as the Oakland Athletics sent starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to the New York Mets in exchange for pitchers J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller.
Bassitt was sensational last season, posting a 3.15 ERA, 25% strikeout rate, and 6.1% walk rate in 157 innings while going 12-4.
He’ll join a loaded Mets rotation, headlined by Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
The Mets are currently +1100 to win the World Series at FanDuel Sportsbook, while the Athletics are +7000.
|P Yusei Kikuchi||Blue Jays||Reported 3-years, $36M|
The Toronto Blue Jays added a rotation piece to the fold Saturday, signing left-hander Yusei Kikuchi to a reported 3-year deal worth $36 million, according to multiple reports.
The Blue Jays rotation is clearly one of the best in the American League, and arguably the best in the AL East.
Last season, the left-hander compiled seven wins with a 4.41 ERA. The Blue Jays currently have World Series odds of +1200 at FanDuel and are +240 to win the AL East.
|Rangers Acquire||C Mitch Garver|
|Twins Acquire||SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa|
|P Ronny Henriquez|
The first notable trade went down Saturday as the Texas Rangers sent SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pitcher Ronny Henriquez to the Twins for catcher Mitch Garver, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Falefa, who hit eight home runs and had 20 stolen bases for the Rangers last season, becomes the Twins starting shortstop after losing Andrelton Simmons to the Cubs Thursday. Garver will join Jose Trevino as the catching duo barring more movement. Garver hit 13 home runs in 68 games for the Twins last season.
The Rangers current World Series odds at DraftKings sits at +10000 while the Twins are at +9000.
Friday, March 11
|P Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||Reported 1-year – $17M|
Kershaw is back in Dodger Blue after signing a reported 1-year, $17M deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
After being shut down with forearm discomfort in September 2021, Kershaw wasn’t extended a qualifying offer from the Dodgers this fall. It’s telling because Los Angeles would likely have the best medical information on his injury.
Kershaw went 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA and 144 strikeouts through 121.2 innings across 22 starts last year, and his 29.5 strikeout percentage was his highest since the 2017 campaign.
The 33-year-old southpaw has an impressive resume, including three Cy Young Awards, eight All-Star Game appearances, and Kershaw won the National League MVP Award in 2014. He won both his starts in the 2020 World Series to help Los Angeles win its first championship since 1988.
|P Carlos Rodon||Giants||Reported 2-years|
The Giants added to their rotation with the addition of Rodon.
See More: Giants sign Rodon to reported 2-year deal.
|P Martin Perez||Rangers||Reported 1-year/$4M|
First off the board! Pitcher Martin Perez!
Not exactly impactful, but significant since Perez will be the first signing since the MLB and MLBPA reached an agreement on a new CBA.
Check out the latest comprehensive and most trusted Sportsbook Reviews by SBR here.