The free agent market always produces some oddities. Consider this 2022 comparison of two right-handed pitchers who landed on recently converted teams, as if they were traded for each other.

Player A: Age 38, 13 HRs, 116 OPS+, 532 PAs

Player for: Age 35, 16 HRs, 117 OPS+, 596 PAs

Player A is. Justin TurnerWho agreed with Red Sox A two-year, $21.7 million contract. Player B is JD MartinezWho agreed with The Dodgers 10 million dollar deal in one year.

How is it possible for Turner to be signed for twice as much as Martinez, considering both offer low defensive value at this stage of their careers?

Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras, pointed to the slider’s connection to his former Red Sox teammate. Mookie BettsAnd Dodgers coach Robert Van Scoyock helped Martinez rebuild his swing after the 2013 season.

Not only did Martinez go lower than Turner Josh Bell (Two years, $33 million) Michael Brantley (one year 12 million dollars) and Joey Gallo ($11 million a year).

“(Dodgers president of baseball operations) Andrew Friedman and Mookie were like college coaches looking for big recruiting,” Boras said. “JD is well aware of the recent signings and took $6 million to $7 million below cost.

“He wants to win and wants to (facilitate the trial). He felt the Dodgers were the best team to help him achieve those goals. He made them fully aware of his desire to play well and find his true worth in the upcoming season.

RaysJay was at Brantley.

The day the Rays announced the signing of the right-hander Zach EflinPresident of baseball operations Eric Neander has expressed interest in free agent outfielder Michael Brantley.

“I think for us we add another player, that’s a comeback candidate or a win candidate, I don’t know how much appeal he has with someone who has a lot of consistency and recent success. ” said Neander.

Because I think that’s what this team needs the most, he’s demonstrated that and maybe he can take some of the attention and expectations away from the young players.

As it turned out, the Rays pursued Brantley, who turned 36 on May 15 and is hitting .296 in 54 career postseason games. He did so Blue JayHe last targeted Brantley two years ago as a free agent.

Brantley returned Astros A two-year, $32 million deal that summer. This time, he agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract with $4 million in incentives. Perhaps, the Astros are confident that Brantley will pass the physical. In August, he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder and missed the rest of the season.

Where are the transactions?

I am one of those who complain that the team is being rebuilt, which has been undermining the competitive integrity of the sport for the past several years. Well, we can finally report some progress on that front. In recent days, three baseball operations officials have been trying to build contentious rosters that say the sluggish trade market is the number of clubs shying away from future deals with the Patriots.

“This is the biggest variable in play,” said one executive. “We can’t take our chances to get players. We can do it with two teams, but it’s not enough. You need enough teams with major league players. That’s definitely hanging things up, for sure. “

Although the draft of the new collective bargaining agreement created a lottery, it does not seem to go far enough to increase competition. One aspect of the CBA, however — the expansion of the postseason from 10 to 12 teams — has given clubs more incentive than expected. Two sub-90 winning outfits, the Phyllis And FathersThey reached the National League Championship Series.

The Reds, Pirates and A’s are the only teams truly rebuilding, according to one executive. of CitizensHe said he was not behaving like that. The business market is very quiet, not even Sailors General manager Jerry Dipoto, one of the game’s leading deal makers, could spark activity in the winter meetings. Dipoto said the Mariners have made a few calls to explore potential matches and have received feedback from one club, but they appear to be focused on free agents outside of the league.

The trade market could accelerate as the free agent pool dwindles. The biggest deal he’s ever sent is a three-team nine-player extravaganza. Sean Murphy From A to the Good And William Contreras From Braves to Brewers.

George Matteo (Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports)

Orioles Matthew on the move?

of OriolesAccording to Major League sources, he started receiving inquiries shortly George Matthew Almost immediately after Cubs Agreed with Dansby SwansonThe last of the big four free agents in place.

of Twins, Braves, Red Sox and Dodgers all lost shortstops on the open market. Matteo could be affordable and attractive to interested clubs as he turns 28, an athletic defender and steal-threat that should be added to. As announced by the league Shift limits, large bases and discharge rules in 2023.

The Orioles love the combination of Matthews and right-handed hitting infielders Ramon UriasLeft-handed batting options, Gunnar Henderson And Adam Frazier. The added depth at second, short, and third not only allows for mixing and matching, but also allows each player to get enough rest. Then again, the O’s also had Jordan Westburg at Triple A; Joey Ortiz and Conor Norby. The team will eventually move some of the outfield players.

Matthew, therefore, seems to be able to come out in the right contract. Last season, he ranked among the top five defensive backs in both runs defensed and passing yards, and was projected to earn a relatively modest $1.8 million at the start of three years of arbitration. The downside: His adjusted OPS was 19 percent below league average last season, although he led the American League with 35 stolen bases (in 44 attempts) and 13 home runs a pop.

The latest on Conforto

Some teams are concerned about free agent Michael Conforto’s ability to throw at full strength, citing surgery on his right shoulder last April. If Conforto needs time at designated hitter, he may not be very attractive to clubs looking for a full-time outfielder.

Boras, however, is throwing Conforto over 150 feet, which puts him ahead of players who are just starting to prepare for the season. of RangersLooking for an impact bat in left field, are among the teams with interest, with The Mets and Blue Jays major league sources said.

Another left-handed hitting option for those clubs: David Peralta, who at 35 is more than 5 1/2 years older than Conforto but remains an above-average hitter as a hitter.

In general, left-handed hitting outfielders are less common than in the past. outside Juan SotoPeralta and Andrew Benintendi They were the best sold on the last day. One executive speculated that the shortage contributed to the Red Sox giving Japan a foreign player. Masataka Yoshida 90 million dollars.

around the horn

• Padres general manager AJ Preller admitted he has received trade requests on infielder Kim Ha-seung and center fielder. Trent Grisham Since the team added a free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts. But Preller doesn’t seem to be making a move.

“With the Bogaerts signing, our goal is to play this position group together,” Preller said. “We love the flexibility and versatility it gives our team.”

• The Rangers, like the Orioles, boast several prospects in the outfield, giving them the ability to trade for veteran help at the deadline if not sooner.

Ezekiel DuranOne of the infielders they got from Yankees In the Joey Gallo trade, he is playing a good outfield game in the Dominican Winter League. Josh SmithAnother player in the Gallo trade, he could develop into a super-utility type, Rangers version. Chris Taylor.

Also in the system: second baseman Justin Foscu, 23, the 14th pick in the 2020 draft out of Mississippi State, and Luisangel Acuna20, younger brother Ronald Acuna Jr according to MLB.comFoscue and Luisangel Acuña are the team’s number 5 and 7 prospects.

• The Brewers sent him off the field. Esther Ruiz In a three-team trade, Murphy could get William Contreras from the Braves to the A. It wouldn’t be surprising to see another young outfielder move for pitching.

Four of the best five prospects of the beer rankings They are foreign players. Topping the list is Jackson Churio, an 18-year-old from Venezuela who is definitely untouchable. Behind him is Sal Frelik, the 15th pick in the 2021 draft, and another player the Brewers can’t move.

Interested teams may have a better shot at the Nos. 3 and 5 players on the Brewers’ roster: Joey Wimmer, a fourth-rounder out of the University of Cincinnati in 2020 or Garrett MitchellThe 20th election of the same year.

• And finally, the Diamond backs They are looking for a right-handed hitting infielder in trade discussions involving their left-handed hitting center fielders. They were also in the mix to find a free agent that fit their desired profile, Brandon Drury.

As usual, one phone call can change everything. But no business is expected before the new year.

(Top photo of JD Martinez: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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