MLB’s top nine free agent deals this winter – Aaron Judge not on list

Free agent deals this winter ranged from excellent to stunning, with the stars all being well paid. There were so many good deals with players that it’s hard to narrow down to the top nine, but we’ll give it a shot.

Aaron Judge set a player position record and didn’t even make our list because we think he’s worth every penny – the 36 billion. (He took less to keep his Yankees legacy.) Carlos Correa would certainly make it through either of his deals — the $350 million deal with the Giants that gets canceled or the 315 deal. million with the Mets who is on hold — but he’s still officially a free agent.

All four shortstops will have good business once a deal with Correa is finalized. Trea Turner also took less when he got $300 million from the Phillies, and Dansby Swanson probably could have gotten a bit more elsewhere (perhaps with the Twins). But he wanted to be a Cub, and he’s down for $177 million — not bad after a great season. But of the four great shortstops, only Xander Bogaerts cracked our top 10.

1. Masataka Yoshida ($90 million, five years, Red Sox): This guy has a fantastic swing, but other teams considered Yoshida a $50 million player.

Masataka Yoshida
News Kyodo/Sipa USA

2. Jacob deGrom ($185 million, five years, Rangers): Some folks at the Mets think he had to be 100% to pitch, and if so, it obviously turned out to be the right strategy to land the big contract he was after.

3. Xander Bogaerts ($280 million, 11, Padres): The outlay is about $100 million more than his own team was offering. It’s hard not to like this player.

4. Jace Peterson ($9.5m, two, A): His career seemed on the edge of nowhere a year or two ago, so his deal is like a godsend.

5. Jameson Taillion ($68 million, four years, Cubs): He even turned down the $72 million contract Taijuan Walker eventually took from the Phillies to become a Cub.

6. Taijuan Walker ($72 million, four years, Phillies): Similar to Taillon, although Taillon’s stuff looks better at this point, thanks to the splitter he learned from Carlos Carrasco.

Taijuan walker
Taijuan walker
USA TODAY Sports

7. Kenley Jansen ($32 million, two years, Red Sox): Few have seen a two-year deal come any closer, 35.

8. Willson Contreras ($87.5 million, five, Cardinals): It felt like no one else was close for the longtime Cub.

9. Robert Suarez ($44 million, five, Padres): By moving to Korea and then returning as a free agent, he avoided years of refereeing. The trend is to pay guys with big tricks and few sleeves.

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